Most Australians love sport and recreation. Despite the ‘thrill of the chase’ however, these activities carry an element of risk and may lead to significant injury and harm.
Proving negligence and claiming compensation for injuries sustained when participating in certain activities can be complex, but is not impossible.
If you have suffered a significant injury while participating in a sporting or other recreational activity it is important to see a lawyer as soon as possible to advise you of your rights to seek compensation. Our lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating and running public liability compensation matters for those injured while participating in sporting and recreational activity.
Proving negligence in sporting and adventure activities
A person (the claimant) seeking compensation in a public liability claim must show that the party against whom they are claiming owed them a duty of care (the respondent) failed to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm and, because of this negligent act or omission, the duty was breached and the claimant suffered injury.
Certain sporting and adventure activities are considered to have ‘inherent risks’. These generally include:
- contact sports;
- boating and water sports, scuba diving and snorkelling;
- horse riding, trekking, trail bike riding and mountain biking;
- abseiling, rock climbing and river rafting.
Having an inherent risk means there is a known or obvious risk of injury attached to the activity. A claimant will usually have a higher burden in proving negligence as the incident might merely be considered an inevitable consequence of the activity. This was the case in Woods v Multi-Sport Holdings Pty Ltd (2002) 208 CLR 460 where it was determined that there was no duty to warn of an obvious risk of eye injury in playing indoor cricket.
Claims for injuries sustained during sport and recreational activities are unique. Our lawyers will look at the circumstances of the incident to determine the most appropriate avenue to claim compensation on your behalf.
For example, if you are injured playing amateur sport, your sporting association may hold relevant insurance from which a claim can be made. Alternatively, it may be that the owners of the facility where you played were negligent by not providing a safe playing field or amenities.
If you are employed as a paid sports person, then a claim for injury sustained during training, competing, or travelling between games may lie against the relevant workers compensation insurer.
If your injuries arise from participating in an adventure activity then an act or omission by the organiser may lead to negligence. For example, injuries sustained from a fall when rock climbing as a result of faulty safety equipment that has been poorly maintained.
Finally, an action may lie against an individual who has committed an ‘intentional tort’ – a deliberate act to harm another person.
Time limits apply when making compensation claims in sporting injury cases can be complex. We recommend you contact us today so that one of our experienced lawyers, can advise you on your prospects of succeeding in a public liability claim arising from a sporting or recreational activity.
What can be compensated?
There are a wide range of compensation payouts and they are different for each claim.
If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future loss of earnings
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future care you may require as well as any other needs like wheelchairs or home modifications
The best way to know what compensation you may be entitled to is to contact us. We can assess your situation and give you a good indication of what sort of compensation you could receive.
Who pays the public liability compensation?
Generally, the insurance company of the party at fault will pay the compensation. This is called public liability insurance. You do not have to worry about finding the details of the insurance company yourself. We have the resources to find these important details.
Are there any time limits to making a public liability claim for compensation?
Time limits apply when making a public liability claim and we will need to build as strong a case as possible to help obtain maximum compensation for your loss. Time limits also differ from state to state. We recommend you contact us without delay and we will ensure deadlines aren’t missed.
Click here for information about legal costs in public liability matters.