A large and growing number of injuries to school-age girls and women – many serious and some even fatal – occur while the students are participating in a sport once considered completely safe: cheerleading.
About 25,000 cheerleaders suffer injuries each year in the United States, accounting for almost two-thirds of all injuries suffered by female athletes. As stunts become more and more difficult, with some cheerleaders thrown 20 feet into the air, the number of fractures, dislocations and concussions has also increased.
Sometimes the injuries are unavoidable. But on some occasions fault may lie with instructors who lack the proper training, insufficient supervision or inadequate safety equipment.
If you, your daughter or a loved one suffered a severe injury while performing a cheerleading stunt, you may want to contact a sports injury attorney for a free evaluation of your case.
As cheerleading has become an increasingly competitive sport, the number of injuries has more than doubled since 1990, to 25,000 emergency room treatments in 2007 (and that’s not counting private doctor visits). A study by the National Center for Catastrophic Injuries concluded that cheerleading is now more dangerous than football.
Between 1982 and 2007, there were 93 catastrophic incidents record, with most (67) at the high school level and 26 suffered by collegiate cheerleaders. There was 2.68 catastrophic injuries per 100,000 female high school cheerleaders.
There have been some highly publicized fatalities as well, including 14-year-old Massachusetts girl who died in 2005 after she ruptured her spleen when she fell while practicing an airborne spin. In 2008, a 20-year-old woman in the same state died after suffering a kick to her chest during competition.
A major problem is that cheerleading in most states is not considered a sport but an “activity” much like a chess club or choir and, as a result, is not subject to uniform safety regulations. There are generally no mandated off-seasons, no requirements for soft landing surfaces, no standards for facilities or equipment, and no requirements for training of coaches.
Kline & Specter, PC, with more than 35 attorneys, several of whom are also doctors, is among the nation’s top law firms and has successfully litigated hundreds of personal injury lawsuits. Contact a cheerleading attorney today.
Kline & Specter handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Nationwide, working with local attorneys in states outside PA, NJ and DE.