Visiting a sporting event should be an enjoyable outing, but when someone is injured or killed while in the stadium, determining who is liable is not always easy. Does the fan assume the risk and forfeit any right to sue? Is the facility at fault due to poor construction or maintenance? Could another entity be to blame? Answering these questions begins with determining whether negligence was involved.
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Types of Injuries Common at Sporting Events
Injuries at stadiums and sporting events can fall into a number of categories. Sometimes, poor maintenance can lead to slip-and-fall injuries when surfaces are slick or sticky. Insufficient railing or handholds on ledges and stairs can lead to fall injuries. Elevators and escalators can cause injuries. Poor fire protection measures can cause fatalities and serious injuries if a fire starts. Sometimes injuries are due to flying equipment from an errant player, a foul ball, or a stray hockey puck. At some events, fan violence that leads to injuries is a growing risk.
While some incidents leave nothing more than a few bruises, others can lead to hospitalization or death. Since 1969, 23 people have died in Major League Baseball games because of falling, and each year 1,750 fans are injured to do balls that fly into the stands during baseball games.
Who Is Liable for Sporting Event Injuries?
A lawyer in Las Vegas may be able to prove premises liability applies to the owner of a sports facility if the evidence shows clear signs of negligence. Stadium owners have an obligation to take the actions that are reasonable to help prevent injuries, including proper safety rails and guards to prevent injuries. If the stadium does not meet current standards, and someone is injured, the owner may be held liable.
When purchasing a ticket, fans usually waive liability for injuries from flying equipment, balls or pucks. Although the terms of these disclaimers are valid, there are some exceptions. Stadium owners are still obligated to minimize the risk of injury to spectators.
Injuries that result from poorly designed or maintained stadiums are typically the faults of the franchise, but not all accidents at sporting events involve negligence. To prevail in a premises liability case against a stadium owner, it must be proven that the owner did something wrong.