Kids and sports-related injuries go hand-in-hand. This time of year the ice-rinks are bustling with skaters large and small. Maybe ice-skating lessons or ice-hockey practice is on your family’s weekly schedule.
Surprisingly, according to this National Safety Council report, out of about 20,000 ice skating injuries in 2014, 30% of those injuries occurred in adults aged 25-64.
I can relate. At age 40, I broke my first bone ever — my left “funny-bone” (not kidding) — taking a normal turn around the ice rink with my daughter. Wasn’t even trying to be fancy! Suddenly my feet flew out from underneath me. I hit my head. Feeling sick and dizzy, I half-crawled and limped off the ice.
The ice-rink manager was by my side in a quick minute. He had to call for a family member to drive me home. After a trip to an urgent care, my weekly, then monthly visits to an orthopaedic specialist began.
The x-ray technician informed me that neither he nor his wife ever go ice-skating. He’s seen too many very bad breaks due to falls on the ice. I got off easy.
I received a call from the ice rink for a week — every single day. Next, the rink called me every single week for a month. Just making sure I was okay.
In hind-sight, I realized they were worried about a premises liability claim or a personal injury claim. No worries for them! EVERYONE who ice skates falls sooner or later. My major concern was making it through work every single day and fitting in all my doctor’s visits. Thankfully, my therapy exercises at home paid off — my elbow healed beautifully.
Does a sports-related injury on a public ice rink entitle you to a personal injury claim?
The short answer is not necessarily. It’s complicated. Only a personal injury attorney can truly help you sort out the facts and help you decide if you have a valid personal injury case.
If you could prove negligent care of equipment or poor ice maintenance, maybe you have a case? Proving this could be quite a challenge!
Why? When you put two thin metal blades on your feet and purposefully walk out onto slippery ice, you know you are risking a potential slip-and-fall accident. Staying in an upright position on ice requires at least some skills. I thought I was golden because I had learned to ice skate on a bumpy country pond. Wrong!
However, just like police officers are obligated to pay attention and stop aggressive, hazardous drivers — the owners of sporting facilities need to protect their clients from aggressive behavior, such as human “bulldozers” at their ice rink.
I’ve seen the “ice-patrol” at work removing ice-skating privileges from an out-of-control skater who thinks it’s fun to plow into people repeatedly.
So, if you or a loved one are suffering from sports-related injuries due to obvious negligence, it’s worth your while to call an experienced personal injury attorney. If you merely lost your balance, probably not.
The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free initial consultation. Attorney Steimel is an experienced personal injury lawyer practicing in the greater St. Louis area. He offers a thorough knowledge of the local law and your personal rights. Call 636-244-3737 today.
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