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Preventing Injuries at Sporting Events

By: Dan Hausman

I, like many of my clients and co-workers, am a huge sports fan. And this is my favorite time of the year for sports. March Madness recently wrapped up (Go Hoos! I went to UVA Law School), the Washington Capitals are about have just begun their playoff push in hopes of defending the Stanley Cup, the NBA playoffs started, and the Nationals are hosting many games at their wonderful stadium in the Navy Yard neighborhood. This is an exciting time in the world of sports, and I hope that you can get out to some of the professional athletic events you most enjoy.

While we often see players get injured on the field and thus know how dangerous sports can be for the players, we also must remember that spectators can get injured due to sporting events. Unruly crowds (such as those that were celebrating the Capitals win last year in and around Capital One Arena), errant balls, pucks, and bats, and dangerous people who consumed too much alcohol or who are looking to take advantage of distracted fans are all threats present at sporting events.

These threats can lead to serious injury. While the risk of suffering a serious injury while watching a game is not too great, it does happen from time to time, which makes it important to know how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Preventing Injuries

  • Be aware of your surroundings as soon as you get to the venue. Know where you have parked your car, where the rideshare pickups and drop-offs are, and where public transportation is located. Remember how you got into the stadium. Locate all the exits you can see from your seats in the event there is an emergency. Make sure you know from which direction you must watch for errant sporting equipment.
  • Avoid drinking too much. Alcohol can cause you to make bad decisions. If you find yourself intoxicated, locate an attendant, who can help you get home. Do not attempt to drive home.
  • Report suspicious activity. If a person seems to be acting strangely or you notice any weird object find a security guard and let them know and make sure the security guard acts.
  • Avoid getting pushed around in an unruly crowd. If you encounter an area with a lot of people trying to move in the same direction, wait or find another path. It may be a good idea to arrive at the sporting event a little early or stick around a little bit later after it ends to avoid a situation where thousands of people and vehicles are leaving at the same time. If you have kids or are going with elderly people, you should really think twice about following this advice.
  • If you are in a group, stay together. Agree on a place to meet if you do get separated. Teach children to avoid strangers and look for police officers or security guards if they find themselves alone.
  • Park nearby the stadium or use a rideshare or public transportation. If you park too far away, you can increase your risk of being a victim of a crime.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. serves injured victims throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia following all types of preventable accidents – from car wrecks and concussions to catastrophic injuries, third party assaults, and incidents that occur on another’s property. If you have questions about a potential case, call (202) 644-8303 or contact our firm for a fee consultation.