Motorsport Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a motorsport injury, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a sports injury compensation claim with the help and support of a solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.
We can help you make a sports injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
According to the Motor Sports Association (MSA), more than 5,000 motor sports events are staged all over the country each year. This includes everything from 12 car rallies organised by local motor clubs to international races at Silverstone.
Despite the high speeds, risk of injury at these events is low for both the drivers and the spectators - owing to strict safety measures. However, accidents can and do happen. If you were injured in a motor sports or related accident where another party was at fault, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
Do I have an injury claim?
As a basic rule, you can make an injury claim if your injury happened:
- in the last 3 years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Do I have a claim? - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.
Do I need a diagnosis to make a motorsport injury claim?
If you have been injured and are awaiting the results, you should still seek legal advice as soon as possible. The sooner you start a motorsport injury claim after an accident, the more likely your claim is to succeed.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a life-altering back injury can be £65,000
For a more minor arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.
However, if you have a life-altering back injury and a more minor arm injury, you would typically receive £65,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I see the complete Judicial College tables?
The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common motorsport injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.
Can I get an interim payment?
Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
- Instant accurate calculation
- Checks your right to claim
- Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
How long does a motorsport injury claim take?
How long it can take to get compensation for a motorsport injury can vary significantly.
For instance, a simple uncontested sports injury claim could be settled in a few weeks. However, if liability is denied a compensation claim can take substantially longer. Normally a sports injury claim will take 6 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
What types of motorsports accidents can occur?
Accidents involving the driver
Although rare, particularly in professional motorsports, the most obvious accidents involve the drivers themselves. Whether this involves a motorcycle or other road vehicle veering out of control or a collision between two vehicles, the injuries sustained can include: head and neck injuries; lacerations; bruises; burns; broken limbs; and spinal damage.
Non-professional drivers, or drivers participating in a motorsports leisure activity such as a fast car racing experience (or their passengers), are included in this category.
Accidents involving spectators
For the most part, watching motorsports as a spectator is safe. However, there is always potential for accidents and injury to occur. Not only is there an evident risk of fast-moving vehicles or motorcycles careering out of control and into spectator barriers, but there are also a range of other hazards. These include:
- Dirt or grit from the track being thrown up into a spectator's face and eyes
- Overcrowding in the spectator areas or stands
- Slips, trips and falls from stairs, unmarked obstacles or wet surfaces throughout the venue
Motorsports festivals, such as Goodwood's Festival of Speed, attract large crowds. As well as races and rally events, other activities include vehicle displays, arts performances, air displays, consumer stalls and hospitality.
As well as the general risks to driver and spectator, each of these additional activities presents its own set of hazards, from crush injuries from overcrowding and faulty seating or standing areas to incidents involving vehicles.
Who is liable?
Who is liable in a motorsports injury claim depends on the context in which the accident occurred and who was responsible for the safety of the person involved at the time.
All motorsport event organisers - whether they are the race promoter, track owner, motor club or the governing body - have a legal duty to ensure the safety of the drivers (and passengers) as well as the spectators. They must carry our full risk assessments and put adequate measures in place to control any that are identified.
If they do not, and a person is injured as a result, their actions would be seen as negligent and could therefore be held liable. Examples of negligence in motorsport injury claims include:
- Failure to check for potential track damage or obstacles
- Poor communication during events
- Failure to install adequate, safety approved barriers
- Poor signage warning of potential dangers
- Inadequate training of marshals
- Insufficient crowd and event management
Motorsport compensation claims are often complex requiring detailed knowledge of safety guidelines set by the relevant international and national governing bodies including:
- The FIA (Federation Internationale de L'Automobile) and either;
- the ACU (Autocycle Union) - for motorbikes;
- or the MSA Motor Sports Association) - for cars
A solicitor can help a claimant navigate these complexities. They can also offer advice on the types of evidence that will help as case; such as medical records, witness statements and the organiser's health and safety records.
All organisers of motorsports events are required to have public liability and employer liability insurance to cover such claims.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee, no risk
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if you do not winn your claim .
Our no win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.