Topic: Lemons racing liability agreement
Since I have been asked by new teams about the written and unwritten agreement between me (single owner) and team (consistent, trustworthy, honest, and just plain nice drivers) who basically pay as A&Ds but live too far, or are too busy to help with repairs, etc. but I consider as my "Team" and have an open invitation and dibs to all races.....I wanted to share this....
I have an "understanding" that I sent out by email to my drivers (based on, with some clarifications/modification, the agreement by the famous Mr. Spank, & Co.) I think many teams have similar policies...
Quote (with some modifications):
One policy I have is that while the steering wheel is in your hands or your butt is in the seat, you are responsible for bringing the racecar back in a condition that allows the next driver to have her or his next stint, minus "normal track wear and tear" like we need to add oil, rotate tires, change brake pads, replace blown tire, change hoses, etc. Stuff happens, and this is a $500 street car on a racetrack. mechanicals are not your fault unless there is solid, obvious evidence that is WAS your fault . In terms of damaged suffered as a result of contact: If it costs $ to make it trackworthy again (and it was clearly your fault), the person who was in the vehicle when the contact occurred is financially responsible for those repairs. In the event of a total loss, the car is valued at $2500. (Partial financial responsibility would also be acceptable/negotiable)
Example: Bend a wheel or suspension component? Replace it or provide $ to replace it. Dent a fender? so long as it can go back out on track no big deal. Hit the wall, roll, and it burns to ashes: Find another Prelude and help me cage it, etc. so that it passes Lemons tech; or just pay $2500 and say Ciao.
But don't sweat the small stuff...dents, scratches, broken mirrors, broken lights, etc.(Less than $ 50-100 repairs)
If you come in after having been double-tapped by a miata and and say "It's not my fault" that the rear subframe is bent and can't be straightened, well it's not MY fault either just because I towed it to the track and let you get in it. You can find a replacement rear subframe yourself or you can go negotiate with the miata driver to have her/him to source a replacement or some combination of that.
If you want to sue me because you get hurt, killed, or simply feel cheated? Please don't. You are never required to enter the racetrack in the car or even get into the vehicle. It is most definitely your choice to get into what is most definitely a machine of death and the roll cage was installed by someone with no certifications whatsoever. Similarly, I don't plan to sue anyone driving my car for any reason, either. I'd rather get screwed than sued!!!!
Only promises are that the car will pass tech and do one lap You are welcome and encouraged to come help me prep the car prior to the event weekend, but not required. While at the track, however, there is a reasonable expectation that you'll help do whatever is necessary to maintain the car and send it back out (help belt in others, help with refueling, normal teammate stuff).
I would only add:
I mean, if you put it in a wall, with no contact....it is YOUR fault
If you spin it, and someone crashes into you, it is YOUR fault
If you are passing, and you crash, it is (almost always) YOUR fault (passing cars' responsibility to pass cleanly, no matter how dumb the other driver happens to be)...although there might be a gray area and maybe an in-car video would help
If you are driving normally and someone T-Bones you in a turn, since they were coming in too hot....it is Not your fault. (and the opposite stands, also)
So if my car gets wrecked, and it is clearly not the fault of my driver (like getting T-boned in a turn, or passing car smashes into you)... I would need to suck it up, my loss. (but I would appreciate any physical or financial assistance)
I heard a person on another team blame the "equipment" (rotors felt warped, tires too worn, brakes too grabby, etc.) for putting the car in the wall...and using that as an argument for not being responsible for the accidentdamage....saying the car was prepped poorly...
I don't think that is a valid argument. If you are uncomfortable using the equipment, then drive slower, or just stop.
I mean, like if you think the equipment is shitty, don't drive it so hard...Seriously, this POS was not meant to be raced....
If an accident occurs due to obvious equipment failure (wheel falls off because axle nut was not tightened or lug nuts not tightened, or brake hose ruptures, or radiator blows up, or connecting rod puts hole in engine) = Not your fault...
So basically, drive the car like you own it, and I am the insurance company that really does not want to pay for repairs, and has a high deductible...
And in terms of Liability, I found this and modified it (for what its worth...since I ain't no lawyer):
RELEASE OF LIABILITY
READ CAREFULLY – THIS AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
In exchange for participation in the activity of Lemons Endurance Auto Racing organized by (owner name and address) and/or use of the property, facilities and services of (owner), I,
___________________________ of ____________________________, ___________________________, ______________________________
Agree for myself and (if applicable) for the members of my family, to the following:
AGREEMENT TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. I agree to observe and obey all posted rules and warnings, and further agree to follow any oral instructions or directions given by (owner), or the employees, representatives or agents of (owner).
ASSUMPTION OF THE RISKS AND RELEASE. I recognize that there are certain inherent risks associated with the above described activity and I assume full responsibility for personal injury to myself and (if applicable) my family members, and further release and discharge (owner) for injury, loss or damage arising out of my or my family’s use of or presence upon the facilities of (owner), whether caused by the fault of myself, my family, (owner), or other third parties.
INDEMNIFICATION. I agree to indemnify and defend (owner) against all claims, causes of action, damages, judgments, costs or expenses, including attorney fees and other litigation costs, which may in any way arise from my or any family’s use of or presence upon the facilities of (owner).
FEES. I will NOT be held responsible for any damages to the property of (owner) caused by any negligent, reckless, accidental, or willful actions by me while participating in the Lemons Endurance Auto Racing event. All expenses related to the cost of repair or replacement will be the sole responsibility of (owner).
APPLICABLE LAW. Any legal or equitable claim that may arise from participation in the above shall be resolved under Massachusetts law.
NO DURESS. I agree and acknowledge that I am under no pressure or duress to sign this Agreement and that I have been given a reasonable opportunity to review it before signing. I further agree and acknowledge that I am free to have my own legal counsel review this Agreement if I so desire. I further agree and acknowledge that (owner) has offered to refund any fees I have paid to use its facilities if I choose not to sign this Agreement.
ARM’S LENGTH AGREEMENT. This Agreement and each of its terms are the product of an arm’s length negotiation between the Parties. In the event any ambiguity is found to exist in the interpretation of this Agreement, or any of its provisions, the Parties, and each of them, explicitly reject the application of any legal or equitable rule of interpretation which would lead to a construction either “for” or “against” a particular party based upon their status as the drafter of a specific term, language, or provision giving rise to such ambiguity.
ENFORCEABILITY. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement, whether standing alone or as applied to a particular occurrence or circumstance, shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement or of any other applications of such provision, as the case may be, and such invalid or unenforceable provision shall be deemed not to be a part of this Agreement.
EMERGENCY CONTACT. In case of an emergency, please call ________________________ (Relationship: _______________) at _______________________ (Day), or _____________________ (Evening).
I HAVE READ THIS DOCUMENT AND UNDERSTAND IT. I FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT BY SIGNING THIS RELEASE, I VOLUNTARILY SURRENDER CERTAIN LEGAL RIGHTS.