Rugby Match Injury Compensation Claims

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a sporting 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 rugby match injury compensation:


With 25 players injured in the first two weeks of the Rugby World Cup, and World Rugby's chief medical officer seeking a change to the tackle laws to reduce the risk of concussion injuries, we look at the potential dangers for those who play the game, and the options for players injured due to negligent or deliberately-rule breaking conduct.

The majority of sporting injuries are consequences of playing within the rules of the game. Claims for such injuries are usually not possible.

Where a player's conduct falls outside that expected of players, however, or an umpire or other official fails to protect players from injury, and a participant is injured as a result, it may be possible to make a sports injury claim.

What are the most likely injuries?

Rugby injuries may occur as isolated incidents or as a result of continuous playing of the game and include:

  • Overuse injuries caused by running; including tendinitis in the knee or ankle, bursitis and medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints).
  • Traumatic injuries fractures, dislocations, sprains, strains and deep muscle bruises.
  • Head injuries and concussion.

Prevention of injuries?

As it is such a physical contact sport, player safety is of paramount importance to the Rugby Football Union (RFU). It has specific regulations to ensure those involved in the game consider their own safety and the safety of others at all times.

Although the game involves players tackling, rucking and mauling opponents in a bid to win the match, the guiding principles state that a player must not wilfully or maliciously inflict injury on an opponent.

The RFU also states that players have a duty of care to consider their own fitness before participating in any rugby activity; with the parents and guardians of players under the age of 18 checking the fitness of those for whom they have responsibility.

Those who seek to return to the game after injury should seek medical advice before doing so.

In certain competitions additional medical and player safety regulations may be applicable. Teams involved in such competitions are responsible for checking specific competition regulations to ensure that these are complied with.

These rules set boundaries within which players and officials must individually and collectively operate; therefore any player sustaining injury as a result of another's deviation from this code of conduct may be able to claim compensation.

When can a claim for a rugby injury be raised?

Because of the inherent danger of the sport, the ethics of rugby oblige everyone to take reasonable care for the physical safety of others where they are expected to foresee the outcome.

Something more than an error of judgement must have occurred to establish a claim for negligence.

An offending player must have shown a wilful disregard for the consequences of his actions. This might include a deliberate intention to knock the player out of the air when contesting for a kicked ball, or carrying out an illegal spear tackle (upturning a player past the horizontal).

Can a rugby club be liable for an injury?

In the case of the professional game, contracted players have a number of obligations that they are required to observe arising from their contract of employment. Due to this contractual arrangement, 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.

Known as vicarious liability', it allows a player to claim for personal injury because the harm was done during the playing of the game and, therefore, in the course of the second player's employment. Although this may include a deliberate stamp to a player, it does not extend to acts beyond the duration of a match.

Employers may also be liable where they subject a player to devastating and long-term health consequences by failing to warn them of the risks and consequences of preventable injury.

Amateur clubs

An amateur club is unlikely to be liable for an amateur player's conduct in the same sense. The player is not an employee and so vicarious liability is unlikely to apply.

However, it may still be possible to make a claim against the player directly. If the players actions amount to a criminal act, a claim may be made through the?Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Do I have a rugby match injury claim?

As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a rugby match injury claim if your injury occurred:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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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 rugby match injury claim on their own behalf.

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

How much compensation can I claim for a rugby match injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your rugby match 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 rugby match 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 rugby match 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 serious head injury can be £30,000

For a less severe shoulder injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,500.

However, if you have a serious head injury and a less severe shoulder injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,500.

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 rugby match 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 rugby match injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your rugby match 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.

Will I have to pay tax on my rugby match injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a rugby match 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 rugby match injury compensation

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

Calculate compensation

How long does a rugby match injury claim take?

How long it can take to win compensation for a rugby match injury can vary significantly.

A straightforward liability accepted sports injury claim could be completed in a month or two. If the defendant denies liability, it could take significantly longer. Usually, a sports injury claim should take 6 to 9 months. See: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your rugby match 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 - the facts

Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if you do not winn your claim .

No win, no fee promise

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

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

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

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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Rugby match 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 rugby match injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a rugby match 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 rugby match injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a rugby match 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