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You're dreaming of a white Christmas and everything that entails, like sledding, skating, and snowballs. But what if someone breaks a window, or worse, a skull, in a snowball fight?
Rest assured, you can sue if you are injured due to someone's negligence. Also, you can be sued for any damage you cause to a person or property with a snowball or otherwise. The elements of negligence are always the same, regardless of how injury occurs. So before the eggnog flows and you traipse out into the snow, let's look at negligence in a nutshell.
To succeed in a negligence suit, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused a harm for which there are compensable damages. In the context of a snowball fight, you assume some risk of injury, so it may be challenging to prove a suit. Still, you can do it.
A friend can be negligent. Say, your friend packs a rock in a snowball and hits you in the head, causing brain damage. You thought you'd be tossing soft puffs that disintegrate in a shower of flakes, not lobbing deadly projectiles. In that case, you can certainly make a negligence claim and expect to be awarded compensation for expenses associated with your injuries.
Similarly, if you hit a person or property, you can be liable for injury. A plaintiff who can show duty, breach, causation, and harm will succeed in a negligence claim, whether or not they have agreed to join the fun.
A Snowball's Chance in Hell
Snowball lawsuits have been filed before but make sure you can back a claim if you do sue. In 2010, a snowball fight after a Seattle Seahawks game became the subject of a suit. The plaintiff claimed emotional distress about the flakey fracas. But there was footage showing everyone having a good time.
Speak to a Lawyer
If you are injured in the snow this winter, see a doctor and speak to a lawyer. You may have a negligence claim. Let a lawyer assess your case; many attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation.