Most people go to baseball games to have fun, and spend time with friends and family while watching their favorite team. While professional sports players are always at risk for an injury, most people don't think twice about the potential for injury as a spectator. However, on occasion, a sports event spectator may be hit with a foul ball or even a bat.
In baseball, for instance, many fans like to get a ticket for a seat where they are likely to catch a foul ball as a souvenir. While there are nets to provide safety protection, these nets do not always extend to where a ball could fly. In fact, in a recent season, 53,000 foul balls out of 73,000 fouls hit entered the fan seating area. In many cases, a fan happily catches the ball and can place it on their mantle as a memento. Yet, 1,750 fans a year are injured by foul balls out of the 74 million annual attendees. One spectator died from injuries caused by a foul ball at a Major League baseball game in 1970.
With foul balls spiraling into the stands at over 100 miles per hour, here are some safety tips to consider when attending a baseball game:
• If you are watching a ball game with children, you may consider seating in a location that a foul ball is less likely to enter
• Try to avoid distractions such as e-mailing and texting while at the game
• If you do attempt to catch a foul ball, exercise caution if you attempt to reach over a railing
• Consider bringing a baseball glove if you will be attempting to catch a foul ball
• Stay hydrated and use sunscreen
In response to a recent federal lawsuit, Major League Baseball is in the process of re-evaluating its safety measures provided to fans at the stadiums. While a liability waiver is included on the back of spectators' tickets, and fans are "assuming the risk" by attending such an event, these waivers are rarely enforced and a fan may be able to recover if they suffer injury due to a foul ball.
If you have been injured at a sporting event, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights. Call the personal injury attorneys at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171 today.