Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Sports injury compensation lawyers - Manchester

Sport injury

Injuries caused to, or by, either participants or spectators in the course of sporting and recreational activities, can if they are caused by negligence, give rise to a claim for damages. From football and rugby to boxing and extreme sports such as kite-surfing, for example, negligent actions may lead to injury.

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Mr Andy Davidson of CLEAR LAW LLP in Manchester
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Distance: 1 mile
Miss Ginny Newman of PABLA & PABLA SOLICITORS in West Didsbury
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Hi - I specialise in employer liability claims - injuries at work of all types -  including industrial disease claims, and occupier liablity accidents, particularly including slips and trips in shops.  I acted for union members for a long time... Read more
Distance: 4 miles
Brain injury lawyer
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Fellow
Hugh is an Accredited Brain Injury Specialist & Accredited Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) Practice Areas Hugh has almost 30 years specialising in catastrophic brain and spinal cord personal injury cases,... Read more
Distance: 1 mile
Brain injury lawyer
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Distance: Less than one mile
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I am a Solicitor with over 20 years experience of representing injured Claimants. I currently handle accident at work and public liability claims with a value in excess of £25,000. I have extensive experience of these types of claims as... Read more
Distance: Less than one mile
Mr Andrew Kwan of CLEAR LAW LLP in Manchester
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Solicitor-Advocate and Litigation Manager | APIL Senior Litigator | Law Society PI Panel Member My role is to manage the personal injury department and to contribute to the overall growth and development of the practice, whilst maintaining our ethical... Read more
Distance: 1 mile
Occupational disease lawyer
Asbestos disease lawyer
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I am a senior lawyer who specialises in claims for asbestos-related diseases, both for individuals who have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening and lung cancer and also families of individuals who have sadly passed away as a... Read more
Distance: Less than one mile
Mr Gary Boyd of GORVINS SOLICITORS in Stockport
Military injury lawyer
Personal injury - Fellow
I am a recognised expert in serious/ catastrophic injury claims including brain injury, spinal (cord) injury and amputation claims including in my niche areas of Military and Sports Injury claims. I have over 20 years experience.  I am a Partner... Read more
Distance: 6 miles
Mr Lee Jones of LLB SOLICITORS in Cheadle Hulme
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
With over 15 years’ of successful experience in recovering damages for all types of accidents, but specifically accidents at work, road traffic accidents and accidents in a public place. I also have extensive expertise in... Read more
Distance: 8 miles
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Quentin is a Partner and Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury at Birchall Blackburn Law. He has over 27 years' experience in the Legal Profession, representing both Claimants and Defendants. With this experience, Quentin uses his skills to... Read more
Distance: Less than one mile
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I help the victims of catastrophic accidents to recover compensation. Many of my clients have serious brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or amputations. I also help families to recover damages after fatal accidents. When I first meet a client and... Read more
Distance: Less than one mile
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Fellow
Distance: 4 miles
Mr Ross Whalley of LEIGH DAY in Manchester
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Ross is an Associate Solicitor specialising in workplace injury and cycling cases. He has worked exclusively in the field of personal injury for 15 years having qualified in 2006. He joined Leigh Day in 2015 to lead a team dealing with personal injury... Read more
Distance: 2 miles
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I am a Senior Associate solicitor at Irwin Mitchell (Manchester) and have acted for clients in the field of serious injury for over 15 years.   I handle a wide range of serious injury cases for adults and children including brain... Read more
Distance: Less than one mile
Ms Claire Horton of FIELDFISHER in Manchester
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I am a clinical negligence partner in Fieldfisher's Manchester Medical Negligence team. I qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and have specialised in clinical negligence claims and very high value cases ever since. I have been appointed... Read more
Distance: Less than one mile

Do I need a lawyer to make a sports injury accident claim?

Yes you do! Many insurance companies like to contact the people involved in an accident to try to settle the claim directly. They sometimes do this even after you have instructed your own solicitors. This could be your own insurer or the insurer for the other person or company involved in your accident.

While this is allowed, there are good reasons why you should not deal with the other person/company’s insurer directly and why you should instruct a lawyer:

  • The lawyer will be able to use the online ‘claims portal’ to deal with your claim. This electronic system speeds up the claim process. Provided that liability is admitted and the claim is worth £25,000 or less, it could be finalised quickly and efficiently through the portal.
  • The other person/company’s insurer is likely to make you a lower offer than you are entitled to, in the hope that you will settle quickly and the claim can be closed. Our own research shows that claimants receive offers which are at least 42% lower when they are not legally represented. For this reason alone it is in your best interests to instruct a lawyer to represent you.
Insurer offers
  • The other person/company’s insurer will pay your costs and expenses if you are legally represented and successful with your claim. Dealing with the insurer directly is time consuming and is not straightforward. If you do not instruct a lawyer and deal with the insurer yourself, you are unlikely to be able to claim back the cost of the time and effort you have to put in to settle the claim.
  • A lawyer will ensure that you are properly medically examined. While it is tempting to take the first amount offered by the insurance company for a broken bone, there is a risk that this might not be your only injury which requires compensation. For example, long term pain, the risk of developing arthritis in the future, or psychological after-effects may also develop: your lawyer will ensure that the medic is alive to these issues.
  • If the accident was your fault, you should never make admissions to the injured person’s insurance company. You should seek legal advice to protect your financial and legal position.

Common causes of sports injuries

  • Defective or poorly maintained equipment
  • Unsafe pitches
  • Insufficient instruction or supervision from trainers, coaches, or fitness staff
  • Referees or umpires who fail to properly control the game which leads to injury
  • Players’ dangerous or illegal moves
  • Assault

Which type of sporting injury can I claim for?

When you take part in sporting activities you ‘consent’ to some risk of injury, so it is important that you can show either ‘reckless disregard’ for safety or a deliberate intention to injure.

For instance, in the football case of Ben Collett (Manchester United FC) v Gary Smith & Middlesbrough FC, Ben was subject to a high tackle, which was over the ball, by Gary Smith. Two bones in Ben’s leg were broken and his high level professional football career was over. Middlesbrough FC settled the claim in Ben Collett’s favour.

In rugby, the case of Ben Smolden v Whitworth and Nolan highlights the issue of consent. Ben was left paralysed after a scrum collapsed. While Smolden consented to the usual element of violence associated with playing rugby, he had not consented to the bad behaviour of another player called Whitworth, and neither had he consented to play in a game which was inadequately refereed.

Smolden alleged that the other player had deliberately collapsed the scrum and that the referee, Nolan, had failed to prevent the collapse. The court accepted that Whitworth was not to blame, but the game had been blighted by 20 scrum collapses when there were usually around six per game. The court found that the referee had not given sufficient instruction to the front rows of the scrum and "failed to exercise reasonable care and skill" in preventing scrum collapses. He was found liable for Smolden’s injuries.

Concussion is also a live issue. Injuries occur in horse racing over jumps, rugby union and American football, although the risk of concussion in motor sport and motocross has been identified as another area where it is a hazard. See ‘contact sports’ below.


Injuries caused by contact sports

In contact sports, such as rugby or American football, players already consent to a certain level of violence. Players know that they are likely to be involved in collisions. But injuries caused by reckless disregard or deliberate intention to injure can give rise to a claim.

  • Assault
    For example, in Gravil v Carroll and Redruth RFC, a fight ensued after a failed scrum and Carroll threw a punch, fracturing the bones around Gravil’s right eye. Carroll later admitted in a RFU disciplinary hearing that he had deliberately assaulted Gravil, but denied that it was a pre-meditated assault. He was temporarily suspended by the RFU. In Gravil’s subsequent claim for damages, the Court of Appeal found in Gravil’s favour.
  • Inadequate supervision/skill and care of the referee
    In rugby, the case of Ben Smolden v Whitworth and Nolan highlights the issue of consent. Ben was left paralysed after a scrum collapsed. While Smolden consented to the usual element of violence associated with playing rugby, he had not consented to the behaviour of which he accused Whitworth or to play in a game which was inadequately refereed. He alleged that he had deliberately collapsed the scrum and that the referee Nolan had failed to prevent the collapse. The court accepted that Whitworth was not to blame, but the game had been blighted by 20 scrum collapses when there were usually around six per game. The court found that the referee had not given sufficient instruction to the front rows of the scrum and "failed to exercise reasonable care and skill" in preventing scrum collapses. He was found liable for Smolden’s injuries.
  • Concussion
    This is also a live issue. Injuries occur in horse racing over jumps, rugby union and American football, although the risk of concussion in motor sport and motocross has been identified as other areas where it is a hazard.
    • In American Football, the NFL has implemented a set of guidelines called The NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committees’ Protocols Regarding Diagnosis and Management of Concussion;
    • In Rugby the RFU has issued guidance on returning to play after a head injury and rugby players from Aviva Premiership Rugby and Greene King IPA Championship are taking part in a study led by the University of Birmingham as part of its work to develop a ground-breaking pitch-side test to diagnose concussion and brain injury;
    • The British Horseracing Authority has a series of concussion management protocols, which aim to ensure that riders are better protected and prevented from riding while under the influence of a concussive injury. More information can be found here: https://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/education-regulation-research-central-new-concussion-management-initiatives.

Assumption of risk

In sports, such as football, rugby or American football, players already consent to a certain level of violence. Players know that they are likely to be involved in collisions. But injuries caused by a reckless disregard or a deliberate intention to injure can give rise to a claim.

This also applies to spectators. Almost everyone who attends a cricket match, an ice-hockey game or cycle race, for example, will accept that there is a small risk of injury. If you watch a cricket match, you must be prepared to dodge the ball as it flies into the stands. Similarly, sitting in the front rows of a hockey match carries a risk of injury: spectators are regularly reminded to ‘keep an eye on the puck at all times’ during games.

But it has to be a reasonable risk. Anything which amounts to negligence cannot be accepted as within the realms of the reasonable risk of that sport. For an example of this we can look at the decision in Corbett v Cumbria Kart Racing Club, Tracksport Challenge Ltd and RAC Motor Sports Assoc Ltd in 2013. In this case, a racing club and the organisers of a moped race positioned an ambulance behind a flimsy barrier of tyres at the track edge. A moped side car and its rider crashed through the barrier and collided with the ambulance parked behind it. The impact with the ambulance caused catastrophic head injuries to the rider.

The court held that it was always foreseeable that a moped might leave the track on the bend and so the organisers should have ensured that the barrier was adequate to prevent any collision with the ambulance parked behind it. They were negligent for not doing so.


Can I claim if I was injured as a spectator?

In some circumstances, the answer is yes.

Almost everyone who attends a cricket match, an ice-hockey game or motor race, for example, will accept that there is a small risk of injury. If you watch a cricket match, you must be prepared to dodge the ball as it flies into the stands. Similarly, sitting in the front rows of a hockey match carries a risk of injury: spectators are regularly reminded to ‘keep an eye on the puck at all times’ during games.

But it has to be a reasonable risk. Anything which amounts to negligence cannot be accepted as within the realms of the reasonable risk of that sport.

For a good example of this we can look at the decision in Fenton v Thruxton (Barc) Ltd and Motor Cycle Circuit Racing Control Board in 2008. In this case, a spectator at a motor racing event was injured when a bike left the track and collided with him in a designated spectating area. The pre-race track safety inspections had been inadequate and had concentrated more on the riders’ safety, rather than the spectators. The organisers and track owners were liable for the spectator’s injuries as a result.