Catching a foul ball or a home run hit at a baseball game can be a fantastic experience and can give you a great souvenir. However, baseballs entering the stands with the force of a professional hit can put fans and spectators at risk, especially for children or older adults who might have limited ability to avoid a ball or catch. If you or a loved one was hit by a baseball while attending a baseball game –at the professional level or even at a high school game – you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Our Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer, Ken Kieklak, explains.
Suing for Injuries from a Baseball in Arkansas
If you do get hit by a baseball, you could suffer surprisingly severe injuries. Children and older adults are especially at risk for injuries, and a baseball could easily break bones, fracture the skull, and cause traumatic brain injuries or concussions, especially to physically vulnerable fans. Recently, a case was reported in Texas where a 2-year old girl suffered skull fractures when a baseball went around the side of the safety netting and hit her in the head. You could also suffer injuries at a game from dangerous premises, not just from flying baseballs.
If you do suffer injuries from an accident like this, you may be entitled to sue for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Deciding whom to sue is a vital part of the case because you can only receive compensation for injuries from a party who was responsible for causing them. This means that the player who hit the ball out of the field could be at fault, and the franchise or team they play for might share some responsibility as their employer. In some cases, like the Texas case, the injuries might occur because the stadium does not have enough safety netting or fencing to cover the fans effectively, potentially putting them at fault for the injuries.
To get compensation, you must also prove the damages you faced. This means proving the cost of medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering you faced. The damages for economic harms like lost wages and medical care can be proved by producing medical bills, financial records, pay stubs, and other documentation. The evidence required to prove your pain and suffering damages is not as clear and specific. Instead of producing documentation, you will typically need to testify about how the injury affected you and your life, such as how the pain felt and how it affected your ability to perform day-to-day tasks.
Talk to a lawyer to find out more about whom to sue, how much your case is worth, and how to file your claim.
Can You Sue Even if There’s a Waiver for Injuries at a Baseball Game?
Many people are concerned that they cannot sue for injuries if they were hurt at a baseball game because there are waivers and other rules in place that might hurt their case. In many cases, waivers apply to specific issues detailed in the waiver, and you might still be able to sue even if you had a waiver or were considered to have “assumed the risk” of injury.
At baseball games, your ticket serves as a contract between you and the stadium and the team(s). The contract typically details your rights for when the stadium can deny you entry or eject you from the premises, but it also usually includes a photo waiver and a liability waiver. By using a ticket, the liability waiver has you give up the right to sue certain parties for certain issues. In addition to this, your attendance at the game could be arguably considered “assumption of the risk,” since you know there is a risk of being hit by a baseball at a baseball game.
However, these waivers do not always work. You may still be able to sue despite a waiver, and you could be entitled to substantial damages when you bring your case to court. Talk to a lawyer about your case for help understanding what your ticket’s waiver entails and if it limits your ability to seek compensation for injuries from defective safety fencing or netting or injuries caused by other instances of negligence.
In many cases, the baseball stadium, team, or other party’s attempt to put up netting makes them liable for any failures involved with that netting. Because they took the affirmative steps to keep you safe, they must use the proper care and skill in doing so. If the net behind the batter does not extend far enough to protect fans from foul balls that pop behind the batter, the party who set up the net could be liable for not extending it far enough to the sides. Similarly, if the net has a hole or tear and the ball goes straight through it and hits you, they could be liable for failing to properly care for the net. Other similar issues could occur with dangerous or ineffective fencing or walls set up throughout the stadium.
Call Our Arkansas Baseball Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was hit by a baseball or suffered other injuries while attending a sporting event, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. Our Fayetteville personal injury attorney represents injury victims and their families and works to get them the compensation they need for injuries and the related effects. For a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.