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Sporting Events & Work Injuries

Compensation claims were probably the last thing on anyone’s mind when this year’s Open at Hoylake on Merseyside got underway. Thousands of spectators lined the fairways and surrounded the greens to watch the field of international golfing stars competing for the famous Claret Jug and the small matter of £975,000 for the winner, after 72 holes. One of the stars was South African Ernie Els, but the two-time winner of the Open got off to an unfortunate start, hitting his first drive into the face of a nearby spectator. The 60-year-old man had to be taken to hospital where he needed stitches to his injury, and Els went on to play a bad round, attributing his slump to being rattled by the incident.

At the same event, a course marshal was hit twice by errant golf balls in the space of an hour. Seventy-four-year-old Bill Davies was hit on the leg by one ball and on the shoulder by another, and he admitted he was lucky not to have been more seriously hurt after sustaining work injuries. Of course, anyone who attends a big event like the Open accepts there’s some risk of being hit by a ball. Big tournaments like this attract thousands of spectators who want to get as close to the action as possible and it’s not uncommon for incidents like those described above to happen, in fact, they happen at practically every event.

Organisers of tournaments like the Open have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the public, and compensation claims can be made against them if they are found to be negligent in some way. Compensation claims are not often made by spectators hit by a golf ball, because they accept the risk, but if you are injured in circumstances where you feel the organisers were at fault, or negligent in some way, then you may well be entitled to make a compensation claim or personal injury claim. Compensation claims can also be made against private or public golf clubs if they are considered liable for an injury to a player or visitor.

Your priority is always to receive treatment for your injury, and only then think about getting some expert advice about making a claim. PHC Law has many years of experience at dealing with different kinds of claims, including those made against organisers of big events. They have a 98% success rate at getting a fair deal on behalf of clients, so it’s definitely worth talking over your situation with one of their legal team.