Pop Star Britney Spears’ niece – her sister, Jamie Lynn Spear’s daughter – 8-year-old Maddie, is in critical condition after an ATV accident on February 5, 2017. According to a report on TMZ, the girl was underwater for several minutes after an ATV she was riding overturned. The report states the girl was riding a Polaris ATV in Kentwood, La. during a hunting expedition. TMZ also obtained an instruction manual for the ATV model the 8-year-old was riding, which confirms that no child under the age of 10 should be allowed in those ATVs
Jamie Lynn Spears was apparently not with her daughter at the time of the accident. Maddie was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Her grandfather, Jamie Spears, told E! News that the public should keep the girl in their prayers. Late last year, Britney Spears posts a few images of Maddie on social media during family outings and shared her pride over the girl’s accomplishments in school.
Our heart goes out to the Spears family during this difficult time. We wish Maddie the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
ATV Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2015, there were about 97,200 ATV-related, emergency department-treated injuries in the United States. About 28 percent of those involved children below 16 years of age. As of Dec. 31, 2015, CPSC staff received reports of 14,129 ATV-related fatalities between 1982 and 2015. The agency got reports of 340 ATV-related fatalities in 2015. As of August 2016, the Consumer Federation of America said it documented 335 this year involving ATVs, which was a 10 percent increase over the previous year at the time.
Potential Product Liability Issues
All we know at this point is that the girl was riding a Polaris ATV. Polaris has faced lawsuits in the past over the poor design of its vehicles that are prone to rollovers, particularly in rough terrain. It is not clear if the defective design or a manufacturing issue might have caused Maddie’s ATV to roll over. If that was the case, the manufacturer can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused.
Victims of ATV accidents, particularly children, tend to suffer catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage, which could leave them permanently injured or disabled for life. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of rehabilitative treatment, vocational training, permanent injuries, disabilities, lost future income, and pain and suffering. An experienced product liability lawyer will be able to help victims and families navigate the process and secure the compensation that they need during this difficult time.