Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 39

CHAPTER 2

|

Legal Considerations and Administration

39

given situation (Figure 2-11). It is the
athletic trainer's job to recognize these
different perspectives and to accommodate as many views as possible, always
keeping the safety of the athletes as
the primary consideration. By protecting the physical safety and emotional
well-being of the athlete, the athletic
trainer also enhances the entire sports
organization.
A tort is a wrongful act resulting in
injury to another's person, property, or
reputation, for which the injured party
is entitled to seek compensation. Such
wrongs may result from an act of omission or an act of commission. An act of
omission is the failure to perform a
legal duty, such as the failure to provide water for a practice period. An
act of commission is an action that is 2-11 | Although coaches and officials have different concerns, the
performed illegally, such as the relocat- safety of the athletes is the primary goal.
ing of a dislocated shoulder without a
medical license. Battery is an example of an act of commission, and involves hitting
tort
a player or inappropriately touching an athlete.
A wrongful act
As previously discussed, prevention of injuries is an important role of the sports
resulting in injury
medicine team; nonetheless, not all injuries are preventable. For this reason, it is esto another's
sential to examine the mechanism of injury, as well as the circumstances surrounding
person, property, or
it, in order to determine which injuries were preventable and which were not. For
reputation, for which
minor injuries, such an investigation is generally conducted by the sports medicine
the injured party
staff; however, the cause of moderate and major injuries may be further analyzed in a
is entitled to seek
court of law. The purpose of such litigation (a lawsuit) is to determine liability. If it is
compensation.
determined that a party is liable for an injury, then damages (financial compensation)
may be awarded to the injured person. For example, a member of the sports medicine
battery
team who causes additional injury to an athlete is liable for that aspect of the injury.
The unlawful
Consequently, he or she may have to pay for the athlete's medical bills, as well as
touching of an
other miscellaneous fees and penalties such as for pain and suffering.
individual without
The majority of sports medicine lawsuits involve claims of negligence. Rememconsent.
ber that negligence is the failure to give reasonable care or to do what another
prudent person with similar experience, knowledge, and background would have
done under the same or similar circumstances. In order for negligence to exist, a
person's (or organization's) action or inaction must cause unreasonable harm to
others. Failing to provide appropriate supervision, allowing dangerous horseplay,
returning someone to activity before the person is physically ready, and failing to
recognize conditions that lead to heat stress are all examples of exposing someone
to unreasonable risk or harm.
One of the best ways of preventing negligence lawsuits in sports medicine is to
avoid issues of "failure to warn." This will only be useful in foreseeable risks. Failure
to warn means failing to inform participants of the risks associated with the activity.
This risk of liability can be greatly reduced by requiring participants and parents/
guardians of minors to sign the risk acknowledgment form. As previously discussed,
confirm that all individuals who sign these forms understand the form's contents.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e

Contents
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover1
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover2
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - A
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - B
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - i
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - ii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - iii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - iv
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Contents
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - vi
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - vii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - viii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - ix
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - x
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xi
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Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover4
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