Football Injury Compensation Claims

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a football injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming football injury compensation:


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 a football injury claim?

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

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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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 a football injury claim on their own behalf.

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

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 a football injury?

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

  • the extent 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 football injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

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 a football 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 a football 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 a football injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your football 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 an existing football injury that has got worse?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.

Calculate my football injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a football 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 football injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a football injury claim take?

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

For example, a straightforward liability accepted sports injury claim can settle in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, however, 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: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your football injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.

No win, no fee

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

Our no win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a football 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 football 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 football injury claim?

If your football 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.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

How can Quittance help?

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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Football 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

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 about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a football injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a football 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 football injury compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

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

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

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?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor