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Texas Motor Speedway, a motor racing circuit in Fort Worth, plays host to amateur racing enthusiasts and professional drivers alike. Unfortunately, high-octane action like you see at the Speedway comes with its share of accident risk. Both drivers and spectators have been victims of gruesome injuries at the track over the years.
If you’ve had an accident at the Texas Motor Speedway, it may be a good idea for you to consult with a racing accident personal injury lawyer to learn whether you could be entitled to compensation.
We’ve dealt with a wide variety of accidents involving drivers and spectators at the Texas Motor Speedway. In this section, we look at some of the most common reasons for accidents at the venue.
Crashes are a relatively common occurrence in competitive racing. When drivers are attempting to exploit gaps between rivals or round bends as quickly as possible, any miscalculation can result in a collision.
While safety mechanisms, like HANS devices and roll cages, are in place to protect drivers, the sheer impact of vehicles going at speeds upwards of 180 mph can lead to concussions, fractures, and, in some instances, fatalities. These accidents can be a result of multiple factors, including mechanical failures, misjudgments, or adverse weather conditions.
The pit lane is where cars come to change tires, refuel, and undergo repairs. Because this all happens mid-race, mechanics do these jobs at a quick pace, with a number of people bustling around them. This high-pressure environment can lead to errors, which in turn can lead to dangerous accidents. Pit-crew members could be struck by incoming or outgoing cars; misplaced tools give rise to tripping hazards; and fires can erupt due to fuel spillage.
With thousands of spectators in close proximity, crowd surges and fights can lead to trampling or other dangerous situations. Additionally, debris from car crashes can sometimes fly into the spectator areas. Structural issues, such as faulty seating or barriers, can also contribute to injuries.
Modern racing circuits like the Texas Motor Speedway are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. However, no infrastructure is immune to wear, tear, or unexpected failures. Issues of this type include:
When infrastructure fails to hold up to the demands of a race, or the crowd watching it, the results can be catastrophic.
When you decide to file a lawsuit following an accident of any kind, whether at the Speedway or elsewhere, your attorney’s first job is to investigate the circumstances of the incident to see if you have a viable lawsuit on your hands and how much your claim might be worth.
That process may involve visiting the Speedway to learn more about the cause of your accident, as well as looking at any medical records, police reports, or other evidence that may shed light on the situation.
Once we file a lawsuit, the discovery process can begin. This involves the transfer of important documents and other types of evidence between your lawyers and the counsel for the defense. There may also be depositions during the discovery process; these are out-of-court interviews with witnesses, conducted under oath.
There will be opportunities to settle your case before it gets to court. In fact, most cases are settled that way; it’s quicker and less costly for both sides, and it involves less stress for you. In some cases, though, defendants are unwilling to negotiate to a point that’s acceptable for us. If that happens in your case, we won’t hesitate to fight on your behalf in court.
Of course, there’s more to our job than building cases, negotiating with insurance companies, and arguing in courtrooms. We’ll also provide the emotional support you need as you embark on the difficult process of rebuilding your life after your accident. We know how traumatic accidents can be for our clients, and we’ll do everything we can to make you feel secure throughout the process.
The crucial consideration in any personal injury lawsuit is whether the defendant has been negligent, and whether this negligence led to the plaintiff’s injury. There are four essential elements that must be present for a suit to succeed, namely:
In 2006, Ryan Davies (an 11-year-old at the time) visited the Texas Motor Speedway for a day out with his baseball team. While Davies was driving around a track, one of his teammates lost control of his car and slammed into Davies’ vehicle, causing the boy to sustain serious injuries including head trauma and quadriplegia.
Davies’ family filed suit against the Speedway on the grounds that it did not barricade the track properly, provide adequate training, or equip the cars the children were using with kill switches. A jury awarded the family $11 million.
Kierstin Eaddy, a 14-year-old from Flower Mound, lost her life in a go-karting accident at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2014. The teenager’s go-kart reportedly failed to stop after she finished a race at the venue, causing her to end up in a deadly collision. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Speedway, as well as three other defendants. The lawsuit alleged that the venue failed to put proper safety precautions in place to mitigate the damage caused in accidents like Eaddy’s.
Are there specific safety measures in place to prevent pit lane incidents?
Yes, officials at the Speedway implement strict safety protocols for pit-lane activities, including mandatory safety gear for crew members, designated movement zones, and rigorous training requirements. However, given the high-pressure environment during pit stops, there remains a significant risk of accidents.
Are racers covered under specific insurances for accidents on the track?
Professional racers generally purchase specialized insurance policies that cover the unique risks associated with motorsports, including potential medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost income from time spent away from the track due to injury.
How long after an accident do I have to file a lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state of Texas is generally two years from the date of the injury. Limited exceptions to this rule exist, but you will generally lose your right to file a lawsuit if you allow this deadline to pass. That’s why it’s crucial to contact an attorney as soon as you can after an accident if you intend to pursue legal action.
How long is the legal process after an injury at the Texas Motor Speedway?
The time it takes to arrive at a settlement or verdict in personal injury cases varies widely from one to the next. If the defendant in the dispute agrees to a settlement early on in proceedings, you could be finished in a matter of weeks. However, if negotiations prove difficult and your case ends up in front of a judge and jury, it could take years to conclude. Generally, the greater the likely value of your claim, the longer it will take to settle, as defendants will go to greater lengths to avoid liability if they stand to lose a lot of money.
If you’ve suffered an injury at the Texas Motor Speedway, it’s crucial that you understand your rights and seek proper representation. Sadly, the party responsible for your accident is unlikely to be enthusiastic about the idea of handing over money to cover your costs; you’ll need to be prepared for a potentially lengthy legal action.
That may sound intimidating, but there’s no need to panic. At Crain Brogdon, we’re ready to walk alongside you, every step of the way.
Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. You can reach us over the phone at (214) 522-9404 or via the contact form on our website. Don’t delay!
Robert D. Crain is a nationally renowned personal injury attorney who has been included in lists such as U.S. News’ Best Lawyers in America. Additional publications often include Rob on their “Best Lawyers” lists, including Texas Monthly and D Magazine. As a testament to his excellence, he is AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. [ Attorney Bio ]