Hit by a golf ball? What Do you Do?

The story of U.S. Olympian alpine skier Bode Miller’s wife, who was hit in the eye with a golf ball  earlier this month, raises some questions about what one does if nailed by another player’s shot.

In Miller’s case, his wife, Morgan, a professional volleyball player, was struck by Miller’s drive. She thanked her sunglasses, made by Kaenon, for absorbing the force of the impact, which left her with 50 stitches but only a temporary loss of vision in her left eye.

So, what do you do if you get injured by a golf ball?

First of all, my friend, Will Ferguson, an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer and head of Will Ferguson & Associates since 1983, recommends that you and your playing partners not engage in a fisticuffs with the offending player.

Instead, he recommends the same SOP as someone involved in a car or truck accident:

Get treated for your injury. If you are unable to get the information from the other player, have someone in your group do it for you while you are being attended to. One calming fact to communicate is that homeowner’s insurance can cover accidents on the golf course.

Get statements from witnesses about what happened, including anyone who responds to the accident.

Preserve evidence, including the golf ball. When able, take photos. The photo of Miller’s wife’s eye after the incident is compelling.

Report the incident to the people in charge of the golf course, so they have a record of where and when the injury occurred, in the event design or safety issues need to be corrected.

Get official reports. If the injury is severe enough to require an EMT response, get a copy of the medics’ report.

— Dan Vukelich

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