If you were injured in a motorsport accident that was caused due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a motorsport accident claim for compensation.
Motorsport events are relatively safe in the UK. Organisers go to great lengths to ensure that the event is safe for everybody – drivers, spectators, stewards and the various staff. Despite taking all precautions however, accidents can and do happen. Because of the nature of the sport, when an accident does occur, the consequences can be severe.
Types Of Motorsport Accidents & The Injuries They Cause
While there are various types of accidents that can occur at a motorsports event, they can be broadly classified into three categories – accidents involving the driver, accidents involving spectators, and accidents involving the support staff.
The most common accidents involving a driver are due to the vehicle careening out of control because of a vehicle malfunction or an oil spill or a fault with the track. This can happen at professional racing events or amateur events such as Go Karting accidents. Accidents that happen during the event can result in serious injuries from lacerations, bruises and broken limbs to head and neck injuries, brain damage and spinal damage. These can result in lifelong disabilities. In a worst-case scenario, driver-related accidents can be fatal.
Accidents involving spectators rarely result from out-of-control vehicles crashing thankfully. Typically injuries involving spectators are from slip, trip, and fall type accidents, resulting from overcrowding in the stands, wet surfaces, or obstacles in the pathway.
Determining Liability In Motorsport Accident Claims
Determining liability in case of motorsport accident claims is complex mainly because there are several different entities involved in putting together a motorsport event, from the track owner and event organiser to the car manufacturer, race promoter and governing body. Every one of these entities has a legal duty of care to managing health and safety at motorsport events, such as carrying out thorough risk assessments and having appropriate measures in place to ensure the safety of the drivers, spectators, and support staff. If they fail in this duty of care and someone is injured as a result, they may be held liable to pay compensation. Who is liable depends on the type of accident, what caused it, and who was responsible for the safety of the injured person.
Examples of motorsport accident claims resulting from negligence may include but are not limited to:
- Failure to perform a thorough vehicle check
- Failure to check for damage to the track
- Failure to check for potential hazards or obstacles on or around the track
- Failure to install adequate safety barriers
- Poor co-ordination before and during the event
- Insufficient training provided to stewards and other support staff
- Poor event and crowd management
- Absence of signs or poorly placed signs warning of potential hazards
If you were injured in an accident while participating or attending a motorsport event, and you think you may be eligible for compensation, you should consult with a personal injury solicitor for expert advice at the earliest.
Why Use A Personal Injury Solicitor To File A Motorsport Accident Claim?
It can be difficult to know where to start or who to file a claim against after a motorsport accident. Complicating matters even more is the 3-year time limit for filing such personal injury claims.
If you do not file your claim within 3 years from the date of the accident, you may lose your right to claim any compensation due to you. It may seem like a long time but it isn’t. A large chunk of time may be spent getting the necessary treatment for your injuries. In between dealing with your injuries and treatments, you also have to fulfil your various personal and professional obligations. This is no mean feat. Trying to file a motorsport accident claim without any professional help within the deadline can add to your stress.
Our experienced personal injury solicitors know exactly how to put together a strong motorsport accident claim and they also know how to calculate the maximum compensation that you’ll be able to claim for so you don’t lose out.
Beyond the legal help, a personal injury solicitor can also help with funding your claim if you cannot afford to. They may offer you their No Win No Fee agreement, in which essentially means they’ll fund your motorsport accident claim until it is settled. In return, you’ll pay a percentage of your settlement as a success fee if the claim is decided in your favour. If the claim is unsuccessful, you are not liable to pay anything.
A No Win No Fee agreement works heavily in your favour as you do not have to pay anything out of pocket meaning you won’t take any financial risk.
How You Can Help Your Solicitor File A Successful Claim
While your solicitor will oversee all legal aspects of your motorsport accident claim, there are a few things you can do to help.
Immediately after the accident, if it’s safe and possible to do so, get photographs of the accident site and your injuries if visible. Better still, get video recordings of the accident scene and your injuries. If you are too injured to do this yourself, ask someone else to do this for you. Having photographic evidence that shows the cause of the accident will add weight to your claim and can increase your chances of winning substantially. Getting the names and contact details of other spectators, staff or race drivers who witnessed the accident also helps.
Seeking medical attention immediately after the accident is important for two reasons – 1) you need to get your injuries treated, and 2) it establishes that you were in an accident. Make sure you keep all medical reports including the doctor’s diagnosis and the results of all the diagnostic tests.
To ensure that you get compensated for all the accident-related expenses you might have incurred, you must keep a record of all your expenses. This might include expenses such as what you pay towards any ongoing medical treatment, traveling to and from the hospital, any changes or additions to your home or vehicle to accommodate your condition, and the cost of home care. You may also be entitled to lost income if your injuries prevented you from resuming work.
Your solicitor will take all your expenses and losses into consideration and will also look up precedents in order to calculate the maximum amount of compensation to ask for.