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Premises Liability: The Legal Aspects of Injuries at Public Events

In the excitement and chaos of public events and festivals, the last thing on anyone’s mind is the potential for an accident or injury. However, mishaps are common in these settings because the open spaces make safety measures challenging to enforce. Carnival rides, equipment cords, and swarms of people at various stages of intoxication all contribute to accidents and injuries at these events.

When someone is injured at a public event, it raises questions about who can be held responsible and who should pay for the resulting medical bills. Understanding the liability laws that pertain to these premises is important for both attendees and organizers. This article will explain what premises liability laws are and how they relate to large events and public spaces. We’ll talk about the rights of accident victims and the avenues available to them when seeking compensation.

If you’ve been injured in an accident at one of these public events, Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Call our Portland office today for a free consultation and receive the justice you deserve.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners accountable for accidents and injuries that happen on their property. When an event organizer uses a property for a public event, they become responsible for the safety of their guests.

In Oregon, when someone gets hurt at a festival, concert, or carnival, the law examines whether the organizers did everything they could to keep the event safe. This concept is known as negligence. If the event organizers were negligent in their duty to care for their attendees, they should be held responsible for any injuries that result from that negligence.

For an injured person to win a premises liability case against an event organizer, they have to show that the person or company running the event didn’t take the proper steps to prevent accidents or dangerous situations. They need to prove that this lack of action is what caused their injury and that the injury caused them to have emotional distress or medical bills. In other words, you must prove that if the event organizers had been more careful about safety, the injury might not have happened.

Common Injuries at Public Events and Festivals

Public events and festivals come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own set of potential hazards:

  • Music Festivals: These events, often held outdoors, can see a range of injuries caused by overcrowding, mosh pits, and uneven ground. Injuries might include broken bones from falls, sprains, or even hearing loss from loud music.
  • Food Festivals: With numerous vendors and cooking equipment, food festivals can be hotspots for burns, cuts, and food poisoning. Slips and falls are also common, especially if spills are not cleaned up promptly.
  • Sports Events: Whether it’s a local marathon or a professional football game, sports events can lead to sprained ankles, heatstroke, or injuries from stray balls and equipment. Overcrowded stands could also collapse or lead to falls.
  • Trade Shows and Conventions: Indoor venues might see slip-and-fall accidents due to loose carpeting or exposed wiring. There’s also the risk of injury from falling objects or overcrowded exhibition spaces.
  • Carnivals and Fairs: These events usually feature rides and games, which can malfunction due to poor maintenance and lead to severe injuries. Trips and falls are also common on poorly maintained walkways.
  • Parades: Parades are often crowded and located along city streets. They can lead to incidents of trampling, lost children, or injuries from thrown objects. Roadway accidents are also more common at these locations because traffic patterns are changed and confused.

Each type of event requires specific safety measures to lessen the chances of these risks, and failure to implement them could lead to premises liability claims against the organizers. Particularly dangerous events may require guests to sign a waiver to attend, but the law still requires the organizers to keep things reasonably safe.

Responsibilities of Event Organizers

Event organizers owe a duty of care to their attendees. This means they’ve attempted to keep the space reasonably safe by eliminating the common accident types outlined above. This duty can involve ensuring the structural integrity of temporary installations, maintaining clear and safe walkways, providing adequate security, and managing crowds safely and effectively. Organizers must also anticipate potential hazards and take measures to reduce them. This can be done by ushering customers away from dangerous equipment and covering tripping hazards with carpets or mats.

Legal Avenues for Injured Attendees

People who suffer injuries at public events have several legal avenues available to them. The most direct route is filing a personal injury claim under premises liability laws. This process involves proving that the organizer’s negligence directly led to your injury.

Successful claims can result in compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other costs related to the injury. However, proving your claim can be complex. The best way to ensure your claim is treated seriously is to hire a personal injury attorney experienced in premises liability cases. We can organize your claims and fight for your rights on your behalf. That way, you receive the compensation for the injuries that you need and deserve.

Challenges in Pursuing Personal Injury Claims

Pursuing a personal injury claim related to a public event can present several challenges. One of the main hurdles is proving negligence, as mentioned earlier. Additionally, organizers may attempt to limit their liability through waivers or disclaimers, which complicates the legal process. You’ll want to navigate this red tape carefully and rely on experienced legal representation to plan a successful case.

Call Zbinden & Curtis When You’ve Been Injured in Portland

Accidents at public events can cause severe injuries that lead to complex legal battles. Understanding the responsibilities of event organizers, the duty of care they owe to attendees, and the challenges involved in proving liability is important for anyone who regularly enjoys these events.

Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law are ready to provide the expertise and guidance you need to address your concerns and seek compensation. Call our Portland office at (503) 287-5000, and let our compassionate staff help you find the justice you deserve.

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