If while at a public skating rink I was hit with a slapshot by a minor, is it appropriate to ask the parents to pay the bill?

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If while at a public skating rink I was hit with a slapshot by a minor, is it appropriate to ask the parents to pay the bill?

Half of the rink was being used for a pick-up hockey game (of which I was not a participant) and the other half with ice skaters. I went to the emergency room and received 10 stitches in my forehead and lost a day of work.

Asked on December 29, 2012 under Personal Injury, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is certainly appropriate to ask them to pay. If they do not, you would have to sue them (such as in small claims court) for the money; if you sued them, it is not clear you would win. Whether you could recover in a lawsuit will depend on:

1) Was the player negligent, or unreasonably careless? If not, he is likely not liable.

2) Even if the player was negligent, would a court consider that you "assumed the risk" of such an injury by skating when there was obviously a game going on? When someone assumes the risk, their ability to recover for injury is reduced or even eliminated.

Given how inexpensive a small claims suit is, however, it may be worthwhile to sue even given the risk of not winning.


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