Go-karting is a fun activity and one many people enjoy from time to time. Many areas have at least one karting venue people can go to. Lots of these welcome drivers of all ages, as well as providing the chance for organised events and work celebrations to take place there.
If you try go-karting, it’s fair to say you wouldn’t expect to be injured when you tried it. However, while injuries are uncommon, they can happen if appropriate safety measures are not taken. There are two essential items that must be worn whenever someone is going to take part in go-karting, and these are a protective racing suit and a helmet. These two items can prevent the driver from sustaining many nasty injuries, including head injuries.
While you would normally associate whiplash with car accidents, it can potentially occur in a go-karting accident as well. The same situation applies – you are travelling at speed and come to a sudden stop because someone else hits you, or potentially if there is an obstacle on the track that should not be there.
The NHS website says you can expect to feel neck pain, stiffness, muscle spasms and tenderness if you have whiplash. Other symptoms may also occur. It is often best to get a proper diagnosis if you suffer neck pain following a go-karting accident. It may not develop until some hours following the accident, but it is best to get a diagnosis confirmed to ensure you haven’t injured yourself more seriously or suffered a fracture to a vertebra. It also means there is a record of what happened to you.
Fractures and broken bones
7.1% of people attending an A&E department from 2012 to 2013 did so because of a fracture, dislocation or other type of joint injury, including amputation. If a crash were to occur in a go-kart, you could end up breaking a bone. A lot would depend on the speeds involved and whether you were thrown from the kart or not.
You may think a broken bone is a broken bone, but that’s not the case. Did you know there are nine different fracture types you could suffer from? Some are treated easily by putting the affected part of the body in plaster, but others may require surgery to set the broken sections of bone back into the correct position.
Overall, studies have shown that anywhere between 1 million and 1.4 million individuals will go to hospital in the average year having sustained a head injury. Thankfully, very few of these people will have serious head injuries, and fewer still will have sustained the injury while go-karting.
However, we all know how important it is to wear a crash helmet when taking part in this activity. If you are go-karting and you are involved in an accident, wearing a helmet could quite simply save your life. It is designed to protect both your skull and brain from injury.
You may not associate go-karting with burns, but these injuries can occur. Parts of the go-kart will become very hot in use, as would be the case with cars and other vehicles of a similar nature. If you are in a crash, you could be hit by leaking petrol or other fluids. These can cause scalds and burns.
Additionally, in a serious crash where someone is ejected from the go-kart, there could be a possibility of landing on part of the kart that has been heated through natural use. Therefore, special protective suits need to be worn, to prevent burns from happening. If you attend a go-karting venue and you are not given a suit and you are later burned, you may have good cause to press ahead with a compensation claim.
We’ve covered whiplash already, but any situation where the head is flung forcefully in one direction while the body remains in the go-kart can potentially lead to neck injuries. You move your neck thousands of times during the average day, and if you suffer an injury to that area, you will realise how difficult it can be to do certain things from that moment on.
Injuries may include problems with tendons, ligaments and muscles, and if the accident is serious enough, there could be damage to one or more vertebrae in the neck. While many injuries heal, a small percentage of people may suffer ongoing problems that never fully resolve themselves, especially if they suffer some loss of feeling from pinched nerves, for example.
How to tell whether you have a chance to claim following a go-karting accident
Before you get in a go-kart, you should be given a safety briefing, as well as a suit and helmet to wear. The kart should also be fit for purpose, as should the track. If you suspect anything was wrong, or you weren’t told how to use the go-kart safely, you may have a chance to begin a claim for the injuries you received. As we said before, injuries sustained through go-karting are very rare, mainly because the overwhelming majority of tracks are careful in exceeding all health and safety rules and regulations. That’s good news for those who visit and enjoy them every week.
However, rest assured we are here to help if you have suffered an injury while go-karting and you think you may be able to seek a compensation award. Take our online test now to see whether it’s possible to claim, or call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 (you can also call on 0333 500 0993 if you are on a mobile phone).
Our solicitors always work on a no-win, no-fee* basis, so there is no need to worry about losing out if your claim is not settled. However, with more than 16 years’ experience to offer and advisors waiting to take your call, we can assure you of the best service you could possibly hope for following your injury while go-karting.
Date Published: May 1, 2014
Author: David Brown