Can Injured Fans Sue Following a Concert Injury?

Console and Associates, P.C.

Few things compare to the thrill of seeing one of your favorite bands, musicians or artists perform live. However, given the crowds and the excitement of concert-goers, music venues and music festivals can also be pretty dangerous places. From being trampled to getting caught in a mosh pit to intentional acts of violence to crowd surfing injuries, the risks facing concert-goers are many. On top of the initial risk of injury, attendees who are injured often face greater danger due to the venue’s negligence in addressing their injuries in a timely manner. If you were the victim of a concert injury, click here to read our recent guide on the topic.

Common Concert Injuries

All music venues, whether at a stadium, a theater, or an empty field, present certain risks to concert goers. While many people assume that concert injuries only occur at rock concerts and music festivals, the reality is that concert injuries can occur at all types of events, regardless of the type of music. Some of the most common types of concert and music festival injuries include:

  • Getting trampled as a crowd rushes the stage;

  • Crowd surfing injuries;

  • Mosh pit injuries;

  • Intentional acts of violence;

  • Slip and fall accidents;

  • Pyrotechnic accidents; and

  • Falling objects.

While the concert venue isn’t necessarily responsible for the actions of other concert goers, it does have a duty to ensure that guests remain safe.

Can a Music Venue Be Liable for Concert injuries?

Yes, music venues can be held liable for a concert-goer’s injuries. Under the legal theory of premises liability, a music venue accepts a duty of care to provide a reasonably safe environment for its guests. This includes addressing potential hazards associated with the physical venue itself, as well as providing protection and security from others’ negligent and reckless actions.

For example, last year, ten people were killed and hundreds injured at the Astroworld festival when thousands of fans rushed the stage as Travis Barker was about to begin his performance. Following this tragic accident, the local medical examiner determined that the cause of death for all 10 victims was compression asphyxia. Compression asphyxia occurs when someone is unable to breathe due to external pressure being applied to the body.

The Astroworld tragedy wasn’t the only fatal concert accident in recent months. Earlier this year, a shooting at a rap concert in Dallas, Texas claimed one man’s life and injured a dozen others. Evidently, one concert-goer fired shots into the air, which triggered an argument, resulting in another person firing shots into the crowd.

In each of these cases, victims’ families have filed wrongful death claims against the venue, event organizers and promoters. While these claims are based on different underlying facts, they are based on the same underlying claim—that those who plan, promote and host concerts and music festivals owe concert-goers a duty of care to provide a reasonably safe experience.

Who Is Liable for a Concert Accident?

Determining liability in a personal injury or wrongful death case stemming from a concert accident is a fact-specific inquiry. For example, when deciding which party or parties to name as a defendant, a premises liability attorney will consider the type of accident that led to the victim’s injuries, whether a third party’s intention conduct was involved, and how the concert organizers divided up the responsibilities of putting the concert together.

However, in general, there are several parties that may be liable.

  • Music venues, such as theaters, churches, stadiums or outdoor spaces;

  • Concert promoters, such as Live Nation, C3, and AEG Live;

  • Music festivals organizers, such as Coachella, Astroworld, Burning Man, Summer Fest, Austin City Limits, and Lollapalooza; and

  • Security companies.

Those who are considering bringing a concert accident lawsuit should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer prior to filing their case to ensure the appropriate defendants are named in the lawsuit. A victim’s failure to name all potentially liable parties opens the door for the named defendants to shift blame for the accident onto an unnamed party. This can result in an accident victim missing out on their opportunity to recover financial damages for their injuries.

What Damages Are Available Through a Concert Accident Lawsuit?

Every state has slightly different laws regarding the availability of damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, as a general rule, most states allow injured concert-goers who successfully bring a claim to obtain economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a result of the accident. Economic damages can also include any money that you would have otherwise earned but couldn’t because of your injuries. Examples of economic damages include:

  • Past and future medical bills,

  • Rehabilitation costs,

  • Lost wages, and

  • Any decrease in your ability to earn income in the future.

The other type of damages available in a concert injury claim are non-economic damages. Non-economic damages award accident victims with compensation for the emotional and psychological impact that the accident had on their life. While non-economic damages are harder to assign a value to because they are subjective, they are just as important to a full recovery. For example, a court may award non-economic damages for any of the following:

  • Pain and suffering,

  • Loss of enjoyment of life,

  • Emotional distress, and

  • Loss of familial relations.

If you suffered serious injuries at a concert or music festival, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure you identify the full extent of your damages. You only get one chance to bring a concert accident lawsuit, so it is essential that it’s done right the first time.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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