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Regardless of the sports, being injured in the middle of a game of your favorite California team is painful not only because it hurts physically, but also because, if your injury is bad enough, you will have to miss the game to go to the hospital.

And while as sports fans ourselves, we totally get it: missing a fascinating sports game can be very frustrating, you should never risk your health over the game by staying at the sports venue despite the fact that you have been badly injured. You need to seek medical attention as soon as possible not only because you need to diagnose your injuries, but also because you may be able to sue the owner of the sports venue to recover compensation.

Yes, that’s right. You can actually file a lawsuit against the sports venue owner but only as long as that owner owed you a duty of care and that duty was breached. But before it gets more confusing, let us invite our San Francisco sports injury attorney from Allegiance Law to explain how California’s premises liability law works in plain language.

Whether you have been injured at a baseball stadium, basketball court, golf court, soccer stadium, or football stadium, you may have a legal right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the sports venue where you sustained your injuries.

Slip and fall accident at a sports venue

Let’s start with the basics. A slip and fall accident at a sports venue. Under California’s premises liability law, you have a right to recover damages after a slip and fall accident at someone else’s property (including a sports venue) but only as long as your experienced sports injury attorney in San Francisco can establish four elements of a personal injury claim:

  1. The sports venue owner owed you and other visitors a duty to provide a safe environment by maintaining and inspecting the premises in a reasonable manner (as long as you were not trespassing, this one is usually quite easy to establish)
  2. The sports venue owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your injuries, and failed to fix, eliminate or remedy for an unreasonably long period of time
  3. The owner’s negligence, recklessness, wrongful act, or omission to act as a primary or secondary cause of your injuries
  4. You have sustained damages, such as medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and many others, as a result of that injury.

For example, let’s imagine that you slip and fell on a wet floor that had been cleaned by the sports venue’s employee just minutes prior to the accident yet the employee forgot to put the “Caution! Wet floor!” sign to warn visitors of the hazardous condition. In that case, you have a right to recover damages from the sports venue owner because he or she breached the duty of care (property owners, like employers, are responsible for the actions of their employees).

Hit by a flying object (ball or other) or player during a sports game

This one is a much more complex area of California’s premises liability law. In nearly every professional sports game, spectators and fans get hit by flying objects (ball, baseball, basketball, broken bat, helmet, bottles, cans, and many more) during the game. Sometimes, they can even be hit by one of the players who collides with the fans.

Establishing liability in these cases often requires the legal help of a San Francisco sports injury attorney, as there is a high risk that your premises liability claim will be denied because you “assumed the risk” when you bought the ticket and/or entered the venue.

In fact, you may have noticed that the vast majority of sports venue owners put a disclaimer in the tickets, saying that fans assume the risk of any injury from flying objects or players who enter the stands during the game.

Even though the disclaimer does limit the sports venue owner’s liability, it may still be possible to hold him/her liable for your injuries if your lawyer can establish that the owner of the premises failed to take reasonable steps to protect the sports fans from the hazard. For example, it may be because the owner of the sports venue failed to protect fans equally in all the areas of the venue by using netting, guard rails and other safety measures.

Let our best sports injury lawyers in California review and investigate your particular case to establish liability. Contact Allegiance Law to get a free consultation. Call at 415-404-6395 or complete this contact form.

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