Nascar Crash Injures Dozens of Spectators
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 12, 2013 – At least 30 people were injured when a crash at a Nascar event sent debris hurtling into the stands.
During the last lap of a race at the Daytona International Speedway, a race car, driven by Kyle Larson, went airborne in a crash involving 11 other cars. The vehicle slammed into the 22-foot protective fence separating fans from the track, sending large pieces of automobiles, including a tire, into bleachers crowded with spectators. Fourteen people were sent to area hospitals, two in critical condition.
Tampa personal injury lawyer Robert Joyce, who is not involved in any lawsuits concerning the crash, commented, “This is an accident that will require thorough investigation. Clearly, some part of the track’s safety measures failed. The injured and their attorneys will want to determine whether negligence played a part, and if so, what rights and remedies are available to them.”
At least three of the injured have already retained an Orlando-area attorney.
Tickets to sporting events such as Nascar races often have liability waivers printed on the reverse. But experts say that courts in some cases have been willing to look past those waivers and hear personal injury lawsuits brought by attendees.
“Some would argue that spectators assume the risk of being injured at sporting events and that these liability waivers hold water,” continued Robert Joyce. “However, there’s reason to believe Florida courts might disagree.”
This is the second Nascar crash in recent years that has injured spectators. In a 2009 crash at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway, driver Carl Edwards’ car went airborne, struck the fence, and sprayed fans with debris.
That accident prompted Daytona International Speedway to hire engineers to review their own fences, which resulted in new fencing installations, according to Joie Chitwood, president of the racetrack. He said that he therefore felt he had taken every possible safety precaution.
Chitwood added that it was unclear whether the wheel that flew into the stands had gone through the fence or over it. If the height of the fence is found to be insufficient to maintain safety, that could mean expensive modifications to the height of fences, seating, or both.
Nascar promised a full investigation into the incident and is planning a review of their safety policies and fence systems. It said it would make any needed improvements.
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