Recently the family of Jamie Lynn Spears, actress and singer, appeared on the red carpet to celebrate the opening of Planet Hollywood in Orlando. With them was her daughter Maddie in her first appearance since her life-threatening ATV (all-terrain vehicle) accident in February.
Maddie, age 8, was riding an ATV near a drainage ditch on the family property in Louisiana when the vehicle fell into the pond. The girl was trapped underwater but fortunately ambulance services arrived within 2 minutes and succeeded in freeing the girl.
Maddie was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but has now made a complete recovery from this traumatic accident.
ATV Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries and Death
Maddie survived her accident but every year ATV accidents claim lives and cause serious injuries. Between 1982 and 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported a total of 14,129 ATV-related fatalities. Of these, more than one-fifth involved children younger than 16 years of age, including 1,380 younger than 12.
Riding an ATV off-road can be a thrilling adventure but this sport comes with many risks. The most common causes of ATV accidents include:
- Reckless driving such as speeding, doing "wheelies" and taking hands off the wheel.
- Driving under the influence which increases crash risk considerably especially in rough terrain.
- Riding on a paved road with other vehicles. ATVs have little protection for riders and, because of their relatively small size, cannot be seen by cars and trucks.
- Going off the trail into woods or swampy areas.
- Inexperienced riders or those with inadequate training.
- Young riders on ATVs that are adult-sized.
- More riders than the ATV safely holds.
- Poor ATV maintenance.
The injuries suffered by both children and adults in ATV accidents can result in life-altering, catastrophic medical issues requiring extensive treatment and ongoing rehabilitation. Common injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI), back, neck and spinal cord injuries, fractures and abdominal injuries. Sometimes the rider may not appear to be injured until symptoms surface hours or even days later.
Ride Safe To Reduce Accidents and Injuries
Florida state law requires that all riders of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) such as ATVs ages 6-15 earn a Florida OHV Safety Certificate. Young riders must be supervised by an adult.
Let Us Help if You Have Been Injured in an ATV Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in an ATV accident or in any other type of accident or personal injury, we can help! We will work hard for you and pursue compensation for damages including lost wages, medical bills, lost earnings capacity and pain and suffering. Please call The Francis Law Group for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website.