Personal Injury Claims & Sports Injuries


suing for personal injury for injuries while playing a sport

Playing sports – especially contact sports – brings with it an inherent risk of injury. Most injuries sustained playing sports are relatively minor, for example, scrapes, bruises, or sprain/strain injuries. However, more serious injuries, like fractures or concussions, while less common, are certainly a realistic possibility.

In these instances, would a player have a personal injury claim to pursue for the injuries sustained while playing their sport? This blog will look at the potential claims to be pursued, and some of the issues that can arise with these types of claims.


The basis for a personal injury claim is often negligence on the part of one person which caused injuries to another person. In the context of sports, negligence may be difficult to prove, but we will look at how, in certain cases, this might be proven below.


Where sports are being played in a sporting facility, it may be possible to make a personal injury claim under Alberta’s Occupiers’ Liability Act, which imposes a duty on property owners and/or occupiers to make sure that those who visit the facility are safe. If negligence can be proved because an injury was caused by faulty structures or equipment within the facility, a claim under this Act may be possible.

However, it is important to note that players are typically required to sign some type of waiver before being allowed to participate in sports at such facilities. These waivers are in place to help protect the owners and occupiers of these facilities from being sued if people are injured while at the facility. If a waiver has been signed by the injured player, it will likely make a personal injury claim more difficult or even impossible to pursue.


If an injury is caused by another player, a personal injury claim may potentially be brought directly against the other player. However, this raises the issue of when a player will be considered as acting “negligently” and therefore be liable for injuries caused to another player in the context of a sport.

Participating in sports often comes with an expected level of contact and physicality, and so a certain amount of risk is considered to be accepted when one agrees to participate in a sport. Therefore, where an injury is sustained through the normal and accepted play of a sport, a claim for personal injury damages for that injury is unlikely to be successful as negligence will be difficult to prove.

Another issue to consider is the degree to which a player contributed to their own injury. This is referred to as “contributory negligence”. If an injury is brought about, in full or in part, by a player’s own actions, a personal injury claim may be difficult or impossible to pursue.

If you have been injured while playing a sport, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer in order to discuss the specific facts of your case and figure out your options for pursuing a personal injury claim