In general, civil courts are reluctant to award compensation for injuries that take place in sporting stadiums. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you are injured (as a spectator) in a sporting event, then the circumstances of your injury may establish whether you deserve any compensation. Your answer to these three questions may help you determine whether those in charge of the sporting event are liable for your injuries:
Were There Warnings?
If you complain of an injury, then one of the first things the managers or owners of the stadium may do is point to your ticket. You will find there a small print warning you that the sporting facility will not be responsible if you are injured inside the event. Apart from the ticket warnings, there may also be posted signs carrying the same message and advising you to be extra vigilant.
These warnings are based on the legal doctrine of the assumption of risk. According to this doctrine, by knowingly entering a dangerous situation or place, a person automatically waives his or her rights to compensation if he or she is injured.
What Caused Your Injury?
One of the first things to determine is the cause of your injury. The cause of the injury may or may not be related to the game. If it is related to the game, then the warning above covers it and the persons in charge of the spot may not be responsible.
For example, a foul ball might hit you in a baseball stadium, a hockey puck might hit you while watching hockey or a soccer ball might fly off from the field and hit you. All of these are injuries related to the game, and you are expected to be aware of their dangers while you are watching the game.
However, you may claim damages for injuries unrelated to the sporting event. For example, you don't expect seats to collapse or holes in stairs to trip you up. If your injuries are caused by such things, then you may have a valid claim.
Did the Responsible Parties Try to Prevent Such Injuries?
The people in charge of a sporting event must put measures in place to prevent the foreseeable injuries; just because risks are foreseeable doesn't mean that they are unavoidable. This is why baseball stadiums have screens behind the home plate, and hockey fields have protective glass barriers. If such protective measures are missing, or if they are inadequate or damaged, then you can still claim damages for your injuries despite the warning in your ticket.
For more information, contact a personal injury attorney at Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm.