I Was Injured at a Sports Stadium, Who is Liable?
No one thinks a day at the ballpark will end in personal injury—especially if you’re not on the field actually playing – but injuries to spectators happen more often than you would think. Typically, injuries come in two varieties; the traditional slip and fall somewhere on the premises or an errant foul ball or other projectile. Naturally, one may wonder after such an injury, who is liable? As is the case with most legal matters, the answer isn’t always clear-cut.
It’s All About Proving Negligence
Whether you slip and fall on a spilled beer or you take a hockey puck to the face, what matters most in either case is your attorney’s ability to prove that the stadium owner was negligent—that they did not meet certain standards of safety and were therefore at fault. There are many safety codes and laws that vary from state to state, so only your injury lawyer can speak to your specific case, but there is some precedence to consider.
Negligence in a Slip and Fall Claim
In any slip and fall case it’s on the injured party to prove the owner of the property was negligent in a way that directly caused the injury. Essentially, you must prove that the owner had a reasonable chance to fix or clean up the slippery area before you fell. At a ballgame drinks spill and bathrooms are very often wet everywhere, so slipping in these areas may or may not be enough to prove negligence on the part of the owner.
However, say there was a leaky roof or pipe that was left unattended to over an extended period of time—if your attorney can prove that the stadium owner had a reasonable chance to fix this and failed to do so, they could very well be found negligent and therefore at fault for your injury.
Being Hit By a Ball or Other Projectile
The other commonly occurring injury while watching a game is being hit by a foul ball, puck, or other projectile. Like in the slip and fall case, it’s your attorney’s job to prove that the stadium owner was negligent. Every sports arena has a long list of safety codes they must comply with at all times. In a hockey rink there is a net above the glass boards, in baseball there is a net behind home plate. These nets have to be a certain size, and any ball or puck that makes it around those areas, it is expected that a spectator will have enough time to avoid injury.
However, if those nets deteriorate and a ball or puck find their way through them, this could be negligence since the owner is required to have the netting inspected and kept up to code.
These are just some examples of what could be considered negligence in a court of law, as with any case there are nuances and details unique to a particular incident. Your best move, as always, is to speak with an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible. If you or someone you know has been injured, and would like to know more about your rights, contact the law office of Robert L. Meissner at (916) 863-2900 today!