Visitor Question

Accidental Ankle Injury During Pickup Football Game…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

After a peewee football tournament myself and some other parents all stayed at a hotel. All the parents sat around while kids threw the football around in the parking lot. There was a field next to the hotel and all the dads decided to play touch football with the kids in it.

After a bit we decided to stop and started to head back to the hotel. We still tossed the ball a bit and one of the kids threw the ball towards me. I ran and reached out for the ball. At the same point I was running to catch the ball there was a curb back into the parking lot. When I stepped onto the parking surface I was not expecting the change in elevation and I lost balance and fell forward.

I was able to roll to protect myself but unfortunately I rolled into another dad’s leg and the impact broke his ankle. It was a complete accident. We all helped him into a car and got him to a hospital. All parties had a few drinks afterwards.

How responsible am I for his injuries? I rent, so if he submits a claim against me I don’t have homeowners insurance to cover it. He is self employed and I don’t believe he has medical insurance. No police report was filed. What are my options? Looking for any helpful information. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Hopefully the issue will pass without any controversy. But if it doesn’t here are the possible scenarios:

Any claim the man might have against you will be severely limited if he too was a participant in the touch football game. There is a legal premise referred to as “Assumption of the Risk.”

It applies to participants in sporting events, especially contact sports.

A “reasonable” person who chooses to play football, even if it is only touch football, understands there exists the possibility of injury during the game. If that person then chooses to participate and is injured during the game he will usually be barred from pursuing a legal claim against another participant for injuries sustained.

The absence of a police report has little relevance. Unless the injured dad can prove you intentionally caused his injuries, he has a weak claim, if any, against you.

In the alternative, if the injured dad was not a participant he may have a claim against you for his injuries. Once again, there wasn’t any intention to injure him, nor apparently any negligence. If he was not a participant but rather an observer, he can certainly ask you to pay for his expenses. You don’t have to. If he decides to sue you check your homeowners insurance policy. You may be covered for injuries caused to another, even if those injuries were sustained away from your home.

Finally, if the injured dad was drinking alcohol at or before the time of his injury, his claim, if any, will be severely weakened. Alcohol slows reflexes. If he had not consumed alcohol he might have been able to react properly and avoid the injury.

All in all, it appears from the facts you’ve stated that you don’t have much to worry about.

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

Best of luck,

Published: November 29, 2012

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