Navigating Athletic Trainer Liability: Understanding the Risks

Allison Strickland
3 min readApr 17, 2024

As healthcare providers, athletic trainers (ATs) are entrusted with diverse responsibilities, from acute care to rehabilitation. However, with this role comes the potential for liability, as any healthcare professional can be subject to lawsuits for negligence. Understanding the legal nuances and liability risks is paramount for ATs to safeguard themselves and ensure quality care. Let’s take a deep dive into the intricacies of AT liability and explore measures to mitigate risks effectively.

Defining Negligence: The Legal Landscape

In legal terms, negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care in treating a patient. To establish negligence, three elements must be present:

  1. A duty of care
  2. A breach of that duty
  3. Resulting damages.

When all three criteria are met, a patient retains the right to pursue legal action for negligence.

Types of Wrongdoings (Torts) in Negligence Cases

Negligence cases typically involve three main types of wrongdoing:

  1. Nonfeasance: This involves a failure to perform a legal duty, such as neglecting to conduct necessary diagnostic tests for a patient complaining of concussion symptoms.



Allison Strickland

Healthcare provider, boy mom, distance runner. Expert in creating online courses, web design, and copywriting. Visit or