Labor Day in the United States is a day when families come together, fire up the grill and enjoy basking in the heat, before the cold of winter hits. Here in Southern California, the temperatures rarely dip below the low 70s, which is why many choose to ditch the barbecue and partake in other activities with friends and family on Labor Day. One of the most common activities is hitting Oceano Dunes and tearing across the sand in an ATV.
Unfortunately, every year a handful of those celebrating Labor Day at the dunes will suffer from broken bones, concussions, and spinal cord injuries. It was only 5 years ago when a story about Tyler Schilhabel, a student from Independence High School in Bakersfield, took a 30 foot tumble down a dune after he had lost control of his ATV. The 16 year old quarterback was ejected from the ATV and as a result is paralyzed from the chest down.
Determining Fault in a Spinal Cord Incident
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, recreational activities such as ATV-related injuries only account for 7.6% of spinal cord injuries. The three leading causes behind spinal cord injuries are:
- Motor vehicle accidents (42.1% of spinal cord injuries)
- Falls (26.7% of spinal cord injuries)
- Acts of violence (15.1% of spinal cord injuries)
In any of the above categories, the spinal cord injury may be the result of two reasons:
- Defective products
In Schilhabel’s case, it was determined that mechanical failure did not contribute to him losing control of his ATV. In other situations, however, a defective or dangerous product such as an air bag or a faulty seat belt could result in compensation for a victim.
Negligence could have been a contributing factor to Schilhabel’s injury. If another ATV crashed or bumped into his, they may be held accountable for his injuries. Being chased or feeling threatened by another rider may put partial or full blame on someone else.
Significant Injuries Require Legal Counsel
Apart from seeking the best medical treatment available, if you or a loved one have suffered an injury as significant as a spinal cord injury, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney.
At Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP, we offer free initial consultations to help you decide whether you have a claim and what the likely outcomes of that claim may be. We invite you to arrange for a hassle-free no pressure consultation with one of our expert personal injury attorney’s today at (310) 273-1230.