When you head to a music festival, you’re ready to cut loose and have a good time. You expect a relaxing and memorable weekend with friends and family. What you don’t expect is to get hurt. You might get hurt when you fall in a crowded space. An unexpected fire from pyrotechnics can cause burns. You may even get hurt from the intentional conduct of another concert goer.
If you’re hurt at a music festival, you might wonder who’s liable and whether you need to work with a personal injury attorney to recover for your losses. Of course, it depends on the unique circumstances of what happened. However, event organizers or leaders may be liable for your injuries. Here’s what you need to know about liability for personal injuries at a music festival.
Festival Organizers Have a Duty to Keep You Safe
When you attend a music festival, you depend on the organizers of the festival to keep you safe. You assume that they’re going to take reasonable steps for your safety. When an event promoter decides to host a festival, they must do whatever is necessary to protect the safety of concertgoers.
Think of all of the ways that an event organizer might need to plan for safety. From making sure that there aren’t obstructions that people can trip over to ensuring food safety to making sure that there are sufficient security officials to respond to emergencies and handle unruly patrons, there are many different things that festival organizers must do to ensure the safety of their patrons.
The requirement to take reasonable steps for safety is called a legal duty. A duty of care arises anytime your actions may hurt someone else. Everyone in society has a duty to act reasonably and carefully when it comes to making sure that the people around them don’t get hurt. That legal duty extends to music festival organizers when it comes to their concert attendees.
What Do I Have to Prove to Recover for an Injury at a Music Festival?
To prove your case for recovery against music festival organizers, you must prove four things: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Music festival organizers have a duty to keep their patrons safe, so you’ve already met that requirement. Next, you must show that the music festival organizers breached their duty to take reasonable safety measures at the event.
For example, you may be hurt when you trip over a barricade that was accidentally left in a walkway. You must show that the concert organizers should have had more personnel to notice that the barricade was left in the way. If the festival organizers had an inadequate number of people working, you might be able to prove that they breached their duty to have an adequate amount of people monitoring the premises.
Once you show that the festival organizers breached their duty of care, you must show that you suffered damages as a result. In other words, you must get hurt. You don’t have a claim against the festival organizers just because they did something negligent. Instead, you must show how the negligent actions of the festival organizers led to your injuries. Finally, you must show that you have damages.
Why Would a Festival Organizer Be Liable for Someone Else’s Actions?
You might wonder how it could be that a festival organizer might have to pay when a third party causes your damages. For example, you’re enjoying a performance at the festival. A person comes up behind you and crowds you. You try to leave quietly, but the person says something insulting and then punches you in the face. You suffer a broken nose.
Certainly, the person who assaulted you is liable to you for your damages. However, there are some reasons that the festival organizers may be liable, too. If festival employees served too much alcohol to the other patron, they might share blame for what happened. Alternatively, the festival may have needed more security so that someone could have stepped in before the situation escalated to an assault.
In another example, say that you slip on a piece of trash and sustain a broken wrist. Even though it likely wasn’t a festival employee that dropped the garbage, the festival may not have had adequate places for concert goers to put trash. They also may have needed more employees to pick up trash. Even if someone else directly does the act that hurts you, there are ways that you may not have considered that the festival organizers could have prevented your injuries.
Liability Depends on the Individual Circumstances of Your Case
Whether the music festival organizers are liable in your case depends on the individual circumstances of your case. Not all injuries are foreseeable. It’s based on what a reasonable person should have done under the same conditions.
Music festival promoters don’t have to do everything possible under the sun to prevent harm. They have to do what’s reasonable. The legal liability in your case depends on the totality of all of the circumstances to determine if the festival organizers acted unreasonably in a way that resulted in your injuries.
You May Still Have a Case Even If You’re Partially to Blame
Like the music festival organizers, you also have a duty to take reasonable steps for your own safety at the music festival. But even if you share partial blame for what happened, you still may be able to bring a claim for recovery. For example, if you notice that a specific area of the crowd is beyond capacity, and you enter the area anyway, you may be partially to blame if you’re pushed, and you fall.
But the music festival organizers may share the blame because they could have placed a warning sign in the area or sent security guards to control the crowd. Shared liability is called comparative negligence. Your injury attorney can help you understand how the rules of comparative negligence may impact your personal injury claim.
How A Person Injury Attorney Can Help
If you’ve been hurt at a music festival, you may be able to recover for your losses. An experienced lawyer can help you better understand your rights based on the circumstances of your situation. Even if you weren’t as careful as you should have been, your attorney can help you explore all possible avenues for recovery.