Personal Injury Thoughts On The Daytona 500 Crash, Part 2
This is the second of four posts looking at the massive Daytona 500 crash that injured 28 spectators. The pile-up wreck threw debris into the crowd - some pieces landed all the way in the upper level. Many of the affected spectators suffered severe injuries.
Although it mean strike most of us as obvious that these people are entitled to compensation, lawsuits involving this crash will likely raise some frustrating and potentially unfair issues. It may be surprisingly difficult for these victims to receive anything at all.
The most obvious obstacle to their personal injury claims appears in a not-so-obvious source. On the back of most admission tickets to sporting venues like NASCAR's Daytona racetrack is a block of tiny, small print legalese. This language purports to warn spectators of the risks of attending an event - and disclaims all liability for any injuries.
In this case, NASCAR's disclaimer reads: "The holder of this ticket expressly assumes all risk incident to the event, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to the actual event, and agrees that all participants, sanctioning bodies, and all employees, agents, officers, and directors of Daytona International Speedway, its affiliates and subsidiaries, are hereby released from any and all claims arising from the event, including claims of negligence."
At first glance, this is a pretty big obstacle for victims. In reality, however, any lawsuits will likely involve a more complicated analysis. Check back later for more on why sporting disclaimers are not the end of the story.
Sources: Reuters, "Lawyers weigh possible legal fallout of Daytona crash," Casey Sullivan, Feb. 25, 2013; Charlotte Observer, "Daytona crash could trigger track changes to protect NASCAR spectators," Jim Utter, Feb. 25, 2013