Whether you knew your child was out riding on an ATV or not, the crash came as a complete shock. If his injuries are serious, you know he needs to get to a hospital right away, but you don’t know what you need to do after that.
Should you call the police? Talk to an insurance company? Confront the owner of the ATV? Here is our advice for handling an ATV crash involving your child.
Take Care of the Most Important Thing First
ATVs can travel up to 65 miles per hour, and people drive them over rough terrain. When one crashes into a tree or flips over, the riders can suffer broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, organ damage, and disfigurement. These injuries can result in permanent disability and death.
On average, 30 percent of riders injured in ATV crashes each year in the United States are under the age of 16. If your child is in an ATV crash, you should get medical attention as soon as possible—even if his injuries do not seem serious at first. Once you have handled his medical needs, you should find out what happened in the crash.
Who Is Liable When a Child Is Injured?
Under Florida law, if a child is under the age of 16, he or she should be supervised by an adult while riding an ATV. If your child took out the family’s ATV without permission and crashed, or was injured when a parent crashed, there is no liability to consider. However, if your child was injured while riding a vehicle belonging to a friend, neighbor, or relative, the driver or owner of the ATV may be liable for your child’s injuries in the following situations:
- Your child was given permission to drive the ATV without supervision.
- Your child was not wearing a helmet and other protective gear, as required by Florida law.
- Your child was a passenger on a vehicle driven by an adult who drove recklessly or violated traffic laws.
- The ATV was not properly secured, and your child was able to take it without permission.
If another child is responsible for causing the accident, his or her parent can be held liable. A personal injury attorney will be able to give you an idea of who may be held liable for your child’s injuries. An automotive or homeowner's insurance policy may provide liability coverage for this kind of accident.
Contact Us to Learn More
When you contact the personal injury team at Browning Law Firm, we will conduct a full investigation, advise you of your child’s rights, and, if applicable, pursue a legal recovery. If your child was injured in an ATV accident in Navarre, Crestview, or Baker, please don’t hesitate to contact us in our Fort Walton Beach office.