Injury at a Gamecocks Football Game: Can I File a Suit Against the School?

Written by John D. Hawkins on . Posted in .

Gamecock games and other sporting events can be dangerous for athletes and spectators. The mix of alcohol, excitable crowds, and stadium seating leads to many injuries and a few fatalities. Injuries are often due to falls or thrown objects in a stadium. Determining who is at fault for these injuries requires an in-depth look at premises liability laws and general release clauses. If you or someone you know was injured at a Gamecocks football game, read the information provided below, then contact our firm immediately for proper representation by a premises liability attorney in Charleston or throughout South Carolina.

Injuries at Sporting Events

Injuries happen at sporting events all the time. In 2012, a 20-year-old fan died during a college football game at the Georgia Dome. The individual fell from an upper level in the stadium, landing on another fan. The man on the lower level survived. At a pre-season NFL game in Houston, a fan died after a 60-foot fall from an escalator. And some injuries, including death, can happen outside of the stadium in tailgating conflicts within the parking lot, like in the altercation with an Alabama fan back in 2015.

Lesser injuries have also occurred from unruly fan activity in South Carolina, like in throwing dangerous items from the stands, like a situation with water bottles in 2017, that has a lot of potential for personal harm.

Who is responsible for these injuries? Each individual case is different. Circumstances surrounding the injuries must be considered and analyzed to determine whether the premises liability laws apply.

Premises Liability Law

Stadiums have a legal requirement to provide a safe atmosphere for fans and must make reasonable accommodations to prevent potential injuries. To file a claim under premises liability in Columbia, SC, you must prove that the stadium owner was negligent or did something wrong to cause injury. For example, if you slip and fall on a puddle of soda at Williams-Brice Stadium, premises liability laws will likely not cover your injuries. If you enter a bathroom the contains 2 inches of water from a broken pipe and slip, premises liability law may provide coverage of your injury. Legal options will always depend on circumstances of an individual situation.

Most ticket purchases to a stadium include a general liability clause that states you are attending the event at your own risk. This clause severely limits possible claims against the owner. When you are considering filing a claim for injuries, a thorough evaluation is necessary. Could the stadium have done more to prevent your injury? Did the owner perform his or her due diligence to ensure accidents would not occur? Was alcohol involved in the incident? Making this determination requires the help of an experienced lawyer.

Liability From Other Injuries

Fans can also injure other fans or athletes. At a 2018 college basketball game, a player on the West Virginia team punched a Texas Tech fan after the crowd stormed the court. This type of injury did not occur during the normal course of the event. Injury occurred to the victim from an angry athlete and lack of proper security. In a case like this, one can file personal injury charges against the stadium and the player involved. The general release clause does not apply, because the events were unexpected and turned dangerous.

Were You Injured while attending a Gamecocks Game?

If you or a loved one has been injured at a Gamecocks event, contact us immediately for a thorough case review. We will determine if the stadium owner was negligent or did not perform necessary inspections to ensure the premises were safe for fans. If the owners failed to take reasonable steps to keep fans safe, you may have grounds for a case.

Liability law can cover injuries including slips and falls due to unsafe flooring, damaged stairs or railings, or injuries occurring from other parties due to lack of proper security. The laws and regulations surrounding these incidents are complex and require the attention of lawyers with experience in claiming damages. We have years of experience with trial law and settlements and will work to uphold your legal rights during every step of the process. Contact our office in Charleston today by calling (843) 737-9356 or toll free at 888-HAWK-LAW.

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Written By John D. Hawkins


John David Hawkins is the Founder and Owner of HawkLaw. He has been licensed to practice law in South Carolina since his graduation in 1994 from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Focusing on litigation, Mr. Hawkins is experienced handling Worker’s Compensation, Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, Administrative Law, and Criminal Law matters.

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