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All in the mind

Tim Kevan and Hugh Koch explain the issues involved in assessing claims for the psychological effects of injuries which prevent sportsmen and women from playing their sport

4 October 2002

Until recently, very little has been written on the subject of sports personal injuries. Yet it has been estimated there are between six and 19m new sporting injuries in this country each year costing some £500m in treatment and absence from work (British Sports Council Survey, Epidemiology of Exercise, 1991). With the growth of conditional fees and the possibility of compulsory insurance schemes for amateur sportsmen, the number of sports injury cases is only likely to increase. The psychological effects of injuries which prevent people from playing their chosen sport is in particular a developing area. The law has long recognised the importance of sport to person’s lives: “Games might be and [are] the serious business of life to many people. It would be extraordinary to say that people could not recover from injuries sustained in the business of life, whether that was football, or motor racing, or any other of those pursuits which were instinctively classed...

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