Sports and other recreational activities are a common and productive way to spend your spare time. And, although the risk of serious injury is low when all precautions are taken, these activities can pose a significant risk if there is even a small oversight. Sports accidents occur in many different venues and forums, including municipal parks, ski slopes, boats, skating rinks, bowling alleys, stadiums and youth sports leagues. In some cases, victims can recover monetary compensation from the party that was legally responsible for the accident.
At the Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City sports accident lawyers have extensive experience handling these complex cases and are immediately available to evaluate your case and provide you with an overview of your options during a free consultation.Holding a Negligent Party Accountable for a Sports Accident
To successfully bring a sports accident claim, you’ll need to establish that person’s or entity's negligence caused or contributed to the accident resulting in your injuries. This means you will have to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty of care, that the defendant’s breach was the cause of your injuries, and that you suffered actual damages.
In a sports accident case, the most complex of these elements is often the duty of care. Typically, a duty of care is established by an ordinance, law, administrative regulation, or court decision that provides guidance about how one should act in a particular situation to avoid causing harm to others. The duty of care will depend on the type of sport or recreational activity, as well as the defendant's role in the case, for example, if they were a player, the owner of a league, or a landowner.
Sometimes, the defendant in a sports accident case is a landowner whose land was used for a recreational activity. A landowner's duty of care depends both on the status of the recreational user on the property and whether the injury arose from the landowner's activity.
For example, if a private landowner invites customers onto his land to play touch football, but he does not inspect the property or discovers a hidden ditch on the field, and someone falls into the ditch and breaks a leg, the landowner could be liable. However, if the landowner invites a social guest to play touch football on the property, the landowner only has an obligation to warn the social guest (a licensee) of those dangerous conditions about which he or she knows. There are exceptions when the licensee is aware of the hazard and when the dangerous condition is open and obvious, such that the licensee should reasonably discover the condition for themself.Can Players Be Liable for a Sports Injury?
Since participation in many sports carries the foreseeable risk of roughhousing by co-participants or fellow players, the Michigan Supreme Court has held that a plaintiff can only hold a co-participant liable upon a showing of intentionally or willfully causing an injury or when the co-participant acted with recklessness to cause the injury. The recklessness standard applies to golf and skating but not to activities involving a motorized vehicle, including watercraft.Have You Been Hurt While Engaging in a Sport or Other Recreational Activity?
At the Neumann Law Group, our Traverse City sports accident attorneys offer experienced legal representation to victims of all types of recreational accidents. As an award-winning personal injury and wrongful death lawyer, Attorney Kelly Neumann has consistently obtained more than $3 million each year over the past several years. The Neumann Law Group can represent people in Petoskey, Warren, Dearborn, Holland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, and Ann Arbor and throughout the Upper Peninsula. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Traverse City personal injury lawyers at the Neumann Law Group a call at 800-525-6386. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless and until we can connect you with the compensation you deserve.