When Personal Injury is on the Bill

America loves to be entertained. One study found that the average household spends almost $2,500 a month on entertainment, with a large percentage going just to fees and admissions. Sporting events, concerts, theatre events, expos – just some of the many activities going on around town at any given time. When you go out to support the Heat or catch a performance at Bayfront Park, you’re thinking about having fun, not getting injured. But safety is an important issue at all times, and any outing can end in the emergency room.

Owners and operators of venues are well aware of the risk of injury to spectators. That’s one of the reasons for the fine print on the back of your ticket. Particularly with sports contests, those warnings are there to let you know that the facility will not be responsible if you are hurt in a way that is reasonably foreseeable. Legally referred to as “assumption of the risk,” it means that by choosing to be present, you acknowledge that you are taking a chance in a potentially dangerous situation. For example, if you are hit by a foul ball at a baseball game or by a player chasing an out-of-bounds basketball into your courtside seat, you may not be able to seek damages for any injury that results, because those actions are normal parts of the games.

Have You Been Injured at:

  • Marlins Park?
  • American Airlines Arena?
  • Amway Center?
  • Sun Life Stadium?
  • BB&T Center?
  • Orlando City Stadium?
  • Daytona Int’l Speedway?
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway?
  • Tradition Field?
  • Space Coast Stadium?
  • Jackie Robinson Ballpark?
  • Roger Dean Stadium?
  • FAU Stadium?
  • Lockhart Stadium?
  • Bayfront Park?
  • Miami Dade Cty Auditorium?
  • Markham Park?
  • Kravis Center?
  • BankUnited Center?
  • Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre?

Any other venue, stadium, arena, or theater in South Florida? Then give us a call.

But what if the netting that was supposed to catch the foul ball was not in the right spot? What if the basketball player would not have slid into you if he hadn’t slipped on soda spilled by another fan? In instances like these, assumption of the risk is an insufficient defense. Property managers and facility owners can still be held liable if their negligence causes or contributes to a spectator’s injury. At a minimum, the premises must be reasonably safe and properly maintained for the public. Any hazardous conditions must be identified and repaired within a reasonable time. This is often a problem at some of the stadiums, arenas, and amphitheatres around the country that were built decades ago.

In addition to safety code violations, careless decisions made by other members of the crowd can be the source of an injury. Common examples include:

  • Accidents resulting from serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons
  • Elevator/escalator accidents
  • Falls from upper decks or balconies
  • Fights/spectator aggression
  • Food poisoning
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Injuries from objects that are thrown or dropped
  • Issues with overcrowding and crowd control
  • Lack of fire-fighting equipment
  • Lack of railings or poorly maintained railings
  • Lack of safety planning
  • Negligent or inadequate security
  • Parking lot injuries (tailgating, traffic congestion, pedestrian accidents)
  • Slips and falls on slick surfaces (often in bathrooms and on stairs).

If you are injured at a public venue, seek immediate medical attention. Get the contact information of any witnesses and take pictures of the accident scene. Ask a friend or family member to do it if you aren’t able to. Be sure to notify the person in charge of the facility about the accident, check that the details are properly recorded, and ask for a copy of any reports. This can play an important role in later proving that adequate precautions were not taken.

When you’re out enjoying a show or cheering on your team, you don’t think about what would happen if you got hurt. Successful personal injury actions are not on the average person’s mind, but it’s what we do best. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any case, the South Florida premises liability attorneys of Stabinski Law have helped many people sort out their legal rights, responsibilities, and remedies. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that if there is no recovery, there is no fee or cost to you. If you wish to learn more about how our firm can be of assistance to you, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 305-643-3100 or filling out a case evaluation form.