Tindalls Severe Injury Serves as Reminder to Club Players

By: mpressman.uk@googlemail.com

The news that Zara Phillip's boyfriend Mike Tindall sustained a horrific injury in the England six-nations game against Wales recently dominated the nation's sporting headlines; and also brought into perspective the risks associated with playing such a fierce contact sport.

Tindall is, of course, a professional rugby player and so could recuperate from his ruptured liver and torn lung safe in the knowledge that his employer would continue to pay him, and that he would get the best medical attention available. But, most amateur players are not afforded such beneficial arrangements, and should think very carefully about what contingency they have in place, should they be subject to a similar or even worse injury.

Rugby is a very physical contact sport and every time a player takes to the field they risk a serious injury, however slight the odds. However, when participating in sport, especially of the contact variety, players' thoughts inevitably turn to the fixture itself, and not whether the game will bring an injury so severe that it will impact on the rest of their life.

Recent figures from the Rugby Football Union show that, on average three very serious injuries occur each year that result in the maximum benefit from the sport's own insurance policies being paid out to the beneficiaries. The RFU's Accidental Death and Permanent Total Disability policy is compulsory for all players of all teams participating in the English Union. The maximum benefit for total disability from their policy is ?500,000, which sounds a generous amount, but it is expected to last a lifetime.

Indeed, the Union itself admits that the benefit is too low and recommends that players take out an additional top-up policy for Permanent Total Disability. In addition, players should also give thought to purchasing legal cover against personal liability, as it's not just the injured player that could end up in financial straits. If it can be proven that another player, players or a club was negligent in causing a severe injury then they could be subject to a costly personal injury claim. In some cases that would involve the pay-out of a significant sum of money to the injured player, which would have to be paid out of the respondent's personal finances if they were covered by liability insurance.

Indeed, where players sustain serious personal injury playing sport it is advisable for them to establish the exact cause. They could consult a specialised personal injury lawyer in order to establish whether there is a case to be pursued. Of course, many accidents occur in sport, but where the injury has occurred as a result of someone else's negligence then appropriate action should be taken, and that also includes the negligent party bearing financial responsibility for the injured player's recovery.

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