Baseball is America's favorite pastime. It is a sport that the majority of Americans play as children and young adults. As with many sports, baseball players can get hurt while playing the game. Two out fielders could run into each other resulting in injuries to both players. A second base player can trip over a base while trying to catch a fly ball and sprain his ankle.
What happens when the players' injuries are not part of the sport and could have been avoided? When athletes sustain sports related injuries as a result of someone’s negligence, they may have legal rights to recover for thier injuries.
In order to recover from the negligent party or the party at-fault, the injured athlete would need to prove the following:
In baseball, if the baseball field is not properly maintained, it may cause players to sustain injuries that could have been prevented.
In many recreational baseball leagues, the games may not be played at traditional baseball fields. They are played at privately owned fields, which may be made of grass or artificial turf. Even the infield areas which are traditionally dirt are made of artificial turf.
Artificial turf fields often require repair and patch work due to wear and tear, i.e., playing games on the field. Players typically slide into bases. The “slide zone,” an area where players slide often, gets worn out or ripped due to players consistently sliding in the same area. When the "slide zone" is worn out, that turf area needs to be replaced, especially on an artificial turf. Typically, the worn area is cut out and a new patch of artificial turf is put in. However, if the patch is put in negligently or improperly, then the sliding zone may be uneven and dangerous for players. If the patch is higher than the rest of the turf, a player's cleats can get caught, resulting in a leg fracture because the player’s foot is stopped short.
One of the reasons the turf may be repaired negligently is because the maintenance crew was not trained on how to safely and properly patch the turf field. When repairing a turf patch, the new patch should be glued and sewed at the seams to prevent an uneven surface. If the seams are glued, the seams are prominent and can catch a player’s cleats when sliding.
If a player is injured because the artificial turf was repaired negligently, the field owner may be responsible for the player’s injuries. The field owner has a duty to make sure that the patch was repaired properly. Because the patch was not repaired properly, it created a dangerous condition and caused a player to fracture his leg when sliding into a base.
More from our sports injury library: Avoiding PA & NJ Sports Injuries - A Coach's Duty To Properly Condition & Train Athletes
If you or a loved one was injured while playing baseball due to someone's negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call Daniel J. O'Brien, an experienced sports injury lawyer. Mr. O'Brien is a life-long athlete who can identify when injuries are caused by another person's negligence. Mr. O'Brien offers FREE consultations. 877.944.8396