ATV Accident Results in Serious Injury and Criminal Charge

The Georgia injury lawyers have written before that with the growing popularity of ATV’s or All-Terrain Vehicles, serious injury and death cases are on the increase in Georgia, especially among children. Today I read about a tragic case that occurred on May 16th in South Carolina. In that case, a 15- year-old girl was riding on the seat behind her 32 year old neighbor when the neighbor lost control of the vehicle and the two were ejected. As a result, the teen sustained spinal cord injuries and is now paralyzed. According to police, the driver was operating the ATV at a high rate of speed and neither of the riders was wearing a helmet. The ATV was not designed to carry passengers. Moreover, the driver allegedly tested positive for marijuana. As a result of the accident, the driver has been criminally charged by authorities. Almost all ATV fatalities or serious injuries occur while violating one or more of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s “Rules of ATV Operation”and this case was no exception. These rules are as follows:
A. Children under sixteen should not ride adult-sized ATV (engines bigger than 90 cc’s).
B. Take a hands-on safety course.
C. Always wear a helmet while on an ATV.
D. Never drive an ATV on paved roads.
E. Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
F. Never drive an ATV with a passenger, and never ride as a passenger.
Despite these common sense rules, we continue to see children operating ATV’s and worse yet, operating them with passengers. Every new ATV that has come from the factory in recent years has a decal that warns the driver not to ride passengers. An adult who negligently rides a passenger on an ATV who is subsequently injured may subject themselves to civil liability for doing so. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured on an ATV, call the ATV injury lawyers at Finch McCranie LLP at 1 (800) 228-9159.

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