Can people in NSW claim compensation for sport-related injuries?

Published 31 Oct 2018

From rugby union to cricket, Australia is an undeniably sport-hungry nation. As a result, more than 3.5 million NSW adults participated in a sport or physical activity at least three times per week in 2016, according to the Office of Sport.

However, the latest figures from the Australian Government suggest sports injuries represented eight per cent of all hospitalisations from 2011-2012.

Are people who sustain injuries on the playing field entitled to make a public liability claim in NSW? 

The Civil Liability Act 2002

In NSW, all cases related to determining responsibility for negligent behaviour fall under the Civil Liability Act 2002. However, while many circumstances are covered, sport-related accidents are not.

Under the Act, a person or institution cannot be held liable if another suffers harm when playing sports. This is because the plaintiff should already understand the obvious risks associated with participating in the recreational activity. Therefore, a defendant does not owe a duty of care to another person who plays sports during a game. Only in the circumstance that a person is incapable and was not informed of the risks may the defendant be held liable. Poor management of a sports ground and faulty equipment may also be cause for compensation.

So, in the event that a seasoned netball player injuries their arm when colliding with another player, they are not eligible to submit a claim based on the fact they would have been aware of the risks beforehand.

Other ways to claim

In some sport-related cases, plaintiffs may be able to submit a claim for compensation if they have sustained an injury as a result of:

  • Unsafe sports grounds.
  • Dangerous sporting equipment.
  • The umpire failing to ensure the safety of players, or competition organisers failing to conduct themselves adequately after an individual is injured.

Filing a claim for the aforementioned is a tricky process and one that requires the knowledge of an in depth legal team such as Malouf Solicitors.

Understanding the Sporting Injuries Insurance Act 1978

The Sporting Injuries Insurance Act 1978 was established in an effort to improve the compensation for parties who suffered certain injuries or death as a result of playing sports. All sporting organisations in NSW can sign up to the scheme and in the event that a player becomes seriously injured, they will receive a lump sum benefit. 

If you've sustained injuries as a result of sporting injuries and are unsure of your rights, get in touch with the team at Malouf Solicitors to see if you have a potential claim for public liability compensation.

Please call us on 02 8833 2000 to speak with a lawyer

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