Injured At A Sporting Event - Do You Have A Case?

22 December 2015
 Categories: , Articles

When you start planning your trip to a sporting event you may go out of your way to plan every aspect of the day. You may plan your outfit, your transportation, the time you are leaving, and more. The one thing that you do not plan is what will happen if you are injured while you are attending the event. Unfortunately, these types of injuries do occur more frequently than you think. Can you file a lawsuit? If so, who do you file it against? Here is some information you may want to know.

Did You Assume The Risk?

There are certain risks that are involved in certain sports. For example, if you decide to go running with the bulls, here in this country or in Spain, you know there is a risk of you being injured or killed. By participating in the activity you are assuming the risk of injury.

The same assumption of risk applies if you are sitting in certain areas at a baseball game. Most ballparks have posted signs that clearly mark the danger of foul balls. By sitting in the marked areas, you are assuming the risk of being hit by a ball. 

There are two different types of assumption of risk. These two are:

Express assumption of risk - this is applicable when you acknowledge before you are injured that you are fully aware of the risk you are assuming. This is usually done by signing a contract, or a waiver that outlines the dangers of the activity. Some activities will even print the assumption of risk statement on the back of the ticket, and will state that by purchasing a ticket you are automatically assuming the risk.

Implied assumption of risk - is more in the form of a verbal warning. You may be told of the risk, but there is nothing put into writing that you are waiving this risk.

The first example of the bull run above would involve an expressed assumption of risk. Participants are required to sign a waiver to participate in the run. On the other hand, sitting in a foul ball area at the ballgame is an implied assumption of risk. Although there are postings, the ballpark is assuming that you have the ability to read and understand them. 

An assumption of risk is a defense that can be used by the ballpark or sporting arena in an effort to reduce their liability. If they are able to show that you were made aware of the risk, and assumed the risk, the court may find them to be less negligent than they would be if they had not taken these steps. 

Who Is Responsible For Your Injuries?

Who is responsible for your injuries will vary from case to case. It will depend on where your injuries occurred, who was directly responsible for your injuries and who was negligent. You may have a valid suit against the following:

  • The athlete 
  • The team
  • The team's owner
  • The facility owner
  • The facility operator and others

For example: In the case Bryan Stow, a paramedic who was gravely injured when he was attacked by two Dodger fans in the parking lot of Dodger stadium, he brought a suit against fourteen different defendants. Although some of these defendants were later found to be not guilty, the jury did find the Dodgers to be partially liable, which caused them to award Stow $18 million.

What Do You Need To Do?

If you have been injured at a sporting event, you can always file a lawsuit, but unless your injuries are very minor, you will need the services of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney from a firm like J D'Agostino & Associates, P.C. Not only will they be able to review your case, but they will assist you with developing a plan to pursue your case. They will have the knowledge and strategies to deal with the high powered lawyers that will often be retained by the other side.