In the state of New York, go-karts are not legally allowed in any area the allows public motor vehicle traffic, however, businesses are allowed to register go-karts as an “amusement device”. There are regulations that need to be followed in order for a business to run a go-kart track, including:
- The creation of a maintenance manual: The business must create an approved maintenance manual for both the track and the karts, which will include information on how and when to check:
- steering linkage
- wheel alignment
- passenger restraint system
- Operational manual: This manual must include written instructions on how to properly fuel a kart, handle emergencies, and work equipment.
- Placing warning signs: Signs that inform potential customers of the dangers associated with driving a go-kart must be posted at the track entrance, the pit, and the ticket booth.
- Placing direction signs on the track.
- Daily inspections – the track and each go-kart must be inspected daily.
These are just a few examples of the rules that businesses need to follow to ensure that those visiting and participating in what they have to offer are kept safe. If they fail to do so, the injuries sustained by those involved in a go-kart accident can be life-altering.
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Negligence At Go-Kart Tracks
When speaking about law, a negligent act is one where a certain party failed to do everything that would be considered reasonable to keep others around them safe. So for example, when someone gets behind the wheel of a car, they are responsible for keeping their eyes on the road in order to prevent an accident. If they decide to instead look at their cell phone and text, then hit another vehicle, they have been negligent.
When it comes to go-kart accidents, most of the time it is the track owners and managers or even the manufacturers of the parts used in the go-kart whose negligence results in an accident.
Considering Legal Action
Typically, when one party’s negligence results in harm to others, the victims have the right to pursue legal action. While this often seems extreme, the reality is that it’s frequently the only way for the victim to obtain compensation for the thousands of dollars they have likely lost due to medical expenses, lost wages, and physical pain and suffering.
What If I Signed A Waiver?
Signing a waiver does not mean that the negligent party is absolved from the duty that is owed to the victim. If they fail to provide a safe product or experience, they can be held liable.
Injuries Sustained In Go-Kart Accidents With Shocking Frequency
It’s easy to look at a go-kart and think that due to its size, a crash would be more like a gentle bump that can easily be shaken off. But the truth is that anytime you add wheels and a motor to anything, the power of a crash can cause injuries such as:
Traumatic Head Injury
Most go-karts have an open top and many are not equipped with a roll bar. This means that if the kart flips, the head can be crushed and even a helmet can’t stop trauma from being done to the skull and brain.
With little to no protection, it’s easy for the vertebrae in the spine to be fractured, herniate, or the spinal cord to become damaged. As most people know, this type of injury can result in partial or total paralysis and lifelong pain.
Even if a broken bone is “simple”, doctors must take x-rays, splint or cast the bone, and it can take weeks or months for the bone to heal.
While some people may call it “road rash”, a skin abrasion can be quite painful and more than skin may be removed, resulting in a degloving injury. Surgery, muscle and skin grafts, and months of healing may be required.
This type of injury isn’t typically thought of by those participating at a go-kart track but go-karts use gasoline for power and if a crash damages the tank, a fire may break out quickly, causing first, second, third, and even fourth-degree burns.
It doesn’t matter if the person involved in the crash is an adult or child – the injuries sustained can disrupt and derail a life.