Hunting Stand Defect Lawyer
Tree stands are a necessity for hunters to get an elevated view of their prey. However, the safety risks associated with tree stands are numerous and varied. Besides the risk of falling, there's also the chance that one could come loose from a tree and collapse.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for hunters injured in an accident involving a hunting stand manufacturing defect.
Our legal team fights aggressively on behalf of our clients to seek compensation and justice. Call a product liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
Tree Stand Accidents
Accidental gunshot kills account for a substantially lower percentage of tree stand fatalities than falls from a tree stand (although both might result in death). However, injuries can be severe, as deer stands are frequently erected higher than 20 feet above the ground.
A hunter who falls 15 feet or less from a tree stand has a good chance of surviving, but one who falls 24 feet or more is virtually certain to perish.
According to data from research, a hunter who uses deer stands has a 5% chance of sustaining injuries during their hunting years. On the other hand, trauma centers keep track of individuals who report accidents involving hunters and deer stands.
Studies show that the risk of falling from a tree stand is higher among hunters who use deer stands than those who hunt from ground blinds – and the consequences of such falls are more severe.
It is illegal in many states for individuals to erect deer stands, and some places even require hunters to purchase an annual license before using hunting equipment such as deer stands.
If a defective tree stand injures a hunter, they can file a product liability claim and pursue damages from the manufacturer or supplier of the defective hunting equipment.
Hunting Stand Defects
The major hunting equipment manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that their products provide hunters with safety, stability, comfort, convenience, and style.
It is possible for defective hunting stands to cause hunters to experience discomfort or pain after extended periods in the tree stand, resulting in fatalities caused by falling due to exhaustion or weakened limbs.
What Makes These Products Defective, Leading to Your Stand Accidents?
Hunters may suffer serious injuries and fatalities resulting from defective hunting stand accidents. These accidents can comprise:
- Quality of Tree Stand or Hunting Equipment: A top-quality tree stand might be sturdy and unyielding, while a lesser quality one could collapse under the slightest pressure. A hunter puts his life in danger when he steps out onto such a platform.
- Manufacturing Defects: When a manufacturer neglects to add vital components to the make of a product, such as rope used for standing platforms which should be added to climbing stands, this can result in an accident that causes injury or death.
- Omissions in Instructions: When purchasing new hunting equipment, hunters must read and understand all safety instructions provided with their purchase, including explaining proper use, maintenance, inspection before each use, and the full range of potential hazards.
If you are injured in a hunting stand accident due to no fault of your own, consult with an experienced hunting equipment attorney who will explain the various legal options available to you.
Legal Rights & Compensation for Hunting Stand Fatalities
Manufacturers must provide hunters with safe products that function according to contract specifications. When their negligence results in injuries or fatalities, surviving accident victims might be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain, and suffering during recovery.
Moreover, lost wages from time missed at work, loss of future earnings/earning capacity if they cannot return to work because of their injuries resulting from a defective product, and other damages.
Manufacturers, sellers, and suppliers of defective products can be held liable for any harm caused by their defective products. In addition, injury victims usually file personal injury lawsuits against negligent manufacturers to recover damages resulting from injuries due to a defective product.
Hunting Stand Accident Statistics
According to research data collected by hunting organizations such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), fatal hunting accidents result in fewer fatalities than those caused by transportation incidents such as car crashes, ATV accidents, dog bites, attacks, and drownings. All of which are significantly less likely to occur during a typical day than is an accident involving a tree stand or similar hunting equipment that causes hunters serious bodily injury:
Approximately 2,000 hunters suffer injuries from defective deer stand accidents every year – approximately two-thirds of these lead to temporary or permanent disabilities (National Shooting Sports Foundation).
According to the Tree Stand Safety Institute:
- Eighty percent of all hunting fatalities occur in the deer-hunting season. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
- Fifty percent of all hunting fatalities are due to falls from tree stands. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
- Thirty percent of all accidents while hunting is caused by falling out of a tree stand due to a fall hazard or defective products. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
- One-third of hunters who die because of tree stand falls are not wearing a safety harness when they fall. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
- Approximately twenty percent of hunters who fall out of tree stands die as a result. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
- Fifty-seven percent of all hunting fatalities due to falls from tree stands occur during the first ten days of deer season. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
Hunters' injuries resulting from defective or malfunctioning stand equipment commonly involve leg fractures (30%), shoulder dislocations (25%), and back injuries (22%).
Tree Stands & Harnesses Save Lives
Many hunters could avoid serious injury or death if they wore personal safety harnesses while using climbing, hang-on, or lock-on steps platforms for hunting.
Any hunter who climbs into a tree stand must wear a personal safety harness. Unfortunately, even if hunters exercise extreme caution while climbing and descending, accidents happen, and systems fail.
According to the Tree Stand Safety Institute:
- Tree stands help to prevent approximately 70 percent of serious fall injuries that result from tree stand falls. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
- Approximately 86 percent of all hunting fatalities due to falls from tree stands could have been prevented using a safety harness. (The Tree Stand Safety Institute)
- In one survey, 96 percent of hunters who had fallen from a tree stand were not wearing a safety harness when they fell.
Fatalities & Injuries in Hunting Accidents
Every year over 1,000 U.S. hunters suffer serious injuries from defective tree stand accidents (Institute for Research in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, University of Tennessee).
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that, on average, over 300 hunting-related fatalities and more than 18,000 hospitalizations occur annually in the United States due to falls from tree stands while hunting; most fatalities occur while hunting deer (National Shooting Sports Foundation).
According to research data compiled by the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
- Fifty percent of all hunter deaths—resulting from a fall while hunting— are related to an accident involving a tree stand or similar equipment (National Shooting Sports Foundation).
- Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for people who participate in outdoor activities such as hunting. Falls account for 28 percent of all injury-related deaths among hunters.
According to a study by the Tree Stand Safety Institute, over 70 percent of hunting and falling accidents involving a fall from a tree stand could have been prevented if the hunter had worn a safety harness at the time of the accident.
In the same study, over 90 percent of falls from tree stands occurred when no one was available to help or witness what happened (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).
- Sixty-five percent of falls from tree stands most commonly occur while descending from or ascending to a standing platform (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).
- Forty-two percent of all hunters who die due to falling out of trees die during deer hunting season (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).
- Over half of all hunting fatalities resulting from falls out of tree stands occur on the first day any person is hunting during deer hunting season (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).
Hunting Accidents Most Deadly for Young Adults
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hunters aged 15 to 24 are five times more likely to die from an accidental fall than any other age group.
An average of 127 youth under the age of 16 is treated in hospital emergency rooms for hunting-related injuries every day in the U.S.
According to a study summarized by Outdoor Life, "falling out of a tree stand is the number one cause of hunting and falling accidents, and a leading cause of serious injury and death."
The Tree Stand Safety Institute attributes "falling out of tree stands" as the primary reason young hunters were killed in defective deer stand accidents.
In the study, over 25 percent of all fatal falls from tree stands occur when a hunter is descending from or ascending to a deer stand platform, and over 62 percent of all fatal falls from tree stands occur when there is no one available to help (The Tree Stand Safety Institute).
What to Do When You Fall
If you fall out of a tree stand:
- Call for assistance immediately; do not try to climb back into your tree stand. Instead, use your cell phone or other available methods to contact someone for help.
- If you cannot climb out of the tree yourself, ask for assistance from hunters below you in an adjacent tree stand, if possible.
- Warn others that they may be at risk of a serious injury when climbing into their tree stand.
- Do not climb down from your tree stand without the assistance of another person. You could fall and become injured or die.
Never drink alcohol when using a tree stand or before climbing into a tree stand, regardless of how long it has been since you last hunted. Alcohol slows reaction times and affects balance and coordination.
Hunting Stand Accidents Involving Tree Stand Collapses
Tree stand collapses result in injury or death to hunters every year, and the majority of accidents occur while a hunter is ascending or descending from a tree.
Injured hunters might have their lives altered drastically after a tree stand collapses due to broken bones, head injuries, or paralysis. Unfortunately, in some cases, fatal injuries are sustained as well.
A faulty tree stand might have sharp edges which can cut a hunter, causing them to fall – or the tree stand frame could be weak due to a defect in manufacturing.
Personal Injury Law – Tree Stand Defect Litigation
It is never acceptable for equipment meant to protect you from being the source of injury, which is why the Illinois product liability attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC aggressively pursue damages on behalf of those who are harmed by defective or poorly made products.
Hunting and climbing stands are supposed to give hunters a tactical advantage and improve their hunting experience. Still, they have become more dangerous than the risk of accidental gunshot wounds in recent history.
Falls from defective tree stands or injuries caused by protective harnesses can result in the need for costly medical care, and some injury victims' lives are changed forever due to their accidents.
Were you or a family member injured in an accident involving an elevated deer stand? If so, contact our office for a free review of your case with attorneys who have experience prosecuting these cases.
Recalled Defective Tree Stands
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been several recalls of tree stands since 2009.
The following tree stand manufacturers and models of tree stands have been recalled:
- Helios Tree Stand: 2,000 – Sold at Dunham's Sports and Gander Mountain, the metal joints on the stand posed a risk if hunters put their weight on it and it broke during use. The grating on the chains and feet could also break when weight was applied.
- Summit Tree Stands Company: 12,000+ – Sold at retailers such as Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, hunters could fall when climbing up or down from a tree stand because the steps were not sturdy enough to hold their weight.
- Cabela's Aluminum Climbing Tree Stand: 5,000+ – These stands failed to hold the weight of hunters and posed a risk of falling when they were climbed. The spring-loaded latches that attached the stand to the tree were defective and kept opening, allowing hunters to fall while ascending or descending from their stand.
For more information on recalled defective tree stands, contact our office for a free case review.
Cabela's Tree Stand Defects -- $12 Million Settlement
According to USA Today, Cabela's (operated by Bass Pro Shop) had amassed thousands of injury claims in recent years due to sharp edges on the crossbow that held the hunter's feet when they were seated.
The design defect of sharp edges of the stand led to cuts and puncture wounds for hunters, creating a risk of infection if their injuries were untreated.
Cabela's originally blamed customers for not following instructions that warned about the dangers of wearing heavy boots while using the stand but eventually made changes to prevent future accidents from occurring.
However, Cabela's was held accountable and paid out $12 million in settlements over the past decade to people harmed by defectively designed tree stands sold at their sporting goods stores nationwide.
If you sustained injuries caused by Cabela's defective hunting equipment, contact an attorney at our firm now for a free legal consultation to discuss filing a case about your defective equipment.
Tree Stand Accidents by the Numbers
There are hundreds of emergency room visits every year caused by hunting injuries involving elevated stands without safety harnesses stored safely in the event of an accident.
Thousands of defective tree stand injury claims filed annually with the Consumer Product Safety Commission involve injuries where hunters lost their balance and fell to the ground.
These defective deer stand accidents can lead to disfigurement, traumatic brain injury (TBI), closed head injury (CHI), lacerations, puncture wounds, broken bones, fractures, nerve damage, paralysis, and death.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in any hunting accident involving elevated stands without safety harnesses stored properly close to hand during use, contact our firm for a free case review now. A deer stand defect lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses.
Broken Bones and Other Injuries Caused by a Defective Deer Stand
The stands used by deer hunters keep them out of sight by elevating them above their prey. Unfortunately, falls from the heights provided by these stands can result in serious injuries. Our Illinois deer stand injury lawyers have noted that these injuries can even be more serious and frequent than accidental gunshot wounds.
Some of the injuries that can result from the use of defective hunting gear include the following:
- Fractures and shattered bones: Compound fractures can be more difficult to treat properly and require surgical procedures to align the bones with healing.
- Internal bleeding and damage: A fall from a significant height can result in internal injuries that are not always immediately apparent. Broken ribs, a collapsed lung, or damage to internal organs are only some examples.
- Injuries resulting from constriction or restraint: There are instances in which harnesses or belts overtighten when a person falls, resulting in painful injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Following a blow to the head during a fall: As more is becoming known about TBIs, it is more important than ever to have yourself tested if you have suffered head injuries. Symptoms of these injuries do not always manifest themselves right away, and the long-term impact can include extensive neurological disorders or the loss of cognitive function.
- Injuries to the neck or back: Can result in partial, temporary, or permanent paralysis from the location of the injury downward. Receiving the news that you will never walk again can cause emotional distress, and the cost of caring for someone who has been paralyzed is well into millions of dollars over a lifetime.
- Wrongful death: Did a manufacturing defect result in the death of your loved one? If so, you may recover damages for the loss of any financial contributions they were making to your family as well as for the emotional suffering your family must endure.
Hunting Accidents Involving Tree Stands Resulting in Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are extremely serious, even when caused by defective deer stand accidents where the victim does not lose consciousness. The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be devastating, and they increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia later in life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most traumatic brain injury cases go undiagnosed because only one-quarter of people who suffer from them seek medical attention.
People with mild head injuries may also believe that they do not need to report their symptoms because the damage is minimal, but this is never true with TBI.
Product Liability and Your Rights Following a Hunting Stand Injury
The law provides protections to consumers in that negligence does not need to be proven in product liability cases. The deer stand manufacturers are legally responsible if defective or poorly made products injure consumers when used as intended.
Were you injured because the deer stand you were using did not perform its intended function? If so, you can bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer to recover the cost of your medical bills, incidental costs, and the value of your lost wages and pain and suffering.
Hiring a Hunting Stand Defect Lawyer Who Resolves Compensation Cases
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC specializes in personal injury and product liability matters and has recovered compensation for thousands of injured clients throughout the state.
If you have been injured, our law firm can help you maximize the value of your recovery so that you do not need to endure financial hardship in addition to what you are already going through.
Call a personal injury lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. Our legal team will review your legal options and learn more about your rights.
Our law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you will only pay for our legal services after successfully resolving your case through a jury trial or negotiated settlement.
All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.