Lawsuits for Nevada Go-Kart Accidents and Injuries

People injured in a Go-Kart accident in Nevada may be able to file a lawsuit against the track's owner, operator, employees or liability insurer. In Nevada compensatory damages for go-kart accidents can include:

Prevailing in a go-kart accident lawsuit can be difficult due to the liability waivers tracks usually make riders sign. But it can be done by showing that:

  • The go-kart operator or an employee was grossly negligent, or
  • The accident occurred as the result of a design or manufacturing defect in the go-kart.

How a lawyer can help after a Las Vegas go-kart accident

If you've been injured by a Go-Kart, our team of experienced Las Vegas accident lawyers and investigators will uncover all the evidence in your favor. Then we'll fight to get you the largest settlement or award possible.

We can also help you find a doctor, chiropractor or therapist willing to work for a medical lien in Nevada if you can't otherwise afford medical care.

To help you better understand Nevada's laws on Go-kart accidents, our Las Vegas Nevada personal injury lawyers discuss the following, below:

You may also wish to review our related articles on:

go kart racing track with tires around sides

1. How to Prove Negligence by a Go-kart operator or employee

In Nevada, a go-kart driver must prove four elements to prevail on a negligence claim:

  1. The go-kart track owed the patron a duty of care;
  2. The track breached that duty;
  3. The breach was the legal cause of the patron's injuries; and.
  4. As a result of the breach, the patron suffered damages.1

Let's take a closer look at what it means to breach a duty of care.

1.1. What duty of care does a Go Kart track owe its customers?

Nevada law requires go-kart operators to keep their carts and premises in a reasonably safe condition. They must also train their employees what to do in the event of an emergency.

Ways Las Vegas go-kart operators and employees can violate this duty of care include:

  • Failure to properly inspect or maintain equipment;
  • Failure to post adequate warning signs;
  • Failure to offer basic safety training to guests;
  • Failure to provide adequate safety equipment (such as helmets and seatbelts);
  • Failure to comply with reasonable safety standards (including age and height restrictions);
  • Improperly trained or qualified employees;
  • Employee impairment or distraction;
  • Wet, broken or uneven floors; or
  • Failure to call for medical care after an accident.

1.2. What duty of care is owned by a go-kart manufacturer?

Go Kart manufacturers are strictly liable in Nevada for design or manufacturing defects that lead to injury.

If any part of a Go-Kart malfunctions because of a defect, the injured person may have a product liability lawsuit against:

  • The go kart's designer,
  • The go kart's manufacturer,
  • The designer or manufacturer of any part of the go-kart,
  • The company or person that distributed or sold the defective kart or part.

2. What damages can I recover for go-kart accidents in Nevada?

Riders and spectators who are injured while driving a go-kart in Las Vegas may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical bills,
  • Lost wages,
  • Lost earning capacity,
  • Physical therapy,
  • Scarring,
  • Loss of the use of a limb, and
  • Pain and suffering.

Our Las Vegas go-kart injury attorneys may even be able to help riders recover punitive damages under Nevada law. Although rarely granted, punitive damages can be awarded when someone's actions are particularly blameworthy.

Example: A go-kart track in Las Vegas installs a thrilling new course. However, several customers get into accidents when negotiating a particularly sharp curve. The employees of the track complain to the owner of the go kart track, but the owner does nothing.
Elaine, a 14-year old girl, then suffers a serious brain injury after her go-kart crashes and flips over on the turn. In addition to damages for medical bills and pain and suffering, Elaine may be entitled to punitive damages.

3. "Assumption of the Risk" and Las Vegas go-kart tracks

Go kart tracks often deny liability for accidents by claiming that the rider “assumed the risk” of injury.

In Nevada, assumption of the risk is a defense to a lawsuit when:

  • The plaintiff has actual knowledge of the risk involved in a conduct or activity;
  • The plaintiff fully appreciates the danger resulting from the risk; and
  • The plaintiff voluntarily accepts that risk, either by an express verbal or written agreement or by implication from the plaintiff's words and conduct.2

Go-kart racing is an inherently risky activity. Making matters worse is that most go kart tracks in Nevada require riders to sign a written liability waiver in which they expressly assume the risk of injuries.

document titled "waiver of liability" with glasses and pen lying on top of it

4. Can I sue a go-kart track if I signed a liability waiver?

Liability waivers purport to absolve go-kart tracks of responsibility for an injury or an accident – even if the track was negligent.3

In general, liability waivers are legally enforceable contracts in Nevada.

However, they can only excuse the track and its employees from ordinary negligence. A liability waiver cannot legally require a go-kart driver to waive claims for gross negligence, recklessness or intentional acts.

4.1. The difference between “ordinary negligence” and “gross negligence” in Nevada

Nevada law defines ordinary negligence as the failure to exercise the care an ordinarily careful and prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.
Gross negligence, on the other hand, is generally defined as the absence of even a slight degree of care.5

Example: During a routine pre-race inspection, a go-kart track employee does not notice that a tire has a leak. This is most likely ordinary negligence. But if the employee does not conduct the inspection at all, a jury might find that the failure to do so constituted gross negligence.

4.2. Is a liability waiver signed by a child enforceable in Nevada?

A waiver of liability signed by a child under 18 is unenforceable in Nevada.4

However, Nevada courts have not yet ruled on whether a liability waiver signed by both a minor and the minor's parent can be enforced.

Other states have split on whether a parent is able to assume the risk of injuries on behalf of a minor child.

If your child was injured after signing a go-kart liability waiver in Las Vegas, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

5. Common go-kart racing injuries and pay-outs

The United States has seen a number or large awards and settlements in go-kart injury cases. Go kart injury lawsuits in the U.S. have included:

$1.3 million for a defective go kart

A court awarded almost $1.3 million in 2004 to a Maryland woman after an accident in a defective go kart caused a spinal injury. Specifically, the women suffered:

  • A fractured spine,
  • A burst fracture of vertebrae that ultimately had to be fused to another, and
  • Head, neck and other permanent injuries.

She was awarded $209,849 in past medical expenses, $448, 150 in future medical expenses and $615,000 in pain and suffering.

Go-kart collision accident caused by track negligence

A go-kart rider in Louisiana suffered serious injuries after another rider crashed into the side of his go-kart and collided with his body. The rider suffered:

  • Fractures to seven different ribs, 
  • Internal organ damage, 
  • Neck and spine trauma,
  • A shoulder problem, and 
  • Debilitating pain.

His lawsuit alleged that the track was negligent by allowing karts of two different speeds to race on the same track. He sought damages for his medical expenses and the anguish of a partial disability.

Go kart stopped unexpectedly

A young Texas girl sued after a go-kart she was driving “suddenly stopped for no reason” in the middle of the track. Another child then rammed into her cart causing her a severe head injury.

Her suit further alleged that no one came to assist her when was unconscious on the go-kart track. That go-kart injury case was settled out-of-court for $50,000

Faulty brakes cause fatal go-kart accident

Another case in Texas involved a teenager who was killed when her go-kart failed to stop at the finish line. The girl's helmet was ripped off when she crashed into a low wire meant to funnel race participants towards the finish line.

The family's wrongful death suit stated that the venue lacked tires, barriers, or any other safety precautions that could have prevented the girl's death. The suit also alleged that the karts had unreasonably dangerous pedal extenders which got stuck on a crash bar and prevented the brake from functioning. 

go kart on indoor track

6. How to stay safe at a Nevada Go-Kart track

The good news is that Las Vegas go-kart tracks have a generally excellent safety record. But accidents do happen.

Short of not engaging in activities that require liability waivers, steps you can take to keep yourself include:

Check the safety record of the operator

Search engines are your friend. Search for accidents at an amusement park or racing track before you go. Read the reviews.

Obey the track's safety rules

Failing to obey the rules could give the race track operator an excuse to deny responsibility for an accident.

Wear a helmet

Make sure you wear a helmet, seat belt and any other safety gear the track offers. If the track does not provide adequate safety gear, find another place to race.

Read the waiver!

If you are not comfortable with it, do not sign it.

Ask what the site's insurance covers

Don't just let a site tells you it has insurance. If possible, get the policy summary in writing. Ask what the policy limits are and whether it covers all accidents, regardless of the cause.

Make sure your medical insurance is up-to-date

Even if you ultimately prevail in a claim, settling it may take awhile. If you have to go to court, it could be a year or more before you go paid. Having a good medical insurance policy will make sure you can receive adequate care in the event you are injured.

Injured by a Go-Kart in Las Vegas? Call us for help…

female receptionist

If you or your child was injured at a go-kart track in Nevada we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Our team of proactive attorneys, investigators and accident reconstruction experts can help you hold go kart operators and manufacturers liable for their negligence. 

Call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) or fill out the form on this page to speak to one of our knowledgeable Nevada go-kart accident lawyers.

Don't let the track tell you it was “just an accident.” Contact us today to get the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.

The statute of limitations in Nevada accident cases can be as short as two (2) years, so contact us right away to start working on your case.

Also see our related article on Nevada bicycle safety laws.

Legal references:

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