When a person is injured while engaging in a recreational activity, the rights to sue another person for their injuries can be limited. Normally, when a person is injured due to the carelessness of someone else, the injured person will have a claim for negligence. In a situation where someone is injured while ice-skating, there may be additional considerations and limitations that apply.
Before considering some of the specific limitations that apply to the ice-skating, there are two general legal principles that could be used as legal defenses to an ice-skating injury:
Assumption of Risk — this concept generally provides that by participating in the recreational activity, the injured party assumed the usual risk of injury associated with that recreational activity
Waiver — frequently, if the injury occurred while using a public facility, or as part of a recreational or school league, the injured party may have signed a waiver specifically giving up their right to sue for injuries.
Can You Sue the Facility?
When an injury occurs at an ice rink, there may be a claim against the facility or its employees. However, there are many states that have specific laws that apply to ice rink and roller rink injuries. Generally, if specific state laws exist and the facility has not violated one of the state law provisions, it is unlikely that you will be able to maintain your suit against them. Many of the state law provisions provide that the facility follow certain requirements regarding safety, overcrowding, and number of employees per skater. If the facility failed to follow the law, then a negligence claim could potentially hold water.
Can You Sue an Individual?
If you were on an ice rink, frozen pond, or lake, and the injury was caused by the negligence of another, you may have a direct claim against the person that caused your injuries. Generally though, it may be a difficult claim to bring as there is a certain assumption of risk that goes along with ice-skating on a public rink or frozen pond or lake. Someone simply causing you to fall because of an accident will likely not rise to the level of negligence. In fact, it might even require an intentional act to even be able to state a claim for negligence.
These types of claims, whether against a facility or individual, can be very complicated when it comes to proving liability. Having an experienced injury attorney evaluate your case is highly advisable.