Elbowed in the face playing soccer...

by Lisa
(Richmond, VA)

I was (hopefully accidentally) elbowed in the face by the goalie during a soccer game. This caused a broken nose, ambulance ride, ER visit, and subsequent septoplasty. I do have health insurance, but I am nervous about the bills since I am pretty sure I have a high deductible.

Can I file a claim under the other person's homeowner's insurance policy? What is the easiest way to get assistance covering the medical bills? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Elbowed in the face playing soccer...":

Lisa (Richmond, VA):

You can file a claim under the players homeowners insurance if the player is covered for off-premises injuries. If so, you would need the consent of the goalie to file your injury claim.

In the alternative, if the goalie will not consent to a homeowners injury claim, or if the goalie was not insured for such an accident, or if the goalie will not agree voluntarily to pay for your medical bills, your recourse would be to file a lawsuit against the goalie.

You would be hard-pressed to find an attorney to accept your claim, however. Accidents happen to participants during sporting events, and the law normally holds that participants who voluntarily engage in sporting activities assume the risk of injuries. Unless you can prove the goalie intentionally assaulted you, you will likely not have a viable claim.

If you choose to sue you may be able to file your claim in small claims court. The jurisdictional limit, meaning maximum amount you can sue for in Virginia Courts is $5,000.. Unfortunately, if you file a lawsuit there the judge may follow the common law and dismiss your case under the legal theory of "assumption of the risk."

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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