Sporting events should be fun for the whole family. But sometimes the balls flying at high speeds, which are usually a thrill to watch from afar, can cause severe harm to people watching in the stands.
Sometimes injuries do happen at sporting events, and it can be unclear about what to do or how to get compensated for your injuries. Let the Maryland attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice help you deal with the injuries sustained at a sporting event. If you are seeking guidance about what to do in the wake of an injury that you sustained at a sporting event, get in touch with us today by calling (410) 834-3859 or visiting our website.
Injuries Caused By Balls or Pucks
Many injuries at sporting events happen because of foul balls or stray pucks that enter the spectator area. In these cases, it is not likely that the sporting venue will be held responsible for the injury due to the rule of assumed risk. The concept of assumed risk means that the event or activity carries risk with it, and that anyone present assumes the consequences of that risk by being there; the injured person was fully aware of the risk of injury and chose to participate in that activity regardless. Furthermore, assumed risk means that the persons responsible for the facility where the event takes place and the organizers of the event itself took responsible action to prevent the injury of spectators, which bars them from liability. Essentially, assumed risk mean that the sporting venue is not responsible for spectator injuries caused by balls or pucks used in a game.
There are exceptions to the rule of assumed risk. If the sporting facility failed to provide protection in the most dangerous parts of the sporting area, then the injured person may be able to sue for damages. The rule of assumed risk does not apply to activity that happens outside of the normal activities of the game. If, for example, a ball is thrown into the crowds outside of the time that the game is happening, then assumed risk does not apply because the spectator did not assume that specific risk when they entered the facility.
The concept of assumed risk is represented in “the baseball rule.” This rule mostly applies to baseball but can also apply to golf and ice hockey, since the possibility of a ball or puck striking and causing injury to a spectator is present in all of them. According to the baseball rule, the landowner is not liable for injuries to spectators as long as the most dangerous parts of the spectator area are protected by netting (or glass in the case of ice hockey). Anyone sitting outside of area protected by netting assumes the risk of being hit by a ball or puck.
The concept of assumed risk is not formally agreed to by spectators. However, some sporting events will include a waiver or liability on the back of the ticket that the spectator uses to enter the event. This waiver or liability acknowledges that the spectator is aware of their risk of injury by attending the event.
In some rare cases, the athlete that caused the ball or puck to strike a spectator will be held directly responsible for their injury. This happens only if the athlete behaved aggressively or outside of the normal rules of the game.
Injuries from Faulty Facilities
If a spectator goes to a sporting event and is injured not by a ball or puck but by something faulty about the sporting venue itself, then it may be a case of premises liability. The owners of the sporting venue have a responsibility to keep the premises free from hazards when spectators come to the premises. If the venue owners have been negligent in their duty to keep the facility free from hazards and that hazard leads to an injury, they may be responsible for your injury.
One type of negligence that can lead to a spectator injury is the improper construction and maintenance of facilities. If a part of the building falls apart or fails to fulfill its intended purpose and causes injury, it is likely due to negligence. This also applies to slips and falls: If a wet floor is not taken care of within an appropriate amount of time and it causes someone to slip, then that may be a case of negligence.
A venue’s failure to properly manage the people inside and around their facility may be a case of negligence as well. If someone is trampled in a crowd, then the venue may have been negligent in allowing it to be over capacity. Some car accidents may be negligent if they are due to improper signage for cars and pedestrians and/or crosswalks, intersections, and traffic control.
Get Compensated for Injuries Sustained at Maryland Sporting Events
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can help you figure out who is at fault for an injury sustained at a sporting venue in the state of Maryland. For more information about how we can provide you or your loved one with assistance, contact us by visiting us online today or by calling (410) 694-7291.