Personal Injury Lawyer: Can You Sue for Training-Related Heat Stroke?
Even though the school year is over, many high school athletes continue to practice over the summer to stay in condition. Others train for competitions and athletic meets.This is pretty much the norm for many student athletes, but this summer’s weather conditions might be concerning.
Recently, North Carolina has been going through a heat wave. While temperatures hitting the upper 90s and low 100s isn’t unheard of during summer, that doesn’t usually happen this early. Owing to this phenomenon, young people who training outdoors are at risk of getting dehydrated or suffering from heat stroke if they aren’t careful.
It’s important for athletes and coaches (and other adults present in practices) to be especially aware of the signs of heat-related injuries. Dehydration and heat exhaustion may become evident through cramps, headaches and dizziness. When a player develops any of these symptoms that might be suffering from heat exhaustion. Left untreated he/she could experience a heat stroke.
So, what happens if those kids do get sick? Could the school or the coaches be held liable? A personal injury lawyer sheds light on the legal implications when young athletes sustain heat-related injuries during a school training program.
Yes, the school or one or more of the coaches could possibly be liable if they failed to protect the children from the dangers of heat exhaustion, such as allowing or insisting on practices amid heat wave warnings from authorities. The administrators of a school athletic program may also be liable if they ignore a players’ physical complaints and continue to push them during practice sessions. Likewise, they could be held responsible for not providing medical assistance or calling an emergency team when symptoms are severe.
The Challenge for Plaintiffs
Parents or relatives of an injured athlete might find it challenging to sue the school or the coach. Courts know that injuries are risks inherent to sports and several protective laws covering sports injuries apply to these institutions and professionals, which is not favorable to a plaintiff.
In some cases, insurance representatives contact the plaintiff right away and pressure them into settlement. They could use any information provided as part of their defense. However, when there is substantial evidence of negligence (such as testimonies from other athletes), the school or the coach can certainly be held liable for injuries.
In any case, a personal injury lawsuit can be tricky, so anyone wishing to file a complaint should contact a personal injury attorney. An established law firm in Raleigh, such as Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, can guide you through such a case.
- Heat wave presents dangers for high school athletes, HighSchoolOT.com, June 14, 2015
- High School Sports Injury Lawsuits Often Dismissed, Athletic Business
- Heat Wave Injuries, Illnesses: Who’s Liable?, FindLaw
- Be A Winner: Avoid Heat-Related Sports Illnesses, Lawyers.com