I hurt myself playing sports. Can I make a public liability claim?

Published 28 Sep 2018

Between 2013 and 2014, an estimated 60 per cent of Australians aged 15 years and over participated in a sports activity at least once, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, in the previous year, 7,500 people were hospitalised for some form of sport-related injury, states further government data.

For those involved in sporting accidents, how easy is it to make a public liability claim?

Head to head against the Civil Liability Act 2003

The Civil Liability Act 2003 (QLD) is a piece of legislation used to determine civil liability for negligent acts. Whilst extensive in offering clarity for those involved in public liability matters, for people looking for damages in the way of sports-related incidents, the Act does not work in their favour. This is because the majority of individuals playing sports know the potential risks. Under the Act, a plaintiff is taken to have been aware of the risk unless they are able to prove that they were not informed by the defendant.

Therefore, an injured party cannot claim liability where the risks were known. For example, if someone has played football for a number of years and they incur a tackle that causes substantial damage to the leg, they wouldn't be able to claim because they will have been aware of the risks involved.

The Act also divulges into more sport-specific explanation, and as such, no person is liable in negligence for harm suffered by another person when partaking in recreational activities.

But can a sport's club be held negligent in any shape or form?

Whilst the Civil Liability Act 2003 is clear in its no-nonsense approach to liability, there are ways in which an injured person may have a successful claim for negligence. This could include an injury that was a result of:

  • Unsafe sporting equipment.
  • Deliberate misconduct.
  • Dangerous sports grounds.
  • The umpire failed to ensure a reasonable level of safety was given to players.

On a similar note, sporting ground proprietors have a duty of care to uphold towards visitors, whether in the form of ensuring seating is safe or buildings are kept in good condition.

If you've been injured as a result of negligence in any way, it's important to see what compensation you could be entitled to. Get in touch with the expert team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to find out how we can help.