More than 15 million Americans attend sporting events annually, with Texas sports drawing massive crowds. In 2022, the Dallas Cowboys recorded the NFL’s highest average home game attendance with 93,465 spectators.
However, there are inherent risks involved when attending sports events. Stray objects, falls, weather hazards, and unruly fans can cause severe injuries during a game.
Here’s what you need to know if you’ve suffered an injury at a Texas sporting event.
What are common safety risks at sporting events?
Some common dangers at sporting events include:
- Stray objects: Baseballs or other flying objects can pose a significant risk to spectators. For example, one study found that injuries from flying hockey pucks occurred during 122 out of 127 National Hockey League games. Being hit by a stray object can result in severe and even fatal injuries.
- Crowds: Popular events often see packed stadiums and arenas, putting individuals in confined spaces at risk. Overcrowding can lead to falls and stampedes, resulting in injuries.
- Slip and falls: Falls from stadium decks or slips and falls within the venue may occur, and it’s important to determine whether the property owner was responsible for any unsafe venue conditions.
- Fan behavior: Unfortunately, violent or unruly behavior among spectators can result in innocent bystanders getting injured.
- Weather conditions: Spectators can be vulnerable to heatstroke, hypothermia, and dehydration, especially when exposed to extreme weather conditions.
While spectators assume certain risks when attending sporting events, there are instances where injured attendees may be eligible to file a personal injury claim.
How can you determine liability for your injury?
Determining who is responsible for an injury sustained during a sports event can be complex. Here’s what you need to know:
- When it comes to spectator injuries, sports teams and leagues are generally not held solely accountable due to the inherent risks associated with the sport. Spectators accept a certain level of risk, particularly those sitting near the action. However, injuries occurring outside of stadium seats, like at concession stands or restrooms, may give an injured individual grounds for legal action.
- Property owners have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for spectators. This includes addressing any venue issues and providing adequate security. For example, a property owner should take appropriate measures to ensure crowd control and address irresponsible fan behavior.
- Event organizers are tasked with ensuring the safety of spectators. Subsequently, organizers must develop safety plans and provide necessary medical care. Failure to take reasonable safety precautions could result in liability for the event organizer.
Consulting with a legal professional can you help determine liability and the best course of action if you’ve been injured while attending a sporting event.
What should you do after you’ve been injured?
If you’ve suffered an injury at a sporting event, here are some immediate steps to take:
- Seek immediate medical attention: Your health should be your top priority. Get medical help as soon as possible to properly evaluate and treat your injury.
- Report the incident: Notify the appropriate parties about your injury. This may include the venue owner or operator, event organizer, or sports league. Make sure they are aware of what happened.
- Collect evidence: Document the injury and its cause as thoroughly as possible. Take photographs, gather witness statements, and obtain medical records. This evidence can be valuable in supporting your personal injury claim.
- Consult a personal injury attorney: We recommend consulting a qualified personal injury attorney. An attorney can guide you through the process and help you pursue the full value of your injury, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.