Sports Law • Risk Management

Five Things to Know About Negligence: Part II

After reading my “Part I” blog on negligence, you may be curious to know more about how your organization could be exposed to and shielded from liability. Below are five additional things about negligence that should be shared with all members of your organization.

1. Kids can also be held responsible for causing another person to be hurt. Just because a minor is the cause of creating an incident, the status of someone being a minor does not shield that minor, or the minor’s guardian from liability. Thus, guardians, or coaches who have assumed the role of caretaker, should help a minor avoid being negligent.

2. In an emergency, a rescuer cannot leave a victim in a worse position than the rescuer intervened. Emergencies are bound to happen in sports. It is human nature to want to respond in the event of an emergency, and a sports organization may have a duty to respond in the event an emergency occurs. However, regardless if you have a duty to respond to an emergency, do not place a victim in more harm and then leave the victim in that worse position. If you create a worse environment for a victim, you may be negligent for the increased harm caused to the victim.

3. A rescuer might be able to recover from his or her injuries caused by the rescue. If a member of your sports organization creates an emergency situation and a rescuer becomes injured, the rescuer may be able to recover from the person who created the emergency. Prepare an emergency action plan and train your personnel on how to provide a proper response in the event of an emergency.

4. To recover monetary damages for negligence, an injury must have been sustained. Even if your sports organization breaches a duty and causes an incident, damages will not be awarded unless there is something for which you are obligated to compensate. In other words, someone or something must have been hurt before you are must pay for the harm caused. No injury; therefore no damages.

5. Purchase a commercial general liability (CGL) policy to cover your sports organization and your staff. While you can prepare and respond in ways to minimize your exposure to negligence, it is always smart to have an insurance policy to cover incidents that do occur. Although a variety of insurance policies should be considered, at the very least, your sports organization should purchase a CGL policy.

Read “Five Things to Know About Negligence: Part I” for more information. Additionally, check with your attorney or a risk management company, like Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC for ways to prevent and protect your organization from negligence.