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Legal Liability/Responsibility

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Liability/Responsibility"— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Liability/Responsibility

2 Legal considerations for the athletic trainer
First need to know what is the athletic trainers DUTY to the athlete Duty is the legally defined responsibilities of an athletic trainer To do what a reasonable an careful person (athletic trainer) would do under the same or similar circumstances “reasonably prudent man theory”

3 What Defines a DUTY? Job Description Standard of Care Contract
Athletic Trainer Domains

4 Breach of Duty Nonfeasance - not fulfilling legal duty “don’t do something you should have done” Misfeasance - Doing something we should be doing, but improperly Malfeasance - Doing something we have no duty to perform

5 Breach of Duty- Other Factors
Morality Economic good of the group Practical administration of the law Justice Fact pattern of the case

6 Standard of Care What is the standard of care an athletic trainer has to uphold? Standard of care is determined by what the individuals duty is. For example - a coach managing a serious head injury would not be held to as high a standard of care as an athletic trainer or EMT.

7 Duty owed to each individual is different
Licensee - On property with permission of owner but of no benefit to owner. Should be warned of harms owner is aware of. Invitee - Greatest duty! Person who has been invited expressly onto land Trespasser Least Duty!

8 Legal considerations for the athletic trainer
Liability: Appropriate actions for particular situations Must perform in a reasonable manner or liable Must not fail to perform or liable

9 Definitions of Liability
Negligence - Guilty of being liable Contributory Negligent - the degree to which the injured athlete is determined to have contributed to his/her own injury. Comparative Negligence - similar to Contributory but compared the relative negligence not the part of the defendant

10 Definitions of Liability
Tort - What a trainer is legally charged with Omission - don't carry out legal duty Commission - commit act not legally able to perform

11 Defenses Against Negligence
Assumption of Risk - an athlete assumes certain risk of injury (need to consider age, and experience) Act of God Contributory and Comparative negligence Forseability

12 Legal Issues - Informed Consent
Implies that an athlete or his/her parents must be informed of the risks inherent in a particular sport before they voluntarily assume the risk of participation. Remember that guardians/parents cannot waive a minors rights. A minor can reinstate his/her right when turning 18.

13 Legal Issues - Shared Responsibility
Acknowledges the impracticality of coaches and other athletic personnel being responsible for the prevention of all injuries that occurring sports. Consequently, the athlete is asked to share in this responsibility.

14 Legal Issues - Transportation
Guest Statue - no person riding in an auto as a guest has any right of action against the driver or any person liable if: willingly volunteered (remember minors cannot volunteer) Colins V. Board of Kent County - Student rode home with a friend not on a school bus from an event. Was killed in auto crash. Parent sued school for not providing transportation when the event was required.

15 Legal Issues- Governmental or Proprietary Function
Institution is responsible for all activities that occur on their property “Respondent Superior” Charitable Immunity

16 What is the athletic trainer legally liable for?
Nutritional aspects of team - Can't watch what eat but need to supply them with information and recognize eating disorders Supervise the play and practice areas: make sure they are safe, control the environment (move objects, suggest take practice inside due to lightning or heat/cold) Legally liable to give the athlete the best equipment whether JV or sub-athlete

17 Specific Responsibilities to the Training Program
Obtain readily available medical records. Conduct pre-play physical exam and maintain accurate emergency information. Can't assume all athletes are healthy. Work closely with parents and coaches keep communication open.

18 Specific Responsibilities to Athlete
Make sure athlete knows how to condition Between onset of practice and competition make sure the athlete is prepared. Gear etc.. W/out any hesitation--must remove athlete from activity if impaired. Responsible for athlete in the environment.

19 Specific Responsibilities to Athlete
Must have ability to evaluate and analyze the injury and athletes status Give proper fitting equipment Athlete must have qualified medical care in practice and competition. If beyond your scope, you need a physician. You don't need to know everything--have a support group.

20 How Do Athletic Trainers Protect Themselves?
Keep accurate records Have the health history of the athlete current and accessible in case of emergency

21 How Do Athletic Trainers Protect Themselves?
Make sure the area you are responsible for is properly supervised; students and equipment are safe. Don't give out medicine. That is for the physician. May not want to give out aspirin or Tylenol prior the comp/practice; if injured may mask symptoms. If dispensing over the counter drugs, keep accurate record of how many and who.

22 How Do Athletic Trainers Protect Themselves?
Use only ability capable of using - don't act outside capabilities Don't use faulty equipment Don't return injured player until cleared by doctor Never use pain killing drugs that allow athlete to participate Follow orders of the physician Communicate clearly with doctors, coaches, athletes, and families

23 Part of being prepared and avoiding liability is having an emergency care procedure in place and following that procedure.

24 Release and Waiver Release - institution is not responsible for injuries (worthless) Parents can't sign away anything for a minor Release of information to anyone else other than athlete need a release from the athlete.

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