The Dangers of ATVs for Children in Missouri

The Dangers of ATVs for Children in Missouri All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a fun way to pass the time in our state, especially in the springtime when the wet weather makes for muddy terrain. While we may think of these vehicles as recreational, they are still vehicles, and can cause serious injury to those who ride them. This includes children, whether riding alone or with an adult. Doctors in hospitals around Missouri see children come in more often than they should with injuries caused by ATVs. Whether the vehicle flips over while they are riding it, the ATV collides with a stationary object, or someone loses control of the vehicle and it careens into a child, these sorts of accidents are a good reminder that these vehicles are not toys, and the proper precautions should be taken when riding an ATV.

Missouri hospitals and ATV injuries

Sometimes we forget that the doctors and nurses at hospitals have to deal with injuries of all sorts from all different types of people, including children. There is a mental toll that comes from having to see children injured and in pain. At Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital emergency room, they have seen plenty of people walk past their doors with injuries from ATV accidents.

Since 2020, 80 children have visited the hospital with ATV accident injuries. One parent brought his 14-year-old son in after suffering an ATV accident at his friend’s farm. The teenager suffered from a severe laceration to his leg that nearly killed him. It took many skin grafts to save him, and after that, he needed many months of rehabilitation.

In 2020, Missouri state troopers reported that nearly 250 people were injured from ATV accidents, with 23 dying from their accidents. Kent Shannon, who works for the University of Missouri Extension, says that “age is certainly a big contributor to accidents and driving something you’re not completely capable of operating.”

How do ATV accidents happen?

Many ATV injuries happen for reasons that could have been prevented if the driver had been using proper gear, or if the driver had followed all the safety instructions of the vehicle. With that in mind, the sorts of causes for ATV accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Head-on collisions with a fixed object
  • Lack of ATV training or driving ability
  • Operating an ATV in improper conditions
  • Reckless driving

If you or your child suffered injuries from an ATV accident due to someone’s negligence, then you may be eligible to file a lawsuit in order to cover the costs of your health care bills, damages, lost income, and your pain and suffering.

What injuries happen from St. Louis ATV accidents?

There are a whole host of injuries one can suffer when involved in an accident with an ATV. The vehicles can weigh 500 pounds or more, which is enough to crush a person and leave severe injuries, if the person even survives the initial accident. Some of the injuries include:

  • Broken bones. Bones can be broken or fractured straight across the bone or into many splintered pieces. Depending on the severity of the break, the broken bone may require surgery or implants.
  • Crushing injuries. When excessive pressure is put on a body part, the bones, muscles, organs and other tissues are crushed and damaged. This sort of injury can lead to fractures, bleeding, internal bleeding, and organ damage.
  • Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when the head is hit by an object or experiences a violent jolt. When the brain is jostled forcefully, it can cause bruises and abrasions, leading to possible internal bleeding and swelling. These injuries often occur in ATV accidents when the rider is not wearing a helmet.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can have severe effects on the entire body, as the spinal cord is the main thoroughfare for the nervous system. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can result in paralysis. A complete SCI means there is no feeling or sensation in the body below the point of the injury. An incomplete SCI means there is still some feeling and function of the body below the point of the injury.
  • Wrongful death. Too often, ATV accidents cause deaths. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “of the 15,250 total ATV-related fatalities recorded over the three-and-a-half decades, 3,315 (21.7%) were children 15 and younger. Of those, 1,450 (43.7%, and 9.5% of the overall total) were younger than 12.”

How can a St. Louis ATV injury lawyer help?

If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless actions, you’re likely eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. You can file a premises liability claim if you were injured on someone else’s property, and you may file a product liability lawsuit if the ATV itself was defective and caused your injury.

By filing a claim, you can ensure that all of your injuries and damages are covered financially. At The Hayden Law Firm are dedicated to ensuring the negligent party is held accountable, and we work to recover :

  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental or emotional distress
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Property damage
  • Rehabilitation and therapy expenses

All-terrain vehicles are fun, but they come with risks. We take risks every day, but we often prepare for them. When we get in a car, we buckle up, we make sure the vehicle is safe with yearly inspections, and there are airbags to help as well. However, even when we do take every precaution on a day out on ATVs, we cannot account for everything, like the negligence and carelessness of others. If you or your child were injured in an ATV accident, contact the injury attorneys  at The Hayden Law Firm by calling us at 314-480-3100 or filling out our contact form. We are based in St. Louis, Missouri, but our firm proudly serves clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.