When spectators attend a sporting event in Arizona, most generally assume that they take an accepted risk when attending and will forgo suing anyone if they sustain an injury. Nevertheless, plaintiffs have sued sporting organizations and athletes when injured at an event. Under what circumstances can you file a lawsuit f you have been injured at a game?
Issues to consider when filing sporting event lawsuits
Anyone who suffers a personal injury at a sporting event should consider these three issues before filing a claim: assumption of risk, waiver of liability and contributory negligence. Assumption of risk involves the possibility of receiving a hit from a foul ball at a baseball game or a flying puck at a hockey game. If you sit in areas where this can occur, you assume responsibility if you are not paying attention. Waiver of liability is similar. Tickets usually include language that says you agree to waive liability if injured during the event. These clauses, though, have become increasingly challenging to enforce. Contributory negligence addresses issues such as whether consuming too much alcohol may have contributed to an injury. Many jurisdictions have now moved to a comparative negligence approach in which a plaintiff’s negligence reduces, but does not entirely eliminate, recovery for an injury.
When an injury doesn’t fit pre-conceived definitions
Injuries can occur at sporting events that don’t fit the preconceived notions involving liability waivers and assumed risks. For example, railings that give way resulting in falls, entire sections of stands that collapse or the inability of security personnel to restrain spectators involved in fights or other unlawful acts can demonstrate negligence resulting in injuries.
Injuries incurred at sporting events can often fall into a grey area. If you feel that you or a loved one deserve compensation because of what you have suffered, make sure that you keep thorough records of everything, including the incident itself and any medical diagnoses and treatments. Detailed records can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful claim involving injuries that occur at professional and amateur sporting events.