One mother’s trip to a go-kart track with her son for some summer fun ended after she was rammed from behind by a young driver. It happened when the teen failed to slow his speed when our client was stopped on the track at the end of the session, as she and the other drivers were instructed to do.
Our client suffered neck and back injuries requiring multiple surgeries, and lost her job because of her injuries. I recently reached a substantial settlement with the go-kart facility’s insurance company for her injuries and medical bills.
Go-karts are not considered motor vehicles. And they are not the same as riding roller coasters, that have standard safety requirements. When we investigate these types of cases, we examine not only the driver’s actions, but also the facility’s design, operating procedures, and safety practices to determine whether employees were properly trained and used appropriate safety practices to prevent injuries.
Go-kart facilities have what amounts to a master control module which can remotely control the speed of all go-karts on the track. Depressing one button causes the speed of all go-karts to be slowed and depressing one button causes all go-karts to be stopped. In our client’s case, the employee claimed he hit the “slow” button when he saw the young driver having failed to slow his speed when approaching the stopped go-karts. However, the employee did not hit the “stop” button as he should have.
If you’re heading out to a go-kart track this summer, make sure to wear a helmet and the safety harness, to avoid loose clothing, and to tuck long hair under a helmet, so it doesn’t get caught in moving parts. Be sure you and others receive proper instruction on how to drive the go-kart safely before riding. Check out the starting and finishing procedures to make sure they occur in a safe place where the likelihood of being hit by another go-kart driver is reduced.
At Terrell • Hogan, we represent the injured as they seek justice. Whether it’s unsafe amusement rides, go-karts, inflatable slides or other dangerous products, the lawsuits we have pursued have prompted safety changes. However, that came after the incidents, accidents and injuries happened. We believe it is important to try to help prevent injuries and wrongful deaths.