Visitor Question

Soccer injury from playing dirty…

Submitted By: Erick (New Jersey, USA)

I was playing soccer and another player hit me in the head really hard. This is not the first time he’s hit me. The other player always plays dirty. I went to the hospital because I passed out after getting hit. When I got to the hospital they found I had a hole in my head.

I know that a certain amount of contact is expected when playing a sport like soccer, but this person was overdoing it. He always plays dirty and gets away with it. Can I at least make the other person pay my hospital bill and for my medications so he can learn a lesson? How would I do it? Thanks.

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.


Dear Erick,

You can certainly ask the player to pay your medical bills. I have a feeling he won’t be cooperative. Other than reporting him to whomever is in charge, if anyone, your only alternative is to sue him in small claims court.

The jurisdictional (maximum) amount you can sue for in New Jersey Small Claims Courts is $3,000.00 …one of the lowest amounts of any state in the country.

To have any chance of success you will have to bring witnesses with you to testify about the player’s habit of always playing dirty AND inflicting harm on other players. Just “playing dirty” won’t be enough to win. You’ll need witnesses who themselves have been injured by the player.

Although the rules of evidence in most small claims courts are relaxed, unless you have the players who were actually injured, any other testimony about what your witnesses heard from someone else may be considered hearsay and inadmissible.

Collect copies of your medical bills, receipts for out of pocket expenses like medications, hospital lot parking fees, etc. Also bring to court copies of your medical records. Then hope you have a sympathetic judge or jury.

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: July 1, 2013

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