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Who Is Liable if I Am Injured at a Public Event This Summer?

Jul 10, 2023 | Personal Injury

Injured at a Public Event This Summer

With warmer weather and longer days, summer is the perfect season to organize and attend events. Parades, concerts, and festivals are popular and common, sometimes garnering massive amounts of attendees depending on the nature of the event. While summer events should be a fun time for all, large gatherings inherently present a higher risk to those who attend them. With crowds, cars, fireworks, carnival rides, and other dangerous factors, injuries at summer events happen every year. But who is actually at fault when these injuries occur?

Concerts Can Pose Dangers

Summer is the best season for outdoor concerts, with the warmer weather making being outside much more appealing. Hoosiers love to gather at concerts, especially Symphony on the Prairie. In 2017 alone, more than 120,000 people attended the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s summer shows. However, if you’re one of the many people planning to attend a concert this summer, you may want to keep in mind the dangers that outdoor music events can pose to their attendees. Whether it be nationally-covered tragedies like the AstroWorld crowd crush or local incidents like the man who fell over a railing at the Lucas Oil Stadium during a Motley Crue concert, it is not uncommon for people to be injured at concerts. In fact, a 2004 study reports that over 200 people were killed at concerts across the country over a 10-year period. Since so much goes into having a large outdoor music event, it can be hard to determine who is liable for an injury. Some parties that might be held responsible are:

  • The performer. Although somewhat rare, the performing artist can be the one liable for your injuries. If their performance is in some way dangerous to the audience, or if they incite rowdiness in fans that results in an injury, then the band or artist can be the one held responsible for that injury.
  • The venue. If the venue was in some way poorly maintained and that resulted in an injury, then the individuals associated with the venue will be the ones held responsible for their negligence. This can be anything from unstable railings or other safety features to parts of the artist’s set that may pose a danger.
  • Another attendee. One of the most common examples of something going wrong at a concert is accidental injury by another attendee. Fans will be eager to see their favorite artist, and people can act irrationally or even dangerously when excited. Concerts will likely have people who are intoxicated in attendance, and loud music and dancing can make it difficult for people to stay aware of each other and avoid injury. If another concertgoer hurts you by accident, he/she will be the one held liable for that accident.

Though fun, concerts are inherently unpredictable and thus will always be slightly dangerous. Here are some tips on how to minimize your risk of injury at an outdoor concert this summer:
Concert venue safety tips

How to Stay Safe at the State Fair

One summer event that every Hoosier looks forward to is the Indiana State Fair. More than 800,000 people went to the State Fair last year, which makes sense considering Indiana has one of the best ranked fairs in the country. Although it’s impossible not to enjoy buttery corn on the cob and exciting Midway rides, it’s important to remember that the State Fair has also been the site of some of Indiana’s biggest tragedies. From the 1860s boiler explosion to the 1960s gas leak to the stage collapse of just over a decade ago, the State Fair has posed danger historically. Here are some of the parties that were held liable for the tragedies of the past and may be held liable again for future injuries:

  • Ride operators. One of the easiest ways to be injured at the State Fair is by a carnival ride. There are rules for how these rides have to be operated in order to ensure your safety, so if an operator breaks these rules and gets you hurt, then they could be liable for your injury.
  • Manufacturers. Particularly if you are injured on a defective carnival ride, the manufacturer of that ride will be liable. If both you and the operator do everything right, but the ride injures you anyway, then the issue could be attributed to the ride’s manufacturer.

Backyard Parties Can Pose Danger

While the State Fair may be Indiana’s biggest party of the year, it certainly isn’t the only one held over the course of the summer. Backyard parties with swimming, grilling, playing sports, and other outdoor activities can be a great way to connect with the neighborhood and enjoy your summer. 

In most cases, it will be the property owner that is held responsible for injuries at their backyard party. Unless someone is injured by another guest at the party, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that everyone is safe at their place. Because of this, he/she will probably be the one liable in a personal injury scenario, especially if someone gets injured by a pool that isn’t properly fenced in, a grill that isn’t properly supervised, or any other poorly maintained aspects of the property. If you are the host of a backyard party, make sure to take all the necessary precautions to prevent injury and thus reduce the risk of liability in case of an accident.

Holiday Season 

Between Memorial Day, the Fourth of July through Labor Day, there are plenty of holidays and holiday events to enjoy during the summer. Parades, festivals, fireworks, and all the things we associate with a holiday are supposed to be exhilarating and fun. These activities, though, especially when fire or heavy machinery are involved, can quickly turn very dangerous. Last year, an 11-year-old boy from Mount Vernon, Indiana, was accidentally killed while playing with fireworks. Although these tragedies can often be prevented by being discerning about safety, some injuries truly cannot be avoided. In the case that you are injured while celebrating a summer holiday, here are some parties that may be liable for that injury: 

  • Parade float drivers. Like typical motorists on normal roadways, float drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they don’t injure anyone with their vehicle. If a float operator ignores a parade’s guidelines and hits a member of the crowd, then they could be liable for the injuries that person sustains.
  • Organizers. In the majority of cases, festival and parade organizers will be the ones held liable for an injury at their event, even if they did not directly cause it. Since these kinds of events are high risk, the organizers are taking on the responsibility of keeping everyone safe, and the liability if they fail to do so.
  • Distributors. If a defective product is distributed to the public and injures someone, the responsibility can fall on the distributor for not taking the defective item out of rotation. Defective fireworks are a particular danger around the holidays, and we should be able to trust distributors not to sell us a dangerous product. However, if you are injured by a malfunctioning firework, it can sometimes be difficult to hold the distributor responsible since many fireworks are made and sold overseas.

Sporting Events

Every year, over 15 million Americans will attend some sort of sporting event. Golf, soccer, tennis, and even auto racing will get hundreds of thousands of spectators over the season as people enjoy their summer by cheering on their favorite teams. To an extent, you assume a risk of injury when going to an inherently unpredictable game – reasoning which is the basis of the so-called “baseball rule,” which stipulates that you cannot sue a baseball team after being injured by a foul ball if you chose to sit in a section without netting – but you can still be injured by the negligence of people other than the players. Some other liable parties for your injury at a sporting event may be:

  • Athletes. Although quite rare, athletes can be at fault for a personal injury sustained at a sporting event. Injuries occurring due to the regular course of the game, such as being struck by a ball, are generally not grounds to sue an athlete, but if an athlete acts recklessly, such as getting angry and injuring a spectator, then they can be held liable.
  • The venue. As with concerts, it is much more likely that the venue will be liable for an injury, as you are more likely to be hurt by an attribute of the venue than you are to be hurt by the game you’re watching.
  • The security. Because sporting events carry some slight inherent risk, it is important that effective security be on hand to protect spectators from potential dangers. If stadium security fails to protect you from injury by unruly fans, the security might actually be held liable for that injury.

Injured at an Indiana Summer Event? Call Stewart & Stewart Attorneys

Did you or your loved one suffer an injury at a summer event in Indiana? The team at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys are here to fight for your rights and work hard to bring your event injury case to a fair resolution. Don’t wait; call 1-866-925-3011 24/7/365 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced vehicle accident attorney. You only pay when we win.

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