Case Study: Serious Head Injuries Suffered While Go Karting

Compensation: £15,000

JMW secured a client £15,000 compensation after suffering severe head injuries as the result of a Go Karting accident.

The accident

Mr T was participating in a Go Karting race as part of a stag weekend, and was knocked out of his kart when a fellow participant collided with him head on at roughly 50 mph.  He landed on his head and suffered a severe closed head injury.  He was taken to hospital nearby where he received emergency treatment.

Mr T, a manager for a national supermarket chain, decided to make a claim against the Karting Centre for failing to ensure his safety.  He alleged that the participant that collided with him had left the track near to a cut through on a bend and, when re-joining the race, had used the cut through again, driving the wrong way around the track. 

Our approach to the claim

Jason Harwood, a Partner at JMW Solicitors, handled Mr T’s claim.  He contacted the Karting Centre and advised them that he intended to issue a claim against them.  They passed the matter to their insurers who denied liability for the accident, suggesting that the accident was due to the negligence of the driver of the other kart. 

On investigation of the track layout, we discovered that the accident was unlikely to have happened if the short cut the other driver took had been blocked off.  We suggested that the defendant’s failure to do so was both negligent and a breach of contract and prepared to issue Court proceedings against them.  The defendant’s insurers passed the matter to their solicitors. 

To further support our case, we appointed a Consultant Neurologist to assess Mr T’s injuries, his treatment, recovery, and how his injuries had affected his life.  The summary of his assessment was that Mr T had a brief period of post traumatic amnesia following the accident, and predominantly a right nerve palsy which caused double vision, for which he had surgery.  He also suffered from some short term memory and behavioural issues.  This led to him accepting a demotion, with some financial repercussions. 

The Consultant Neurologist also found that Mr T had an increased risk of developing epilepsy following the accident, however, the rest of his prognosis was good and it was unlikely that he would suffer from any other serious injury-related problems in the future. 

Refusal to drop the case

After we issued Court proceedings the defendant’s solicitor invited us to drop the case on the basis that they did not believe we had a prospect of success.  However, Jason advised Mr T that we would not have issued proceedings if we felt he had no prospect for success and this offer was rejected.  After Mr T’s accident, the guidelines for the National Karting and Motor Sports Associations were changed; all cut throughs had to blocked off by a barrier.  We asserted that if there had been barriers in place when Mr T had his accident, the other driver wouldn’t have been able to take the short cut and the accident wouldn’t have happened. 

Jason contacted three members of the stag party Mr T was still in touch with, to see if they could provide information to support our case.  One responded and was able to confirm that Mr T and his party were allowed to participate despite being hungover and missing some of the pre-race safety DVD. This is despite the national guidelines stating that no-one should be allowed to take part in the race if under the influence of alcohol. He also confirmed that he didn’t believe the layout of the track was safe and that the accident could have been avoided if the cut through had been blocked off. 

Settlement

After careful consideration of the evidence surrounding the case, and Mr T’s injuries and their effects on his life, Jason suggested to Mr T that he make an offer £15,000 to the defendants to settle the case out of court.  Jason put the offer forward on behalf of Mr T and the defendants accepted the offer.  Mr T was delighted with Jason’s persistent approach on a complex case with many different facets, and the award for head injury compensation Jason was able to gain on his behalf. 

Have you also been hurt at work?

For some free no obligation advice, call us on 0800 054 6570 or fill in our contact form. We will talk through what happened and let you know if you have a case. 

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