Torn ACL and meniscus at soccer practice...

by Anonymous
(New York)

My daughter was playing a scrimmage against her teammates at one of her bi-weekly practices for a club travel team and ended up twisting her knee on a turf field. A few days after the incident I took her to the doctor to have it examined and was scheduled to have an MRI for her knee.

Once the results came in we learned that she had torn her lateral meniscus and ACL. So we went ahead and scheduled the surgery. She has been going to physical therapy ever since. Now my insurance has been sending me claim files and wants to know who is responsible? How do I handle this? Who IS responsible? What do I tell my insurance? Thanks for any direction you can give.

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ANSWER for "Torn ACL and meniscus at soccer practice...":

Anonymous (New York):

Club travel teams are normally privately funded through players and their parents. As such, these teams are generally not associated with schools.

The first issue is whether or not the team offered medical insurance. If so, and you or your daughter declined it, doing so may be a bar from recovering compensation from the team for your daughter's medical bills and resulting costs.

The second issue is whether or not you, on behalf of your daughter, signed a Waiver or Medical Release before the season began. Of course, if your daughter is under the age of 18 it would have been you who were required to execute the Waiver. If a Waiver was indeed signed, then you may be barred from compensation for your daughter's injuries and resulting costs, but not necessarily.

Soccer by definition is not a contact sport, but can be dangerous, often resulting in injury. Soccer injuries often include the tearing of the lateral meniscus and ACL.

When there is a unilateral agreement by a player to engage in a field sport, the agreement normally includes an "assumption of the risk" of injury. This legal doctrine exists because without it, every time a player was injured he or she could say the injury was wholly unanticipated in the type of sport he or she was playing at the time of injury.

Unless you are able to show the injury was the result of negligence, or that it was inflicted purposely or with malice aforethought, you will have a very difficult time overcoming the legal doctrine of assumption of the risk.

Your burden of proof will be to show the negligence, or purposeful or malicious conduct, was the sole direct and proximate cause of your daughter's injury.

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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