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Can a coach be held liable for sports-related injuries?

Sports injuries are something that occurs often, especially in contact sports. While coaches work hard to keep players safe, accidents still happen. In some cases, coaches may put their players in harm’s way without realizing it. If you are considering coaching a team in Pennsylvania, then it might help you to understand the liability you undertake as a coach.

While you may think liability lies with the school or sports organization under which you are coaching, that is not always true, according to Huff Insurance. Decisions you make regarding practice and play can make you personally liable for injuries. For example, if you do not allow players to drink enough water and one gets dehydrated, you could be liable. Another example is choosing to practice in bad weather. Falls or other injuries caused by the weather could make you liable.

There are other situations where there could be nothing you could have done to prevent an injury. For example, if a player gets injured during a game due to a fall. There really is nothing you could have done to stop that from happening. So, even if you do get sued, you will probably win the case.

Regardless, coaches have been sued when a player is injured, so you cannot take your responsibility lightly. You have to make decisions with safety in mind at all times. While you may win your case, having a lawsuit against you is harmful in other ways. It damages your reputation and puts your abilities as a coach at risk. While you cannot prevent all accidents, you can limit your liability by making smart decisions when it comes to practice, techniques and training. This information is for education and is not legal advice.