Child Injury Laws Blog
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Children riding all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) are more likely to sustain a serious injury than their older counterparts. While it may be easy to blame young children for causing an accident, many mishaps are primarily due to the poor judgment of adults who are responsible for supervising their use.
Children (under 16 years old) experience a disproportionate number of injuries when operating ATV’s. Some sobering statistics from ATVSafety.gov.
What Really is an ATV?
The term ATV is tossed around with such regularity that it sometimes can be confusing as to its meaning in the eyes of the law. Weather you call them sport bikes, four-wheeler, quad or mud bike states like Illinois define an all-terrain vehicle as:
(625 ILCS 5/1-101.8) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-102.02)
Sec. 1-101.8. All-terrain vehicle. Any motorized off-highway device designed to travel primarily off-highway, 50 inches or less in width, having a manufacturer’s dry weight of 900 pounds or less, traveling on 3 or more low-pressure tires, designed with a seat or saddle for operator use, and handlebars or steering wheel for steering control, except equipment such as lawnmowers.
Sobering Safety Statistics Regarding Recreational Vehicles
Compared with virtually any other recreational activity, statistics tell us that children and adults are more apt to suffer an injury of a significant nature.
- Over the last decade, more than 100 children have died every year in ATV accidents.
- In 2008, 37,700 children were injured severely enough to require emergency room treatment related to ATV roll overs and crashes.
- More than 9.5 million 4-wheel ATVs were in use in 2007, and the number of such vehicles in use continues to grow at more than 10% annually.
Adult Supervision & Other Safety Precautions
Adults allowing a child to ride an ATV under their supervision have a legal responsibility to implement common sense precautions to ensure the safety of riders, passengers and spectators alike. Implementing these precautions can go a long way towards reducing the number of accidents and their severity.
- Provide a safe area for children to operate their vehicle
- Provide instruction on usage
- Provide safety equipment (helmets and pads)
- Maintain equipment
- Use machines appropriate for the child’s age and size
When adults fail to uphold their responsibilities and a child sustains an ATV injury, there may be a potential case against them. There may very well be liability insurance to cover the loss, particularly if the injury occurs at a person’s home, business, or camp.
Defects Involving The Design & Manufacturing Of The Machine
Other types of ATV injuries may be due to poorly designed or manufacturing defects. In these cases, a products liability case may be pursued against the manufacturer, distributor or retailer of the vehicle for the resulting injuries or death. While some product liability cases involving all terrain vehicles may involve well known defects that were readily identified by the manufacturer or through product recalls other product liability cases involving defective vehicles may not be apparent until the vehicles have been in use for some time.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers take product defect cases seriously and regularly works with experts in the fields of design and engineering to assist in proving our clients’ cases.
Time Constraints To File A Recreational Vehicle Accident Lawsuit
The time for filing a lawsuit involving an injury case is governed by the applicable statute of limitations. While most Illinois personal injury cases are governed by a two-year state of limitations, the time for filing a case involving a dangerous product may vary depending upon the circumstances involved including: the basis for the lawsuit, age of the injured party and date that the vehicle was sold. Be sure to consult with an experienced recreational vehicle accident attorney early after an incident in order to protect your legal rights.
Attorneys working to protect victims of ATV rollovers and other types of off road injuries
The ATV accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented children and adults injured in ATV accidents and continues to champion ATV safety. Don’t fight insurance companies on your own. You owe it to yourself — and your family — to maximize your recovery for injuries sustained in an ATV accident. We can help.
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