Concussion while watching a soccer game...

by Diane
(Garden Grove, California)

On June 29, 2013 I suffered a mild concussion while sitting on a bench watching my nephew's little league indoor soccer class. I was hit with a flying soccer ball on the right side of the head. The young girl who hit me weighed easily 200 pounds, if not more. I went to the ER that night for severe dizziness and nausea and was told to rest which I did.

Since then my symptoms have been getting worse (severe headaches, vertigo and nausea, especially when I strain my eyes to drive or read). I've returned to the doctor's office multiple times and had a CT scan which was normal for bleeding, but was diagnosed with PCS (Post Concussion Syndrome) which can last for weeks, months, and in some cases, can be permanent.

I may also now need prescription glasses if the headaches caused by the eye straining doesn't improve. I have had to miss multiple days at work and had to take medications I've never taken before.

So my question is, do I have case here? I have had to pay for all this myself. Is anyone responsible here? There were no nets protecting the people on the benches from the field. I don't want to play the blame game but I do want them to put up safety nets and would like to get reimbursed for my medical expenses. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Concussion while watching a soccer game...":

Diane (Garden Grove, California):

Although your injuries are real, you may have a difficult time succeeding in a civil action. There is a legal doctrine called "assumption of the risk." Assumption of the risk normally applies to athletes who freely complete in sports activities, especially those sports which are potentially dangerous.

Assumption of the risk may apply to you because you attended the soccer game/practice voluntarily. You knew, or should have known, there was a possibility you would be hit by a ball.

For example, those who attend hockey games understand they may be hit by a hockey puck. With that understanding, they choose to attend. As a result, if they're hit by a puck they will normally not succeed in a lawsuit.

Unfortunately the same theory probably applies to your circumstances. You will have a difficult time convincing the building owner's insurance company, or a court of law negligence existed. But you should get a case review from an attorney just in case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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