Football Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a football injury, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a sports injury compensation claim with the help and support of a solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.

We can help you make a sports injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article


According to the Football Association (FA), the number of people playing football in England is increasing, with 8.2 million now participating in the game in some form. Data from the Sport England Active Lives Survey also highlights that football is by far the largest participation sport in the country, with around 10% of the UK's adult population participating in 2019/20.

Due to the very physical, fast-paced and semi-contact nature of the sport, injuries are a regular occurrence, and it is reported that over 34% of all participants may sustain some type of injury. As such, many of the sports injury claims handled by solicitors relate to football.

The most commonly encountered footballing injuries, seen in both professional and amateur football, include:

In the majority of cases, a player's injury occurs accidentally during the course of a game or as the result of a "fair" tackle, within the bounds of what is considered acceptable play.

More serious "freak" accidents can also occur, however the key issue a solicitor will consider when assessing a claim is "Was the injury the result of negligence, recklessness or dangerous conduct?".

Sporting injury masthead

Do I have an injury claim?

As a basic rule, you can make an injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim online

Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I make a football injury claim right up to the three-year limit?

Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a football injury claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.

Can an injured player claim compensation?

All team sports players accept that they may sustain the occasional bump or bruise and aches and pains as a result of play. However, when football injuries are more serious, causing longer term pain and suffering, and result from circumstances that lie outside the rules of the game, it may be appropriate to bring a claim for compensation.

This logic applies to professional, semi-professional and amateur players.

The main factors that cause football injuries that may justify bringing a claim include:

1) Reckless, dangerous or violent behaviour from other players

Late, reckless or malicious tackles by opposing players may inflict significant, sometimes life-changing, injuries. These may include fractured legs, dislocations, torn ligaments, and trauma to the head (including concussion) and spinal injury.

An assault by opposing players or even a player's own team mates may cause multiple and serious injuries, depending on the violence of the attack. A player sustaining a kick to the head may need extensive surgery for broken bones and teeth; a head butt might break the assaulted player's nose. It is not necessary for a criminal case to be successful or to have concluded for a player to make a criminal injury claim.

In the professional or semi-professional game, a club may be liable for the negligent actions of a player who causes serious injury to another whilst they are acting in the course of their employment (vicarious liability). This legal principle permits a player to claim for personal injury because the harm occurred during the playing of the game and, therefore, in the course of the second player's employment.

Although the club's vicarious liability may include in-match fighting, it is not likely to extend to incidents occurring outside a match context.

2) Poorly maintained playing facilities

Badly maintained pitches, which cause players to slip or trip, may result in injuries - typically to the ankles and lower leg.

Where glass or chemicals are present on a pitch that has not been inspected thoroughly, any players coming into contact with them may sustain cuts or burns injuries.

Players using indoor courts (e.g. five-a-side football) may slip or fall if spills have not been cleaned, or unsuitable cleaning products have been used.

Owners of sports facilities have a duty to provide safe playing environments, so may be found liable if the injury was a result of a poorly maintained pitch or court.

3) Poor training or coaching

Although rare, poor coaching instructions or inadequate or reckless training exercises may also cause one player to injure another or themselves. It may be more difficult to establish negligence in regard to coaching-related injuries. Contact a specialist solicitor to discuss your options.

Claiming for a football injury

Although most football clubs have insurance policies to cover occupiers liability accidents and football injury claims, insurers may invoke clauses or limitations within the policy, making it necessary for a claimant to demonstrate that the defendant was liable for his injury.

Anyone wishing to bring a claim for a football injury is advised to gather as much evidence as possible to establish liability and to support the claim.

This evidence could include:

  • A copy of any video taken of the game
  • Witness statements
  • Photographs of the injuries
  • Photographs of the facilities if the accident occurred due to the poor state of the pitch or court

What can I claim compensation for?

Depending on the injury, claims may be made for general damages to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity (how the claimant's quality of life has been affected by the injury). Claims for special damages will include loss of earnings (if the claimant is unable to work due to his injury), cost of any treatment and any other costs incurred as a result.

The level of damages awarded may vary according to the level at which the sport is being played at. At the elite professional level, damages are likely to be significant if the accident has caused a long-term or career-ending injury.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a severe ankle injury can be £35,000

For a more minor arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.

However, if you have a severe ankle injury and a more minor arm injury, you would typically receive £35,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I claim for physiotherapy and private care costs?

Private treatment can be expensive, but funding towards the cost of this treatment frequently comprises part of a compensation award. Your solicitor may even be able to arrange access to private medical care as soon as your claim is accepted.

Will I have to pay tax on my football injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a football injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate my claim

How long does a football injury claim take?

How long it can take to process a football injury claim can vary significantly.

A straightforward liability accepted sports injury claim can settle in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, a claim can take longer. Typically, a sports injury claim takes 6 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read more:

How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Around 2% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

No win, no fee

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

No win, no fee - our guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. football injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

Call me back
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Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor