Sports Injury Liability and Personal Injury Law

Sports account for a large percentage of overall injuries in Canada. Depending on the injury and circumstances surrounding it, the injured party may have a claim for compensation against the party responsible for the harm. There could be a variety of reasons as to why the party responsible could be held at fault or not.

Sports injury liabilitySports injury liability falls under tort law in Ontario – a civil wrong which requires compensation. They could either be deliberate acts or simply the result of negligence. In either case, if you’re the victim of a sports injury due to someone else’s actions, you could have a strong personal injury case.

Common Sports Injury Claims

Sports injuries commonly affect people of all ages. For teens, about 66% of all injuries are sports-related and for adults (age 20-64), it is 47%. These are some high numbers! Contact sports account for the most injuries – football, basketball, soccer, and baseball are the highest culprits. However, other sports like gymnastics and track and field also boast a significant amount of injuries.

The ankles, fingers, and head are the most frequently injured parts of the body that can lead to a sports injury claim. Strains, sprains, fractures, bruises, and of course, concussions, all top the list for the most common injuries sustained by those who play sports. Depending on the circumstances, any of these injuries could result in compensation for a victim or their family.

Responsibilities of Coaches and Facilities

For a person or entity to be held liable for a sports injury, there needs to be a failure to use reasonable care or proof of unreasonable behavior by the defendant. There are a variety of factors that must be considered when thinking about sports injury liability:

  • Adequate instruction and training regarding the rules and procedures of a sport
  • Proper protective equipment must be supplied (such as helmets, mouth guards, chest protection, masks, or goggles)
  • Athletes must be well-matched against competitors to ensure someone isn’t competing against someone much more aggressive or of a much higher skill level
  • Complete supervision by a coach or other qualified person
  • Ensuring the facility and environment is safe and suitable for the activities
  • Providing proper post-injury care and removing athletes from games or competition if they suffer from an injury

If any of these criteria are not fulfilled and an athlete suffers an injury, the coach(es) or the facility where the sport was being played could be held liable for the injury, recovery, lost future wages, and pain and suffering.

If there is a failure in the equipment that causes an injury, such as a tennis racket that breaks and hits a person or a faulty helmet causing a brain injury, the manufacturer of said equipment could be held responsible.

Assumed Risk

Of course, sports injury liability is not always so clear cut. With sports, there is always an assumed risk by the participants that njuries could take place. Particularly if the athletes are older, more experienced, or have a good understanding of the game, they could have more assumed risk. Determining if an injury is the result of assumed risk of the athlete, or negligence or unreasonable behavior by a coach or facility, can be difficult.


If you or a family member has been injured while playing a sport, time is of the essence. Contact Nyland Personal Injury Law to determine if you’re eligible for compensation for your injury. You could receive compensation for future lost wages, pain and suffering, and other health or medical expenses. We will work to get you the justice you deserve after a sports injury!