Cheerleading has become an exciting, thrilling sport for children of all ages, and it is no longer the simple leaps, high kicks, and shaking pompons in support of the team. Members of the squad are being tossed 25+ feet in the air, executing complicated aerial gymnastics as they fly. It is no wonder that cheerleading accidents are common, but data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is surprising. Around 35,000 cheerleaders present to emergency rooms every year, and cheerleading injuries represent more than half of all catastrophic injuries among female athletes. In fact, the rate of catastrophic injuries among cheerleaders exceeds injuries to male football players.
If you or your child was hurt in a cheerleading accident, you may wonder about your rights under Florida personal injury laws. Victims do have remedies, so it is critical to pursue them to ensure rightful compensation. You should make it a priority to retain a Miami catastrophic injuries attorney for assistance, but some information on the risks and liability for cheerleading accidents is useful.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries from Cheerleading Accidents
Catastrophic injuries are those that cause serious trauma to major body organs, systems, or tissues. There are two types that are common in cheerleading accidents:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, and other head injuries occur when a member of the squad falls or is dropped, at times several feet in the air.
- Falls and drops can also lead to serious spinal cord injuries, and the severity of the trauma depends upon the location on the spine. The effects also vary based on whether the injury is a complete or incomplete severing of the spinal cord.
Liability for Cheerleading Injuries
Cheerleaders are less likely to be injured at games, performances, and competitions than at the practices and preparation for these events. Practice facilities may be held accountable if they do not provide sufficient floor padding, fall protection harnesses, and related equipment.
The cheerleading organizers, including schools, may also be liable. Coaches and program administrators are also required to protect members from harm despite any waivers or disclaimers you may have signed.
Pursuing an Accident Claim for Children
There are a few factors that affect a cheerleading accident case when the victim is a minor, and one is the statute of limitations. It is extended for children, but there are rarely reasons to wait until the deadline approaches. You should take action right away to seek compensation for the losses from catastrophic injuries, which can be considerable because of the medical complications.
You have the option to settle a claim for catastrophic injuries, but parents can only settle up to $15,000 for a child without court involvement. For amounts above this and for litigation, a guardianship case may be necessary.
Consult With a Miami Catastrophic Injuries Lawyer Today
For additional details on liability and the legal process for cheerleading accidents, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, at (305) 371-6000 or via our website. We can set up a no-cost case review with a catastrophic injuries attorney at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.