During this time of year, adults and children alike love to participate in different Halloween and Autumn activities, including haunted hayrides. However, what many people fail to realize is how dangerous riding on a hay wagon can be. Miami hay ride injury lawyer Prosper Shaked explains more about hayride dangers in Florida.
Are Hayrides Dangerous?
While hayrides can be an excellent activity to do during the Halloween season, they can also be dangerous. A hayride consists of a tractor and a hay wagon linked together by a hitch. Once coupled, the cart is filled with blocks of hay which people use as seats. Many hay wagons lack safety features, such as sturdy walls and safety chains to prevent accidental falls. If a person falls from the cart, he or she can sustain severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
Additionally, these rides are extremely heavy. The combined weight of a tractor and a hay wagon can surpass the 10,000lb mark. If any rider accidentally falls off the front side of a moving hay wagon, they could suffer from devastating injuries if they are run over by the wagon or another tractor.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of hayrides is the lack of federal regulation. As of today, there is no federal law governing the way hayrides should work. Furthermore, no federal agency has investigated or researched statistics regarding hayride accidents in the U.S. All the regulations and laws come from state and local governments. You would expect state laws to regulate things like background checks, permits, and licenses to operate these short-term businesses. However, many states lack the necessary procedures and regulations to oversee hayride operations.
Unfortunately, the lack of regulation and state enforcement has lead to numerous hayride accidents in the U.S. These accidents have been responsible for devastating, lasting injuries, and even wrongful death.
Most of these highly-publicized accidents happen due to negligence. In such cases, hayride accident victims can obtain compensation from the at-fault party by filing a personal injury claim.
Florida Hayride Accidents
In recent years, the state of Florida has seen several devastating hayride accidents. In July 2013, eleven out of twenty-seven children on a hayride had to be transported to the hospital after a hayride accident in Pensacola. The accident took place when the arm attaching the trailer to the tractor broke. The wagon rear-ended the tractor, which caused the tractor to overturn. The incident required ambulance transportation and medical treatment for all children involved.
In 2017, a man ran over a 5-year old boy during a hayride accident on White Oaks Boulevard in Bay County, FL. The hayride driver was pulling a trailer full of hay bails and kids when the victim fell off the front of the trailer and was run over.
These kinds of accidents demonstrate the risk of death and serious injury in hayride accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in a hayride accident, it is important to talk to someone about your injuries. First, you should always seek medical attention for serious injuries. After your injuries begin to heal, you should also consider speaking to an attorney about the potential of filing a lawsuit against the negligent hayride operators or the owner of a poorly-maintained tractor.
Common Injuries in Hayride Accidents
As you can see, hayrides are not as safe as many would think. Many hayride accidents lead to serious, potentially life-altering injuries, including the following:
Head injuries can be extremely dangerous, especially when falling from the height of a hayride trailer. Hay riders are seated four to five feet from the ground while traveling on a hay wagon. If they fall from the wagon’s platform, they could suffer head injuries capable of causing traumatic brain injuries or death.
Back injuries can be particularly severe due to the fact that the spine and spinal cord are vulnerable to serious injuries from falling on your back. Landing on your spine can break vertebrae and sever the spinal cord, potentially leading to devastating health issues such as paralysis.
Tractors and wagons are extremely heavy. If a person falls and gets run over, they can sustain severe crush injuries that could take months or years to heal fully. Unfortunately, a crushing injury can break bones which can splinter and puncture vital organs. A serious crush injury could leave you without function in your arm or leg if it was run over by a heavy tractor or hayride wagon.
Personal Injury Lawyer Helping Hayride Accident Victims in Miami, Florida
Healing from a devastating injury can be overwhelming. Few things can compare to the suffering the victims and their families have to endure after a traumatic accident. However, you don’t have to go through this situation on your own. There are ways you may be able to obtain compensation from the responsible parties. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we dedicate our legal practice to aggressively and strategically pursuing justice for all of our clients. If you or a loved one was injured during a hayride accident, we can help. For a free, confidential consultation call Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676.