Few vehicles are as beloved by children and teens as the simple go kart. Countless hours have been spent speeding along winding asphalt tracks as siblings battle siblings, friends outmatch friends, and competitive spirits drive an all-out race to the finish. While these staples of American childhood have long been a source of fun and excitement, they can also present a significant danger under the wrong circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a go kart accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Just because you signed a waiver before taking the wheel does not necessarily mean that you are entirely without the right to file a civil claim. The experienced lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm have won millions for their clients over 40 years in practice, and they can help you determine if you have a case. To schedule a free and private consultation, call us today at (215) 515-3913.
Common Injuries After Go Kart Accidents
Although the exact mechanical specifications of go karts can vary widely from track to track and state to state, the injuries these machines can cause are fairly consistent anywhere you go. For instance, the open-cockpit design common to go karts can leave a driver’s head and neck vulnerable to severe injuries in the event of a collision or rollover. Some other types of injuries are also typical of go kart accidents:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Wrist or elbow injuries
While many facilities require that younger children ride with a parent or guardian, this does not guarantee protection from all injuries in the event of a serious incident. Smaller riders can be more vulnerable than their older counterparts, and the wounds they sustain can be more severe. If your child has been hurt while on a go kart, you may be able to seek compensation. A qualified legal professional can tell you more.
Determining Liability After a Go Kart Accident
Even though most go kart operators will readily claim to be free of liability in the event of an accident, the reality is that the businesses that run these tracks are required to meet certain obligations to their customers.
One such obligation is the need to provide adequate training and supervision for the drivers of the go karts. Operators should be able to provide instructions on how to safely drive one of their karts and oversight as to how they are used on the track; failure to do so could result in an injury due to the operator’s negligence. Failing to maintain the track and keep up with go kart maintenance can also lead to an incident and potentially expose the operator to liability under the law.
The business that runs the race track is not the only entity that could be liable, however. If the go kart you or your child was injured on was defective or poorly made, the manufacturer of the vehicle may be liable as well. Speak to a skilled attorney to determine who exactly is at fault and what that means for your case.
What If I Signed a Waiver Before I Got in the Go Kart?
It is common practice for the operator of a go kart attraction to require the signing of a waiver before allowing a person to ride in one of their vehicles. These waivers often seem ironclad to the average person, but they are not always as binding as they seem. This is because the specific language of the waiver matters a great deal; some deprive you of any right to file a lawsuit, but others preserve that right.
Children are also often allowed to pursue legal action in the event of an injury in Philadelphia. In most cases, parents will sign the waiver on behalf of their child, but these waivers typically only apply to the parents’ claim in the event of an accident. Because the child did not sign a waiver themselves, their claim may be allowed to proceed in court. Other complexities can apply to your specific case, depending on a number of factors. An experienced lawyer can look at the waivers involved and tell you more.
Turn to Philadelphia’s Top Personal Injury Attorneys After a Go Kart Accident
It can be easy to get overwhelmed when faced with the aftermath of a serious accident, no matter the cause. Medical bills, physical limitations, and the emotional toll of trauma to you or someone you love can leave you feeling frustrated and uncertain of where to turn. Over more than 40 years practicing law, the Reiff Law Firm has won hundreds of millions of dollars for the severely injured in the Philadelphia area. If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a go kart accident, don’t wait; call us today at (215) 515-3913 and set up your free, confidential consultation.