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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Injuries at Sporting Events

by Jared Staver in Personal Injury

You might worry that you’ll be injured by a foul ball, flying puck, or another stray part of the sporting event you’re attending. There’s probably a YouTube video out there that makes you a little worried to sit too close to the action at sports games. While crazy accidents have been known to happen, the truth is you’re more at risk from common dangers in the stands and hallways. Stadiums and arenas require vigilance and constant upkeep to ensure they’re safe places for fans like you. Unfortunately, they’re constantly packed full of people who can cause any number of hazards.

If you suffered injuries at a sporting event, contact the Chicago premise liability lawyers of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to learn about the possibility of recovering compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may have a claim against the stadium owner. Call us today at (312) 236-2900.

Environmental Dangers Lead to Injuries

It only takes one hidden defect at an event to cause you to slip, fall, or injure yourself in some other way. Small, yet significant, hazards that can lead to the most serious injuries. For example, a wobbling railing may seem minor, yet if you lose your balance due to the lack of support, you could fall down flights of stairs.

You could also be one of the unlucky fans who is injured in direct relation to the game. Foul balls hit more than a thousand spectators each year. Flying hockey pucks can cause debilitating injuries and golf ball-related injuries are not unheard of.

Common Safety Risks at Sporting Events

Some of the most common issues that lead to injuries in stadiums and arenas are:

  • Projectiles from the sporting event
  • Spilled liquids and slippery floors
  • Uneven walkways
  • Uneven or broken stairs
  • Broken chairs or stands
  • Broken railings or a lack of a necessary railing
  • Snow and ice on the ground or roof
  • Spectator violence

Who is Responsible When I’m Hurt at a Sporting Event?

It is easy to assume the owner of a stadium or arena is responsible for your injuries if you’re hurt at a sporting event. The law is much more nuanced than that. Whether a landowner is responsible for your injuries depends on the type of sporting event you were attending at the time of the accident, whether they were negligent based on the standard of care, and what caused your injuries.

The type of sporting event determines the precautions landowners are required to take to protect fans. For instance, under Illinois law, baseball stadium owners do not have to fence all of the stands – just the most dangerous areas. At a golf course, owners simply need to prove warnings when you are in an area where you could be hit by a golf ball. However, hockey teams must provide a great deal of protection for you in the stands, which is why there are high plastic barriers all around ice rinks for hockey games.

After determining the responsibility a landowner had toward you based on the event, next you and your attorney must establish whether the issue that caused your injury was related to the precautions the landowner was required to take. You can only recover compensation through a premise liability claim if the stadium owner failed to meet their duty toward you in regard to your safety.

What if My Injury Had Nothing to do With the Event?

Whether or not you have a valid premise liability claim is slightly different if you were injured due to a part of the sporting event or if you were hurt due to a dangerous condition in the arena, such as a slippery floor. For the most part, it is difficult to recover compensation after suffering an injury at a sporting event. When you buy the ticket, you agree there are risks inherent in the event and assume responsibility for the risk of injuries. To get past this assumption, you must prove the stadium was negligent in its duty toward you by showing:

  • There was an unreasonable dangerous condition
  • The owner knew or reasonably should have known of the dangerous condition
  • The owner failed to repair the dangerous condition
  • The dangerous condition caused your injuries

If there was a wet floor because a child dropped their pop and you slipped on that spot a few minutes later, you may not be able to recover compensation. A small spill is unlikely to be an unreasonable hazard and the stadium probably did not have time to learn about it and clean it up before you fell. However, if you were injured by the wobbly railing high up in the stands and there is evidence that the railing was less-than-secure for weeks, you may have a successful claim.

Contact a Chicago Premises Liability Lawyer for Help

If you were hurt at a sporting event, do not assume you are entitled to a great deal of compensation or that you will get nothing. These types of incidents can be complex, which is why it is crucial to reach out to a premises liability attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. as soon as possible. We have years of experience helping sports fans recover from injuries sustained at a game. We can analyze your situation and advise you on your legal options.

Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free initial consultation.