Motorsport Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a motorsport injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a motorsport injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming motorsport injury compensation:

Introduction

According to the MSA (Motor Sports Association) UK, 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 an individual is involved in a motor sports or related accident and is injured as a result, they could be entitled to claim compensation.

Motocross bikes

Do I have a motorsport injury claim?

As a basic rule, you can make a motorsport injury claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

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 a motorsport injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if I was diagnosed months after the motorsport injury?

Depending on how your motorsport injury happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.

How much compensation can I claim for a motorsport injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your motorsport injury will depend on:

  • the extent 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 motorsport injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General 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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a motorsport injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • 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.

For example:

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 a motorsport 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 a motorsport injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your motorsport injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and 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.

Motorsport injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a motorsport 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 motorsport injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

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?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your motorsport injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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

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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

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 a motorsport 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 motorsport 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 motorsport injury claim?

If your motorsport 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.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your motorsport injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Motorsport injury FAQ's

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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a motorsport injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the motorsport injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your motorsport injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a motorsport 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim motorsport injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a motorsport injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert