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Spectator Sports and Personal Injury: Know Your Rights!

November 20, 2015

We all love sports, and sporting events have become an important aspect of our nations culture. We attend these events to not only enjoy the beauty of the games but to experience moments of joy with our friends and family. The sweet smell of popcorn or the satisfaction of a nice cold beer all encompass the experience we wish to have while attending sporting events. Unfortunately, that is not always the case as you may find yourself getting injured while attending an event. That is what happened to Tempe City Councilman David Schapira.

During Arizona State’s football game on September 18th “Sparky” the mascot decided to play a prank on Schapira. While Schapira was standing on the sidelines and enjoying the game with other city officials, Sparky suddenly snuck up on him and jumped on his back. Unbeknownst to Sparky, the councilman was recently recovering from back surgery.

“A moment after he landed squarely on my back, I felt a pop in my lower back,” Schapira wrote in his claim. “I tried to push Sparky off as my wife and others yelled to him to get off, but I needed the assistance of another Council Member, Joel Navarro, to get him off my back.” After the incident Schapira had to spend the next four days in the hospital and miss 10 days of work while recovering from his injuries.

These types of situations can also occur to you, which is why we would like to give you a background of the personal injury risks you run into while attending sporting events and your rights as a consumer.

You Assume Risk When Entering The Premises. Whenever you buy a ticket to a sporting event you assume the risk of injury from a foul ball or any reasonable action that may occur during gameplay. Owners and operators of the sporting venue know that at some point or another a fan could be injured during gameplay due to players diving for loose balls in the stands or a foul ball play. To avoid liability, the tickets you receive contain warnings advising spectators that the facility will not be liable for any said injury during the event. This is also based upon the legal doctrine known as assumption of risk. If you are injured during gameplay by a reasonable act most courts will dismiss the lawsuit.

For Every Rule There Are Always Exceptions. Though you assume the risk when you step foot into the sports facility there are exceptions to the rule in which you could receive damages. If the owners of the sporting facility did not take adequate precautions to protect the fans from injury such as a broken staircase or a loose railing then you may have cause for a case. If you are injured as a result of an unforeseeable event that occurred during the game such as a brawl between the players then you also have cause for a case.

Make Sure You Prove The Damages. If you are unfortunate enough to experience an injury during a sporting event be sure to file an incident report with the facility and make sure that the details within the report are accurately recorded. Be sure to get a copy of the report yourself for your own records before contacting personal injury attorneys. If there were any witnesses to the incident get their names and contact information. After all of this be sure to immediately seek medical treatment for your own safety and have the provider record the details of the incident in the medical report. Take pictures of your injuries and keep all of them in your records.

Call Torgenson Law to Schedule a Free Consultation

Sporting events are a part of all of our lives whether directly or indirectly and we want you to stay safe. If you encounter an injury during a game and believe you have the cause to sue then you will need aggressive personal injury lawyers. After following each step on our list give us a call at (602) 759–0012 and let us give you the peace of mind you deserve.