Many people who attend baseball games bring a glove with them just in case a ball comes their way. It’s almost expected that balls will enter the crowd and that you might get to walk away from the game with a great souvenir. However, a home run or a foul ball hit by a professional baseball player – or even a high school athlete – could deliver more power than expected and could cause surprisingly severe injuries, especially for young children or older adults. If you get hit with a baseball in Texas, suing for your injuries might be complex and may only be permitted in certain situations. Our Dallas sporting event injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm explain when you can sue after getting hit by a baseball in Texas.
Damages for Injuries from Getting Hit by a Baseball
In most cases, getting hit by a baseball will not cause serious injuries. However, the risk of a skull fracture, brain trauma, severe bruising, broken bones in the face, or other injuries could cause substantial damage. If you are subject to any of these injuries, you should be entitled to sue for the pain and suffering, medical care, and lost wages the injury caused if the stadium or baseball team can be held liable for the injuries.
Problems with Suing for Foul Ball Injuries in Texas
When you go to a sporting event, there are usually a few different legal principals that stop you from suing and work to protect the sport’s team and the stadium owners from liability – but many of these rules can be overcome. Some of these rules do not work as well you might expect, and responsible parties can still be held liable for injuries you face while attending a sporting event – such as injuries from getting hit by a baseball or injuries from a dangerous property defect.
The following legal principals are usually used by large companies and sports teams to try to prevent lawsuits and minimize damages in case someone is injured while attending one of their games. These rules are used at all levels – even in local sports or school sports – to prevent lawsuits:
- Assumption of the Risk – When you attend a sporting event with flying baseballs, there is some argument that you accept the risk of being hit by one of those baseballs, and that you are okay with the potential consequences of that risk.
- Contributory Negligence – If you do something to put yourself in danger, it may not be the team or the stadium’s fault you got hurt. For instance, leaning over a railing to catch a ball could put you at risk for injury.
- Waiver of Liability – Your ticket purchase often includes a contract that you affirmatively assume the risk of attending the game and will not sue the stadium or the team if you are injured by the events on the field.
Typically, with baseballs that end up flying over the crowd, the stadium owner or the team will claim that you knew the risks, that the ticket absolves them of any liability, and that your attempt to move under the ball to catch it means you contributed to your injuries. However, some injuries just aren’t affected by these legal issues, and you can still sue for the injuries.
Ways to Sue for Getting Hit by a Baseball
Baseball stadiums set up safety netting to protect fans from baseballs. This is especially common directly behind the batter, and even small, local baseball diamonds might have cages or fencing behind the batter to stop fast pitches and bad hits from flying behind the batter. The fact that the stadium put up the netting shows that they know there is a risk and they’ve taken affirmative steps to try to prevent head injuries, brain injuries, and other harm. Because of this, they may be responsible for any failures or errors in how the net or fence is set up, and any injuries that they fail to prevent could be their fault.
A recent case where a 2-year old girl suffered serious skull fractures and other injuries at an Astros game highlights the importance of safety netting. In that case, the ball went around the netting, inspiring many baseball stadiums and franchises to increase the size of their netting to cover more of the audience and protect them from foul balls.
Because the stadium takes the time and effort to keep people safe with safety netting shows that they know there are risks and may actually put them at fault for other injuries caused by a failure to put up safety gear. Failing to put fences, nets, or high walls in certain areas of the field could also put audience members at risk, and they might be able to sue despite their assumption of the risk, contributory negligence, or liability waivers.
Suing for Injuries from Stray Baseballs Outside Stadiums
In rare case, you could actually get hit by a baseball even if you’re not in the ballpark. Stray balls can go a long way, and passers-by near a baseball stadium or a smaller local field in a park or at a school could be struck by a stray ball. When you attend a sporting event, you might understand the risk of getting hit by a ball – but as a passerby, you should not be at risk from stray baseballs. If you are hit by a baseball in the parking lot, at a park, or outside of a baseball stadium, you may be entitled to sue for your injuries.
Contact Our Dallas Sporting Event Injury Lawyers for a Free Injury Case Consultation
If you or a loved one was hit by a foul ball, a stray baseball, or a long hit at a baseball game, you may be entitled to sue for the injuries you sustained. While waivers on tickets and other legal rules might attempt to reduce the number of lawsuits and cut off liability for the stadium operators and the baseball team, you might still be able to file a lawsuit and seek damages for the injuries you faced. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact the Dallas personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm today. Our number is (817) 476-1797.