A Sporting Chance
Injury to a spectator at a professional sporting event is not all that uncommon. For some injuries, the legal doctrine of “assumption of risk” kicks in. For instance, anyone attending a baseball game knows a foul ball entering the stands is a possibility. Your ticket stub, warning signs, and the public address announcer will stress the point as well. So foul balls, wayward hockey pucks, and an occasional basketball player winding up in your lap are situations for which you will likely obtain no restitution if you are injured.
However, there are always exceptions. One example is the foul ball net behind home plate that protects fans. If management neglects to fix a gaping hole that allows a ball to go through and injure someone, they might be held liable.
If injuries occur due to an unforeseeable event, a spectator may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. For instance, a brawl breaks out on the court, ice, or field of play that spills into the stands, causing injury to a fan.
Also, the owners of a facility must also be sure that the premises are safely maintained (e.g., steps, railings, lighting, etc.). Adequate security is also the responsibility of an arena or stadium owner.
If you sustain an injury at a sports venue outside the “assumption of risk,” file an incident report with the facility and verify the accounts recorded (ask for a copy). Get witness information if possible, seek immediate medical attention, make sure your medical records accurately reflect your circumstances and then contact a personal injury attorney to protect your rights.