With kids heading back to school this month, many are also starting a new season of recreational sports. Unfortunately, these activities often bring a risk of serious injury; two thirds of recorded injuries to adolescent Canadians are associated with sports.
Who is responsible for the safety of children playing recreational sports?
The organization that is responsible for the activity, whether it is a school board, community league or other group, should take reasonable steps to ensure that children are not exposed to an unwarranted risk of injury. This would include creating policies and standards that meet minimum safety requirements that prevent injury, and having properly trained staff on hand. While risks are inherent in almost every sport, measures should be taken to minimize sports injuries to children as much as reasonably possible.
Assumption of risk and children’s sporting activities
In many cases, the assumption of risk by an injured person will be a bar to any claim in negligence. A person who participates in recreational sports is deemed to have accepted the usual risks associated with the activity. In some cases, a waiver listing the potential injuries and consequences of playing will be evidence that a participant accepted those risks. However, in the case of children, there are legal questions about the ability to understand and accept risk, which is contingent upon their age and level of knowledge at the time.
Furthermore, any voluntary assumption of risk is limited to the dangers inherent in usual play. Intentional acts of violence and recklessness are not considered to be parts of the inherent dangers of recreational sports; these acts can give rise to liability.
Toronto personal injury litigation boutique for sports injuries to children
If a child is injured, parents often wonder whether they can bring a lawsuit to recover compensation. This question is complicated; a qualified personal injury specialist should be consulted as soon as possible for advice. Fireman Daya & Co. is a firm that specializes in representing accident victims. With over four decades of experience helping injured plaintiffs fight for compensation, we have the background to successfully represent injured children.
We offer free consultations for all new clients. Contact us online, or call our office at 416-967-9100 to make an appointment.
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