Have you been injured in a recreational activity or a sporting event? You may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

The Civil Liability Act sets out that a defendant is not liable for injury or damage that arises from the materialisation of an obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity, regardless of whether the injured person was aware of the risk or not. Recently however, a landmark case which discussed what should be considered an obvious risk was determined by a judgment in the High Court.

Emily Tapp was left a paraplegic after she fell off her horse during a campdraft competition. Campdrafting is an activity where participants, while on a horse, muster cattle at high speed around an arena to demonstrate their control over both the horse and the cattle. Ms Tapp was experienced in this field, unfortunately however the surface of the arena had deteriorated during the course of the competition and had become slippery, causing her horse to fall and leading to her sustaining a serious spinal injury.

Ms Tapp sued the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association alleging they were negligent and sought damages for her injury. In 2019, the NSW Supreme Court dismissed Ms Tapps` case, and that decision was upheld on Appeal by the NSW Court of Appeal. That court made a finding that the fall was an obvious risk arising from a dangerous recreational activity as defined in the legislation.

Ms Tapp successfully appealed to the High Court who found the defendant breached their duty of care and awarded her $6.75 million in damages.

If you have been injured in a recreational activity or sporting event, a claim for compensation may include damages for pain and suffering, past and future loss of income, past and future medical expenses and domestic assistance.

Know your legal rights and get in touch with us at Whitelaw McDonald for an informal no obligation chat. Call us today at our Central Coast office (02) 4343 7000 or Newcastle office (02) 4941 8999.  Strict time limits apply when making a claim for compensation so seek legal advice as soon as possible.

NOTICE: This article is accurate at the time of publication and does not constitute legal advice. Please see our legal notices page for more information.