Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 48

48

CHAPTER 2

|

Legal Considerations and Administration

spirit of competition is high, but is vital to ensuring the safety of the athletes
and protecting the sports medicine team and coaching staff from lawsuits.
Consider the following example:

THINKING IT THROUGH
In a case decided in
New Jersey, a track athlete was recruited to play
football. He had never
played organized football before. He was recruited primarily because of his speed and was to be used as
a receiver. Unfortunately, he was severely
injured while tackling an opposing player
after an interception. The athlete sued,
contending that the injury was the result
of insufficient training, conditioning, and
supervision. Investigation showed that he
had received only one practice session
on tackling. Expert testimony stated that
tackling can be an extremely dangerous

skill and that proper technique and instruction is paramount to avoiding injury.
The jury found the head coach to be
40% negligent and the line coach to be
60% negligent and awarded the plaintiff $6.5 million. The jury emphasized that
the injured athlete was a senior who had
trained primarily in track and did not receive adequate training and instruction
in football. In addition, the jury believed
that the attitude of the coaching staff
indicated the emphasis was on winning
and not on safety.

How could this situation have been
prevented?
â– 	

This is an example of the type of lawsuit individuals in sports medicine are likely
to face. The laws exist to protect the patient and athlete. The laws help ensure that
the proper steps are taken to prevent injuries, and that the best care possible is provided when injuries do occur.
15. Know personal limitations.

Always be aware of your scope of practice as defined by the laws of the
state in which you are employed. It is also important to use good judgment in
all activities; just because the law says you can do something doesn't mean you
are the best person to do it. If you lack the training or education to put forth
an informed opinion or perform a necessary skill, don't do it.
16. Be aware of changes in standards of care and any other changes that affect

your field of work.
Working in the field of sports medicine requires continued education.
Seminars, conferences, in-service training, college courses, newsletters, websites, and networking with colleagues are all great ways of keeping up to date.
Never quit learning.



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
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xiii
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Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover4
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