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The dangers of parkour

Parkour, considered by many to be an extreme sport, is a discipline which originated in France in the 1980s. Once called ‘Art du Deplacement’, it later became known as parkour, but you’ll also hear it called ‘free running’. The term ‘parkour’ actually comes from the French word ‘parcours’, meaning ‘course’ or ‘route.’

What is parkour?

In parkour, the objective is to move freely across and through any terrain using just the body’s natural abilities – so running, jumping, rolling and climbing. It’s not uncommon to see parkour practitioners leap from building to building across vast chasms. Although many insist that it’s no more dangerous than any other sport, there is obviously a risk involved in taking part in parkour. The main causes of injury tend to be slips, trips and falls, and you could be seriously injured or even killed if you fall from height.

The risk of injury

According to a study carried out in New Zealand in 2013, 44% of parkour enthusiasts have never been injured – that’s a fairly significant percentage but means that 56% have! The most common injuries sustained are strains, sprains, fractures and tendonitis – and some of these injuries can be serious, leading to taking time off work to recover or even surgery. Minor injuries such as bruises from a fall or awkward landing when rolling may heal in just a few days, but more serious ankle or knee sprains can take time to heal. Knee injuries in particular, such as torn ligaments from over training or landing awkwardly after a jump, can take months to heal and you may require physiotherapy, surgery and rehabilitation. Accident Advice Helpline has over 16 years’ experience helping people claim compensation for accidents that were somebody else’s fault, so if you have sustained a parkour injury after an accident caused by somebody else, you could get in touch with us to see how much compensation you could claim.

Avoiding parkour injuries

Avoiding injuries whilst free running doesn’t have to be complicated – as with any sport there are things you can do to protect yourself. It’s important not to push yourself beyond your abilities, as it can be tempting to try and compete with others whilst taking part in free running. Here are a few more tips that could help you to stay safe whilst practising parkour:

  • Stay hydrated and ensure you always warm up properly
  • Train with an experienced parkour practitioner
  • Learn how to land and fall safely to reduce your risk of being injured
  • Don’t practise when you’re tired as your reactions will be slower

Parkour is becoming an increasingly popular sport, with an industry valued at more than $5 billion dollars a year in the US, and practitioners in every country on the planet. As the popularity of the sport increases, so too do the news stories about accidents and fatalities.

Is parkour more dangerous than other sports?

There are some who claim parkour is less dangerous than other extreme sports such as snowboarding and skateboarding, because practitioners don’t rely on any external equipment, only their own bodies. Statistics would certainly seem to support this, as according to the National Ski Areas Association an average of 41.5 people have died in skiing/snowboarding accidents each year over the past decade. There are no official figures available for parkour deaths, but they are generally less common than winter sports fatalities and injuries. You may be more at risk of long-term damage to your joints from taking part in parkour, due to the frequent falls from height and jumps, but learning how to fall and land safely will help you to reduce your risk of injury.

Claiming compensation for parkour injuries

Whilst you can’t claim personal injury compensation if you have been injured taking part in parkour due to your own risk taking, you may be able to make a claim if somebody else caused your accident. In 2012 the NHS reported a 14% rise in sports injury cases compared to the previous year, with an estimated 388,500 people being treated for sports-related injuries. So if you have been injured whilst taking part in parkour, you’re not alone. It may be that you were training under the watchful eye of a qualified practitioner when you were injured, or perhaps somebody else has pushed in front of you or knocked you over whilst you were running, jumping or landing. If this has happened to you and you’ve been injured as a result, you may be able to make a no win no fee personal injury claim with Accident Advice Helpline.

How much compensation could you get?

The amount of compensation you could receive for free running injuries will depend on how serious your injuries are and to what extent they have affected your life. For example a torn ACL could take months to heal, requiring surgery and physiotherapy, which means taking time off work – so you could receive a substantial personal injury settlement. Minor injuries such as bruises or a sprained ankle could mean a few days or weeks at home to recover, and we’ll take this into account when you make a personal injury claim. Don’t forget that there is a three-year time limit in place to make a claim of any kind.

Why choose Accident Advice Helpline?

If you’ve been injured whilst taking part in parkour then you want an injury solicitor you can trust, to ensure that your claim goes as smoothly as possible. With more than 16 years’ experience in the personal injury industry, our professional personal injury lawyers will do their best to get you the compensation you are entitled to.

We don’t charge any upfront fees for our services, so you can make a claim on a no win no fee basis at any time within three years of your accident. We even offer confidential, no-obligation advice that could help you decide whether or not to proceed with a claim. You can call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 5659 to find out more about making a claim and get advice from our friendly expert advisors.