My son was hurt in a wreck with a big truck. He had a severe injury to his knee and is missing the basketball season. He is the best player on his sixth grade team. I worry that he will never be able to play professional basketball. Can he receive damages for the loss of income from a professional basketball salary and endorsements?
Questions like this are quite frequent. Tennessee law says that damages must be reasonably certain and not speculative. Damages need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but the damages sought must be reasonably likely to occur because of the defendant’s negligence.
It would be very difficult to prove that a sixth grader would have played professional basketball. It is possible – almost all professional basketball ball players played basketball in sixth grade and, if I had to guess, most of them were better-than-average players in sixth grade.
On the other hand, very few sixth graders who play basketball make it in the pros – even those that are the best in their school and even their city at that age.
So, let me say that without knowing a bunch of additional facts not revealed in this question that it is highly unlikely that you could successfully assert such a claim.
Once again, the facts make a difference. If your son was not in sixth grade but rather a starting forward on the 2010 Duke basketball team and had been frequently listed as a hot prospect for the pros, he would have a very high likelihood of being able to prove that knee injuries in a motor vehicle wreck cost him a professional basketball career (assuming this was backed up by his doctors). Under this scenario, an experienced injury lawyer would get the right medical experts, professional scouts, sports compensation experts, and economists to prove the damages.
But a sixth grader? That is a tough case to make.