Several People Injured Because of Crash at Daytona 500 on Sunday, But Can They Seek Personal Injury Lawsuits?
On Saturday, February 23rd, a 12-car pile-up at the NASCAR Daytona 500 led to injuries in the stands. Over 30 fans were injured by flying debris, mainly from rookie Kyle Larson’s car as it split in half and a tire blew through the chain link fence.
Now, some fans seek personal injury lawsuits. However, due to a statement on the back of NASCAR’s printed tickets, they may not have a case.
The pileup started with Regan Smith’s car, which was leading the race at the Daytona International Speedway when it suddenly pushed sideways. Cars began to pile up behind him, including Kyle Larson’s vehicle, which vaulted over the car in front of him and landed in the catch fence – a chain link fence that was supposed to protect bystanders from just such a terrifying wreck. Larson’s car practically exploded, sending the engine and both front tires into the stands.
Fourteen fans were immediately sent to local hospitals, and another fourteen were treated by the infield medical team. The Associated Press reports that the injury total was 33.
Three of the hospitalized fans were in critical condition on Saturday after the wreck, but as of February 26th, they were in stable condition. There were no fatalities as a result of the horrific accident.
Three of those injured in the wreck on Saturday have hired an Orlando, FL attorney to represent them in personal injury lawsuits against NASCAR. However, they may not have legal ground to stand on.
Questions About Personal Injury Lawsuits for Daytona 500 Accident
On all NASCAR tickets, there is a waiver that states that fans who attend NASCAR races assume all risks. “The holder of the ticket expressly assumes all risk incident of the event, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequently to the actual event, and agrees that all participants, sanctioning bodies and employees, agents, officers and directors of Daytona International Speedway, its affiliates and subsidiaries, are hereby released from any and all claims arriving from the event, including claims of negligence.”
However, the personal injury cases could be approached from the perspective of negligence on the part of NASCAR. The seating arrangements and fencing might not have been appropriate considering the amount of danger that spectators often find themselves in.
According to SEC filings, NASCAR requires that its tracks have at least $50 million in insurance coverage for spectator injuries.
Additionally, two cars – one belonging to Danica Patrick, who was not involved in the wreck, and the other belonging to her teammate Kyle Larson – are being inspected by NASCAR for potentially unregulated modifications. Patrick’s No. 34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet has been sent back to NASCAR’s R&D Center for inspection. The modifications to Patrick’s car supposedly made it more aerodynamic. If the same modifications were made to Larson’s car, the vehicle might have been compromised, which could have led to bystander injuries.
According to NASCAR, when a particular vehicle model is involved in a wreck on track, the chassis must be recertified before it can be used in another competition. The organization does not tolerate any uncertified changes to vehicles.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Lawsuits
As a firm, we concentrate on:
- complex personal injury cases resulting in wrongful death or
- catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), brain damage,
- spinal cord injuries,
- burn injuries, and
- severely broken bones.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We understand that you will need help with medical bills and lost wages, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.