Canada: Sports Injury And Economic Loss

Last Updated: April 8 2015
Article by Miranda Lahtinen, CMA, CPM

The alarm goes off.  It's 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, and you roll out of bed. The coffee is brewing, the bags are packed, and all you need now is for your children to come downstairs dressed and ready to go. For once, the drive is short and you are thankful as you enter the arena and feel the familiar chill on your skin. It's hockey season again and your weekends are spent driving from arena to arena to watch games and cheer the kids on. Despite the early mornings, hockey is an invaluable experience for your family, especially your children.

It can all change in an instant when suddenly your 12-year-old crashes headlong into the boards.

Now what?

When an incident resulting in injury occurs during a sports game, and the injury is serious in nature (such as a concussion), it is not surprising that questions regarding the details of the incident, the impact on the child and the potential liability develop quickly. Who is to blame? Was it the child's fault? Was it another player that caused the incident? Did a faulty Zamboni leave an obstacle on the ice that caused the child to trip? What is the economic impact (i.e. losses and/or costs) that will be incurred by the injured child over their lifespan? 

Coaches, trainers, the league, and each team may owe a duty of care to all of the children participating in an organized sport. If there is a breach of this duty, and an injury occurs, then recovery for any of the injury-related losses may be pursued. In every situation, a lawyer should be consulted to obtain independent legal advice regarding the incident and, should the claim hold merit, to identify the parties who could be legally liable in an incident like this. When the claim proceeds, the lawyer may hire an accountant to assist with quantifying the possible economic loss incurred, which could include the loss of future wages and opportunities and/or future care costs (based on identified needs), as a result of the injury. 

We are often called upon to assess possible economic losses incurred by children over their lifetime in scenarios such as that described above, and more commonly, when injured in automobile accident or a slip and fall incident. In economic loss assessments we rely on medical doctors to explain the biological impact of an injury, this way we remain within our expertise and in the realm of valuation.

As part of an economic loss assessment, we may be required to predict a child's career path, which can be a challenging task. It may be necessary to consider both the earning potential had the incident not occurred and the residual earning potential as a result of the incident. Questions on which we require direction from the lawyer could include:

  1. What would the child's career path have been had the incident not occurred?
  2. With the level of injuries sustained, what is the child able to accomplish now?

We may also consider certain indicators beyond average population statistics such as:

  1. The parents' level of education, occupations, income and motivations;
  2. The academic achievements and school transcripts of the child pre-incident; and
  3. The expressed interests and motivation of the child pre-incident.

A vocational assessment, requested by the lawyer and completed by an expert in this field, evaluates the potential career path of an injured child who has no preceding work history. Such an assessment provides relevant guidance required to value potential economic losses.

The economic assessment of the injury of a professional athlete, or a prospective professional athlete, would be far more challenging than that of a recreational athlete. Due to the nature of the profession and the additional contracts that can come with success as a professional athlete, it would be necessary to consider multiple career outcomes. These could depend on:

  1. Professional career likeliness;
  2. Acceptance and degree of success in a professional league;
  3. Career duration on and off the ice;
  4. Lost endorsements; and
  5. The possibility of other injuries that can have an impact on career length or quality of life.

The above factors would vary widely from individual to individual and our role would require us to consider the possibility of more than one scenario when calculating the potential economic loss incurred.  

Injuries from participation in full contact sports, like hockey, are often shrugged off as "just part of the game". However, the reality is, the injuries sustained could have long-lasting social and economic impact on the injured party. It is important that the proper advice is sought. If you have any questions about personal injuries and resulting economic loss, we encourage you to contact the author of this article.

About the Author

Miranda Lahtinen is a Specialist in Valuations | Forensics | Litigation at Crowe Soberman.

With contributions from: Daniel M. Edwards, Partner in Valuations | Forensics | Litigation and Jim Muccilli, Partner in Valuations | Forensics | Litigation

Specific professional advice should be obtained prior to the implementation of any suggestion contained in this article.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Miranda Lahtinen, CMA, CPM
In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions