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Liability insurance for private tracks

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A friend has a nice private track that has been used by invitation for about 15+ years. Last year, a young kid rode over his head and was injured. Home owners insurance covered, but owner had to pay a good size deductable. No lawsuit. Insurance company now says they will cancell if there is another incident. Waivers of liability would indicate owner is aware of risk and danger. Owner would like to be insulated personally. He has never charged for riding. He is not in the track business. It's obvious assumption of the risk isn't going to fly and there are no statutes on the books like ski areas have. Michigan track.

What are other's doing to protect from the inevitable lawsuits in these crazy suit happy times? I have some feelers out to some of my attorney friends but this doesn't look too promising. I myself would not even think of suing my friends for letting me ride on their tracks. I wonder what the state does to protect itself from people who get hurt riding the public land trails? You know--"someone should have cut that stump, moved that rock, cut that low limb."

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You can't compare govt and private land liability.

The govt isn't concerned with liability issues or insurance.

The govt buildings are "self insured".

Why?

Because it's your money and they can take it from you whenever they need to - where's the incentive to be prudent or financially responsible?

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if you have the proper liability waivers, then the person is free and clear. most local tracks i've gone to have signs that say there is no insurance, ride at own risk. you signed away the right to hold them liable for anything when you signed the waiver

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It's a shame. I have several friends who have private land that let us ride. I, however, can't say that I'd do the same. I worry too much about this kind of stuff.

I wonder if you can creatively "hide" the asset. Like put the land in your kids name (assuming you have kids) or something like that. Eliminate the money trail (i.e. your assets) and I would think that you eliminate the lawsuit. People with no money (or insurance) don't get sued. Try suing someone making minimum wage who creams you in an auto accident with no insurance. Won't go anywhere.

Me, I'd get with a lawyer and work on hiding my assets instead. With all the reasons you can get sued these days, it's probably not a bad idea just in general.

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I have never stopped and read the waivers at an MX track, but I did look into a waiver when our home owners association wanted to make the community pool available for swimming 24 hours a day without a life guard. The board of directors (including me) initally thought we could have a waiver signed by the residents and we would have no liability for any "after hours activity". We were WRONG.

Our lawyer advised us (we are in GA) that a parent or any legal guardian does not have the legal authority to waive the right of a minor child to sue if he or she is injured or dies. Additionally, the minor child does not have the legal authority to waive his/her right to sue. This may be a conservative view of the law in GA, but definatley an interpretation that got our attention.

The bottom line was, regardless of any waiver you sign, a minor child can never completely waive his or her right to sue.

I assume this would apply to MX tracks as well.

If this waiver business worked so well, why don't all businesses have you sign a waiver, i.e. water parks, amusement parks, carnivals etc.

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This sounds bad. I have a small 3 acre track and I let friends and relatives ride on it. I have never really worried about being sued by one of them but recently I have started wondering about being sued by their insurance companies if they get hurt.

Unfortunately, the more I think about it the more I want to close it down to anyone but my kids and myself. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

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I'm sure we have some local track owners / promoters, etc. that follow this forum. Do any of you have input on this? If it is really true that the right of a minor to sue for injury / damages is never fully waived, then the track owner / promoter of any venue is open to potential damages? Every weekend I see parents / guardians signing the same consent form I sign.

How do track owners / promoters sleep at night for worrying about losing everything?

F****** suit-happy people!! :thumbsup:

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Look into your state laws. There may be some law on the book relieving the land owner of financial liability for recreational uses as long as there are no fees. I'm not sure exactly how it will be worded or even which states have those laws, but I do know that such a law was passed recently somewhere.

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Look into your state laws. There may be some law on the book relieving the land owner of financial liability for recreational uses as long as there are no fees. I'm not sure exactly how it will be worded or even which states have those laws, but I do know that such a law was passed recently somewhere.

I have heard this too. Waivers won't hold water and show that the property owner is aware that a dangerous activity is going on. Collecting fees makes it commercial.

The owner is taking a risk no matter what if he lets people ride. But "recreating" may be the best way to mitigate risk for a non-commercial track.

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I know the state of Utah has a law that protects private property owners so as to encourage them to keep their land open. As long as they do not charge a fee to use it. That does not mean that some dirt bag and their attorney would not try to sue, which would probably cost the land owner time and money to defend their self.

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waivers mean pretty much nothing. it is sad but true. your friend is taking a risk no matter what and i agree it sux. the kid that got hurt(or his parents) really suck for pulling a law suit on your friend.

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I have my own track and let other's ride on it. I also give lessons on it. I have insurance on it for liability and everyone signs a waiver my lawyer wrote but he told me it's a worthless waiver since you can not sign away your rights. It's sad when you are a nice person and let others ride on your property, they crash due their own mistake, not yours and yet............they can sue you.

I think AMA approved tracks are insured through the AMA. The truth here is that if I break into your house and fall down your stairs..............I can sue you and win. Law suits are the new lottery. :thumbsup:

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Even if you have people sign the waiver you can still be sued. I think that's BS. If you ride or let your kids ride you know it's dangerous and you or your kid can get hurt. People need to take responsibility for it and be prepared for the consequences.

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This sounds bad. I have a small 3 acre track and I let friends and relatives ride on it. I have never really worried about being sued by one of them but recently I have started wondering about being sued by their insurance companies if they get hurt.

Unfortunately, the more I think about it the more I want to close it down to anyone but my kids and myself. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Your right on this one.Unfortunately you must protect yourself and your family. :confused:

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I went to a local mx track the day of a race and asked for a copy of there liabilty form and made my own from it by changing the wording a little.

The other thing I did was I raised the liability amount on my homeowners from 100k to 500k I think it cost an additional 12 bucks a year to do that.

I also got real selective on who I let ride by that I mean real , real close friends that know real well the name of my track which is "My Back Yard" so when the doctor asked where you got hurt at you say My Back Yard.

Owning your own track is not all it's cracked up to be.My neighbors hate me because of the noise, your always worried about tresspassers when your not home and for every hour that I ride on my track there is probably 5 hours of maintenance.

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Your right on this one.Unfortunately you must protect yourself and your family. :thumbsup:

Yea, the more that I think about it the more that I am leaning toward closing it down except for my immediate family.

It really sucks and I do not think that anyone of my friends would ever sue me but you never know. I am still worried about someones insurance company looking for reimbursement.

I really do not want to loose my land that has been in my family for 9 generations to a lawyer or insurance company. :thumbsup:

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Owning your own track is not all it's cracked up to be.My neighbors hate me because of the noise, your always worried about tresspassers when your not home and for every hour that I ride on my track there is probably 5 hours of maintenance.

Amen to the time spent on it. :thumbsup:

I am lucky enough that I don't have any of them neighbor people. :thumbsup::confused:

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I myself would not even think of suing my friends for letting me ride on their tracks.

It is not you that would sue it would be your insurance company and there is nothing you can do about it. Cooper Land in Stillwater OK had this happen to them, The kid got airlifted out of there and he did not want to sue but his insurance company did.

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What we do at our local track is you sign in at the gate you become a Member for the day. As a member you are part owner of the club. You can not sue yourself.

www.jeepscycleclub.com

i have heard of this working also. many of the tracks do that around here.

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