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Riding ATVs Can Result in Injury, Death and Civil Liability

Unfortunately, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents are more common than you think.

When a 13-year-old Florida resident went for a ride on a friend’s ATV, she crashed into a tree and later died. Her parents brought a negligence lawsuit against the owners of the ATV and their son, who allowed the girl to ride the vehicle. At trial, the court awarded the girl’s family $3.6 million in damages from the young boy and his parents. In 2011, there were more than 107,500 ATV-related injuries treated in emergency rooms across the country and 327 ATV-related deaths.

Under the doctrine of negligent entrustment, Florida courts can hold parents liable when they entrust a child with a dangerous object that, due to the child’s age or inexperience, results in physical harm to others. This applies to objects such as weapons, as well as cars and ATVs. Therefore, children can cause their parents to be civilly liable for physical harm resulting from the use of an ATV. This may include monetary compensation for property damage, medical bills or even wrongful death.

If you find yourself the victim of an ATV crash, contact an experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney to assess your case. You may have a strong claim against the ATV owner, vendor or manufacturer. Further, you may have a lawsuit against the landowner where the accident occurred. At the Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A., we fight for the fullest compensation in your case.

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