If a rugby match injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Rugby match injuries can include concussions, fractures, or muscular injuries from the high-impact and physically demanding nature of the sport.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a sporting injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a sports injury compensation claim with the help and support of a solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
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.
If you decide to make a rugby match injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Do I qualify for rugby match injury compensation?
If you've been injured or made ill in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for rugby match injury.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Am I still eligible to claim if I was partially responsible?
Determining legal responsibility for a claimant's injuries can involve myriad factors.
In our recent 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents believed they may have been partly (or wholly) responsible for their injuries.
The legal term for cases where an injured person was (to some extent) responsible for their injuries is 'contributory negligence'. If there is fault on both sides of a claim, it is possible to pay reduced compensation on a split liability agreement.
How long after a rugby match injury do I have to claim compensation?
For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.
The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.
How much compensation can I claim for a rugby match 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.
Rugby match injury
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Updated December 2023
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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.
If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.
These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your rugby match injury such as pain medication, physical therapy and psychological support.
Claiming compensation for psychological injuries
If you have experienced psychological issues in addition to physical symptoms, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey found that 29.03% of claimants reported a psychological injury, with 70.97% of these relating to a physical injury.
Rugby injuries can trigger anxiety about playing sport in the future, affecting confidence on the field. depression, tension, anger and low self-esteem, particularly in competitive, seriously injured athletes, are also at risk.
Although psychiatric injuries are less obvious than physical injuries and illness, mental health conditions can be no less debilitating.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
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.
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.
Your solicitor will consider where and how your rugby injury occurred, as this can affect the type of claim you can make. Click on the icons below for more information.
How we can help you with your injury claim
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.
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Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.