What Are the Next Steps When You’re Hit By a Baseball?
During the summer months, few things are better than taking a trip to the ballpark to cheer on your favorite baseball team. When you have seats close to the action, you have a great view to see all your favorite players in action, but there’s also a chance that you could get hurt.
Lots of baseball fans would be thrilled to have a chance to catch a foul ball, but over the years, there have been many cases of people being injured after a ball made its way into the stands and some of those injuries have been very severe. For example, in 2008, a fan of the Boise Hawks was hit in the face by a foul ball, causing him to lose one of his eyes. And in 2010, a young spectator sustained a brain injury and had her skull fractured in 30 places after she was hit by a foul ball while watching an Atlanta Braves game. So if you’re injured by a foul ball, can you file a lawsuit for your injuries?
When you purchase a ticket for a baseball game, it will most likely have a disclaimer printed somewhere on it stating that the team or stadium’s owners can’t be held liable for injuries caused by balls or bats that end up in the stands during the game. You might also see signs posted around the stadium stating this as well. The theory is that by sitting close to the field, you do so knowing there is a reasonable risk that a ball could end up in the stands and you assume that risk by choosing to sit there.
There is a rule known as the “Baseball Rule” which is used in many locations and often protects stadium owners and teams from being sued if spectators are injured by things like a ball being hit into the stands. However, this doesn’t mean stadiums and teams have absolutely no obligation to protect spectators. There is still an expectation that reasonable safety measures be provided for those who are at the highest risk of injury, which is why protective netting is typically placed along the sections of the stands close to home plate where it is most likely for balls to get into the stands.
It’s important to note that these sorts of disclaimers don’t protect stadiums from being sued over all types of accidents that occur on the property. For example, if a fan is injured in a slip and fall accident or something else that is the result of negligence or poor maintenance, you would still be able to sue over that.
If you’re injured at a ballpark, there’s no harm in contacting a personal injury lawyer to see what legal options you have. A lawyer will be able to understand how the law applies to your situation. For example, if you were sitting in a protected area, it’s possible the stadium owner failed to maintain the protective netting as well as they should have.
At Goodwin & Scieszka, our attorneys are well-versed in other personal injuries, such as: slip and fall cases and playground injury cases. Contact Us for more information on how we can help you through your difficult time.