Cheerleading Accidents: Deceptively Common
In recent years, cheerleading has become one of the most popular high school, college and recreational sports for both men and women to participate in. No longer simply clapping for the football team along the sidelines, cheerleading is now a highly competitive, skill-driven sport that involves complicated tumbling passes and stunts that can cause serious injury or death.
Cheerleading accidents now account for 65.1% of all catastrophic injury cases among young women in high school and college according to data from the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. The injuries that result tend to be more severe due to the types of activities cheerleaders perform when they get hurt — jumping, twisting, and tossing and fast speeds create a great deal of opportunity for an accident to happen.
If you or someone you love was hurt in a cheerleading accident through the negligence of another, you may be eligible for compensation because of the physical pain and suffering that you endured. Cheerleading accidents may require hospitalization, surgery and long-term rehabilitation, all of which could be covered by the compensation that may be owed to you following a successful verdict or settlement.
At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we will always fight for the MAXIMUM amount of compensation due to our clients, and we believe the victims of cheerleading accident injuries deserve compassionate and competent representation in court.
To find out how we can help, simply fill out the Free Case Evaluation form, at the top of this page. It is 100% FREE, there is no obligation to proceed and the details of your case will always remain confidential.
Cheerleading Can Have Many Injuries
Most accidents occur when cheerleaders are performing a stunt, which can be as complex as a human pyramid with 10 people or involve only two people, where a single cheerleader tosses another straight up into the air. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that approximately 16,000 emergency room visits were the result of cheerleading accidents in 2002.
Some common types of cheerleading accidents include:
- Dental trauma
- Fractured wrists and ankles
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Strains or sprains
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- …and many others.
Because cheerleading has grown to include more gymnastic-type skills, more catastrophic injuries are reported every year. Nearly 95,200 female students participate in high school cheerleading every year, as do 2,150 male students. Coaches and instructors have a responsibility to observe and employ the proper safety precautions, but because cheerleading is not a sport recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), those standards are somewhat loose.
Basket tosses, which can reach heights of up to 20 feet, are a leading cause of head trauma, bone breaks and spinal cord injury. If the cheerleader is not caught properly, it is very likely that they will sustain an injury from their fall.
Preventing A Serious Injury
Until the NCAA officially recognizes cheerleading as a sport, safety requirements will not be hard and fast. Most team coaches have a background in an applicable field of athletic instruction, but there is no minimum education or experience level which can open the door for unqualified coaches without the proper knowledge of safe practices, equipment or facilities.
Following generally accepted restrictions on stunt height and equipment quality can also help to reduce the amount of injuries that are occurring. Proper mats and flooring are integral to preventing injury in practice, while a coach should enforce gear and attire standards.
Taking rest breaks and not overworking the team will ensure that the cheerleaders are not too tired, ill or hungry to perform their stunts, while proper stretching will help to physically prevent injury. A coach should not only have knowledge of cheerleading, but also injury prevention and treatment knowledge to make certain that if an accident does occur, the appropriate steps will be taken immediately afterward.
Negligence in cheerleading can potentially disable or kill a cheerleader, and if your cheerleading accident was caused by another person’s carelessness, you deserve to have your rights fought for. Contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer to learn what recourse you have after your accident.
Contact Our Hartford Connecticut Cheerleading Accident Law Firm
The permanent harm that can be done by cheerleading accidents can change a life forever, which is why the skilled attorneys of the Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers believes the responsible parties should be held accountable for their actions.
If you are struggling with the physical and mental anguish from your accident, reach out to our firm for a FREE evaluation of your claim, with no obligation or fee to you unless we win your case. Our legal team has over 140 years of combined legal experience and will fight for the MAXIMUM compensation that you may be eligible to receive.