Sports Spectator Injuries
When attending a sporting event, many exciting things can happen. While caught up in the excitement, some spectators can unwittingly become a part of the action and become injured by foul balls, wayward pucks, out of bounds athletes and even over zealous mascots.
While it may not be totally unexpected to witness an injury to an athlete during a game, few fans expect to need medical treatment as a result of the sporting event.
Many Sports Spectator Injuries Overlooked
It is estimated that during every major league baseball game, at least one significant spectator personal injury occurs. In fact, more than 35 deaths have been recorded in major league ballparks as a result of errant balls or broken bats.
Approximately 35 to 40 foul balls are hit into the stands during each game and given that the stands are full of fans, it's simply the law of averages that some of those baseballs hit fans.
Luckily not everyone is seriously injured when struck by a baseball, but some people have suffered serious injuries while trying to enjoy the game.
The Internet Journal of Law, Healthcare, and Ethics made the statement that, "One recently published study by Milsten gives the incidence of injuries to Major League Baseball (MLB) fans from foul balls as 35.1 injuries per every million spectator visits. The paper gives limited detail regarding the actual injuries."
Not only baseball fans are at risk. It's not only hockey players who are injured at games, but the spectators assume a fair amount of risk for injuries as well.
The journal reported that, "A study by Milzman found that during 127 hockey games, there were 122 people injured by pucks, 90 of which required stitches." Of these 122 injuries, about 55 were serious enough to require hospitalization.
In baseball and hockey, spectators who are injured most commonly incur trauma to the head or the face. Hockey spectators have given up a lot for love of the sport including sight and an unfractured skull.
Spectators Assume the Risks
When fans are injured at sporting events, some attempt to file personal injury lawsuits. These lawsuits are often unsuccessful because most sporting arenas have "enter at your own risk" polices.
Often disclaimers and warnings are even printed on the tickets, absolving the public arena of any liability for injuries sustained as a result of attending the sporting event.
Warning signs are also ever-present at sporting events and usually there are safety announcements that are made over the P.A. system during the events.
Courts have historically ruled that people who are injured or killed as a result of attending a sporting event are not entitled to file personal injury lawsuits against the public venues because by attending the sporting events the court assumes that they are aware of the inherent dangers.
Certainly in any environment with objects traveling through the air at speeds of up to 120 mph, there is a significant risk of injury upon impact.
There are always exceptions though, and in cases in which the court feels as though the sporting arena did not take appropriate steps to protect the safety of fans, the personal injury lawsuits may be allowed to go forward.
Discuss Your Injury with a Local Attorney
If you have been injured at a sporting event and wonder if you might be entitled to compensation for your injury, injury lawyers can help. Total Injury can connect you with a local personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your situation and advise you as to how to proceed with your case.
Fill out the free case evaluation form on this page to get started today!