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Can You Sue if You're Hurt at a Sporting Event?

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By Andrew Lu on July 09, 2012 6:55 AM

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt at the stadium.

There may be nothing more fun than taking your family out to a ball game. But if you watch Sportscenter, you're probably well aware that balls, bats, pucks, and even seven-foot men can hurl into the stands, causing serious injury or even death.

But can you bring a lawsuit if you're injured at a sporting event? The answer is: it depends.

If you've been to a baseball game recently, check the back of the ticket. There's likely a lot of fine print, and if you take out a magnifying glass and read it, you will probably see a general release of liability printed.

Generally, when you purchase a ticket, you are signing an agreement that the stadium and team cannot be held responsible for your injuries during the natural course of the game. Balls do fly into the crowds -- as do men and sometimes cars. These injuries are usually considered a part of the game and the injured party will be unable to sue.

However, fans can be injured in other ways. For example, a basketball player could run into the stands and punch you. Or you may be attacked by idiotic fans because you wore the wrong jersey to the game. In these cases, the argument can be made that the injuries did not happen during the normal course of the event. Instead, improper security or some other reason may have caused the injuries. As a result, the general release of liability would not apply.

If you have been injured at a sporting event, you'll probably want to talk to a personal injury attorney. Whether you will be successful in bringing your lawsuit will depend upon the specific facts of the case.

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