Many people engage in sports and other recreational activities in their spare time. While this is healthy and enjoyable, it carries some risk of injury. An accident can occur in many different venues and forums, including municipal parks, ski slopes, boats, skating rinks, bowling alleys, and youth sports leagues. In some cases, the injuries sustained should be compensated by the party that legally caused the accident. Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids sports accident lawyer Kelly Neumann is an experienced injury attorney who can evaluate your situation and determine whether it may be appropriate to bring a claim.Holding a Negligent Party Accountable for a Sports Accident
In order to show the liability of someone else for a sports accident, a plaintiff usually will have to establish that person’s or entity's negligence. This means you will have to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the defendant breached that duty of care, the breach was the legal and actual cause of your injuries, and you incurred actual damages. The most complex of these elements to establish in a sports accident case may be the duty of care. Often, a duty of care is established by an ordinance, law, administrative regulation, or court decision that provides guidance about how the defendant should have acted in a particular situation to avoid causing harm to the plaintiff. The duty of care will depend on the type of sport or recreational activity, as well as the defendant's relationship to the case, such as a co-participant, an 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 discover 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 already knows, or the dangerous condition is open and obvious, such that the licensee should reasonably discover the condition for him or herself.
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.Consult a Sports Accident Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
At the Neumann Law Group, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City sports accident attorney Kelly Neumann offers experienced legal representation to victims of injuries in recreational activities. As an award-winning personal injury and wrongful death lawyer, Ms. Neumann has consistently settled more than $3 million in her cases 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, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation. We also can assist victims in California and Massachusetts.