Updated: March 19, 2015, 2:27 pm
Dr. Greg Vigna, Eye Injury Lawyer for Your Golf Related Eye Trauma
Ocular injuries from errant golf balls often result in serious injuries to the eye. Fortunately, eye injuries from errant golf shots are about as rare as an albatross, which is a two on a par five.
Studies have shown that rupture of the globe of the eye, when the contents inside the eye are opened to the outside environment from blunt trauma, is not uncommon. Surgical repair is necessary in a majority of golf related injuries to the globe.
Eye rupture in most golf ball related trauma results in severe eye damage and an unfavorable visual outcome. Sometimes the injury may result in the eye having to be removed entirely. A much more favorable outcome is eyesight ranging between 20/25 and 20/40 in those with golf related eye injuries that did not result in rupture.
Can You Sue for Golf Related Injuries?
Serious injuries do occur on the golf course and suits for damages may result. There are three causes of action in personal injury law that you may sue on: 1) an intentional tort such as a battery, 2) negligence, and 3) recklessness.
Intentional torts such as an assault and battery is clearly recoverable. If you are on a public links and accidently hit on the party in front of you and a drunk and obnoxious player in the group takes exception to your mistake and takes after you with his driver, you likely will have a cause of action for assault. If you aren’t fast enough and he makes contact with your body you will have cause for battery. Fortunately, intentional torts in golf are relatively uncommon compared to other sports.
Negligence is cause of action that the defendant acts in a way that causes an unreasonable risk of harm to others, and will be liable for damages that result from the conduct. There is a doctrine called assumption of the risk that acts as a complete bar to negligence. For example, a boxer who gets knocked out in a boxing match cannot sue the other for his injuries, since he impliedly assumed the risk of injury when he stepped into the ring. An example of an express (or written) assumption of the risk occurs when you go snow mobile riding; you will often have to sign a waiver for potential injuries.
The law related to golf is well developed. Basically anytime you walk on the golf course you impliedly assume the risk of negligence. In other words if you get hit by a shank by a player in your group, a slice from a golfer in another fairway, or a tee shot while you are at waiting at the next hole tee box you will not prevail for injuries sustained. If you get hit by a golf ball when you are running back to grab the club you left on the prior fairway and the player who hits you has already addressed his ball, you have no cause of action since he is not required to break his concentration to make sure one last time that the fairway is open. The failure to yell “Fore” means you likely need a course in golf etiquette, but will not support injuries for negligence.
The most common cause of action for golf ball related injuries is recklessness which means that one acted knowing or should have known that one’s conduct created an unreasonable or high risk of harm. Situations are evaluated by the totality of the circumstances which will include analysis of injured golfers, hitting before the greens are completely cleared, hitting on another group which is clearly within range, or hitting a second ball knowing that your playing partners are walking in front of you and they are unaware you are taking a Mulligan.
Golf is occasionally a fun game. The Courts from a public policy standpoint want people to enjoy the game, but you assume the risk inherent to the game when you play.
If you’ve sustained an injury during golf, or need an eye injury lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact the law office of Greg Vigna M.D. J.D. for a free case evaluation.