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Hockey has long been one of Canada’s national sports and players at the top of their game take to the ice with the intent to win games, often aggressively playing, leading to bitter scuffles and hard slams, which, despite the ample protection, can trigger serious long-term injuries. Until recently, seriously injured players bore the brunt of their sports injuries personally with their careers cut short and their capacity for alternate employment off the rink or field limited. However, recent stories of lawsuits being leveled at the Canadian Hockey League and National Hockey League teams indicate that injured players may be entitled to compensation. One such claim is the one that has been filed by a former goalie, John Chartrand, who played for the Barrie Colts in Ontario in the Canadian Hockey League. Mr. Chartrand is seeking $12 million in compensation for injuries sustained while playing, injuries that ultimately ended his hockey career.
Chartrand’s case, and those like it, are contributing to an increased awareness of the seriousness of injuries sustained while playing sports at all levels in Canada and highlight the need for those who engage in sport to take precautions to avoid injuries that can permanently disable a player and end their career both on and off the rink or field.
Injured players need to be aware of their rights and the compensation that may be available to them for the injuries that they have sustained. The best strategy for an injured player is to discuss their case with an experienced lawyer who is familiar with personal injury law in the province in which they reside and are capable of effectively pursuing their case on their behalf. The details of an individual case and a clear understanding of the law that applies in the situation are both critical to achieving the best result possible for the injured player. Being able to access compensation that a player is entitled to under the law can also go a long way towards financing the high cost of rehabilitation and mitigating the financial losses that occur as a result of the injuries sustained.
A greater emphasis on player safety is needed to ensure that playing sports does not result in career ending and career limiting injuries. Holding organizations and individuals that neglect player safety responsible for the costs of injured players will result in increased player safety and will reduce the number of players who are permanently sidelined as a result of avoidable serious injuries. Personal injury lawyers at League and Williams know personal injury law in British Columbia and are able to advise injured players on their entitlement to compensation in their particular case and will aggressively pursue fair compensation for their clients in court. Our lawyers may be contacted via phone at 250-888-0002 or via email at email@example.com.
(Source: $12M lawsuit brings concussion battle to Canadian junior hockey, TSN, 20 October 2014)