Can I Sue My College or Coach for a Sports Injury?

Sports programs are a significant component of many colleges and universities in Florida. Many young athletes attend college on scholarships. Unfortunately, a sports injury can cut their sports career short. If that happens to you or your child, you might be able to sue the college or coach for a sports injury under certain circumstances.

Public universities and colleges are governed by sovereign immunity as a subdivision of the Florida state government. Sovereign immunity protects government entities from lawsuits. You cannot sue a government entity without its permission.

However, Florida tort law has waived sovereign immunity for many personal injury claims. Therefore, you might be able to sue your college or coach for a sports injury.

That said, a few types of personal injury claims remain barred by sovereign immunity. Also, special rules apply when suing a government entity. It is best to talk with a Gainesville personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you believe you have a claim against a college for a sports injury.

Special Rules Apply When Suing a Public College in Florida for a Sports Injury

When you sue a public college in Florida, you must provide notice of the claim to the Florida Department of Financial Services and the school before filing a lawsuit. The deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of injury or two years after a death in a wrongful death case.

A sports injury claim could result in economic and non-economic damages, including:

However, Florida limits the amount a person can receive when suing a government entity, including public universities and colleges. You are limited to $200,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, although the legislature can adjust the amount periodically. You cannot recover punitive damages in lawsuits against public colleges and universities in Florida.

Does Assumption of Risk or a Waiver of Liability Relieve Colleges and Coaches of Responsibility for a Sports Injury in Florida?

In most situations, athletes assume the inherent risks of playing sports. Therefore, you might not be able to sue your college for injuries that are caused by a natural risk of participating in sports. Also, most schools require athletes to sign waivers of liability to release the school, coaches, and other parties from responsibility for sports injuries.

However, the assumption of risk and waivers do not release a college or individual from all liability for sports injuries. In cases involving negligence, the college could still be liable for sports injuries.

Examples of circumstances that could create liability for damages on the part of a Florida college or other party include:

  • The injury was the result of defective sports equipment
  • The circumstances that caused the injury were outside of the ordinary risk the player assumed
  • The school, coaches, or other parties were negligent in causing the sports injury
  • Unsafe or dangerous court or field conditions caused the injury
  • The coach was negligent in providing training in techniques and instructions
  • The college failed to use standard safety measures that would reduce the risk of injury

If you are injured playing sports at a university or college in Florida, the best way to protect your rights is to set up a free consultation with a lawyer. A Gainesville personal injury attorney can review your case and advise you of your legal options.

What Should I Do After Sustaining a Sports Injury at a Florida College?

Steps to take after being injured while playing college sports include:

  • Report the injury to your coach and the school immediately
  • Seek immediate medical treatment for your sports injury
  • Document your damages by keeping detailed medical records and proof of all financial losses
  • Do not sign any documents without consulting with an attorney

If you were injured playing sports at school, contact a Gainesville personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. Lawsuits against colleges are complicated personal injury cases. It is crucial to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258