Fatal Off-Road Dirt Bike Accident Provides Warning of Unsafe Property Boundary Markers
As summer approaches, your kids may be making plans for summer recreation which include riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or dirt bike. While most Georgia businesses that operate tracks or off-road courses for motocross bikes or ATV's require a waiver be signed prior to using the facility, this does not necessarily insulate the company from liability when they act recklessly in maintaining the premises. Because dirt bike accidents and ATV crashes can result in serious and even permanent injuries like crushed bones, spinal cord or disc injuries, head trauma, perforation of internal organs and other debilitating injuries, it is imperative that property owners who provide facilities for such activities take reasonable steps to prevent increasing the probability of a serious accident.
A recent fatal dirt bike accident involving a 15-year-old boy in Hephzibah, GA offers a tragic example. The boy suffered fatal injuries when he collided with a metal cable that was used to mark the boundary between the facility and an adjacent property. The metal cable hit the front forks of the bike and was propelled up over the handlebars until it struck the boy in the neck and forced him to be thrown from the dirt bike. While the boy was able to walk home, his medical condition deteriorated shortly thereafter, and he died because of collapsed lungs and a crushed trachea.
While it is not clear whether the boy's parents will file a wrongful death action, this tragedy may have been easily preventable had more visible barriers been in place to mark the boundary line. When a driver of an off-road bike or ATV is moving at 35-65 mph with a helmet face shield obstructing his vision, it is hardly surprising that a rider would not see a small cable without warning signs. When reviewing the safety hazard presented by using a cable, wire, chain or rope to mark the boundaries of off-road riding facilities, the Department of Public Safety indicates, "These barriers can be difficult to see."
If your kids have been injured while riding an off-road motorcycle or ATV, he or she may be entitled to financial compensation. Because the execution of waivers is common when riders engage in these types of activities, it is imperative that you obtain legal representation promptly so that an investigation can be conducted to determine whether the property owner can be held liable notwithstanding execution of a waiver.
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