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Case Study by Law Offices of R. Thomas Bidari P.C. - 2013 NASCAR Daytona Weekend

The recent incident at a NASCAR race in Florida has already led to some of the injured spectators retaining attorneys for possible filing of lawsuits. A question that many are asking here in Michigan is what would be the rights of a spectator if that were to happen here in Michigan? Most sports fans know that there is a release printed on the back of their ticket that states they are assuming the risk of being at the event. This has become common knowledge due mainly to publicized cases in the news involving hockey fans hit injured by flying pucks or baseball fans struck by balls. Typically the back of a sports event ticket has a waiver with small print in legalese that reads: "The holder of the ticket expressly assumes all risk incident of the event, whether occurring prior to, during or subsequently to the actual event, and agrees that all participants, sanctioning bodies and employees, agents, officers and directors, its affiliates and subsidiaries, are hereby released from any and all claims arriving from the event, including claims of negligence."

Whether the waiver is enforceable is always an issue, and must be decided on a case by case basis. But what if the injury is caused by a motor vehicle like the NASCAR incident? In Michigan we have No-Fault Automobile Insurance laws which state that an injured person can recover certain insurance benefits if the injury “arose out of the use, operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle”. So even if the injured spectator at a car racing event may be barred from bringing suit against the parties involved in that sports event, they may nevertheless have some remedy under Michigan’s No-Fault Law.

Michigan’s No-Fault Laws are very complex and any case should be reviewed with an experienced auto-accident specialist. For any questions on auto-accident matters, call the LAW OFFICES OF R. THOMAS BIDARI, P.C. at 734-283-5100.

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