All-terrain vehicle-related injuries are a huge problem across the United States, and we see more children affected than adults. According to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the major risk factors for young riders also are entirely preventable.

Their studies show that the injuries children sustain from ATV-related accidents are frequently more severe than injuries received from motor vehicle crashes.

Researchers reviewed data from 16 published studies conducted from 2000 to 2010 on the epidemiology and risk factors among ATV-related injuries in American children.

Data from 2013, the most recent reporting year from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, showed that there were an estimated 99,600 ATV-related injuries in the United States that required at least emergency department treatment. Of those, approximately 25 percent were in children under 16.

The factors that appear related to the relatively high rates of death and injury for children are more powerful machines, younger drivers and lack of safety equipment and risky driving behavior. The most common causes for ATV injuries among young riders are vehicle rollover, collision with a stationary object and ejection from the vehicle.

One of the biggest dangers is when children are given free rein to use an adult-sized machine, like an ATV. The truth is that ATVs are often driven by children too young for a driver’s license, and allowing them access to these machines that are prone to flipping over and rolling is just not a good idea. It is very easy for kids to lose control of these machines, as ATVs can reach speeds above 50 MPH. Most parents would not allow their child to drive a car at that speed, and cars are outfitted with airbags and seat belts, where ATVs are not.

ATV accident victims can suffer severe injuries and even wrongful death. Traumatic brain injuries are common for ATV accident victims, and these injuries usually require long-term medical care.

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Nearly two dozen visitors to Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland, were stuck on a roller coaster when it stalled Thursday.

A spokesman for Prince George’s County Fire Department said firefighters rescued all riders on board the Joker’s Jinx coaster four hours after crews arrived to rescue them.

Six Flags issued a statement about the incident:

Joker’s Jinx did not complete its regular ride cycle causing it to stop at a safe location on the track. The Prince George’s County Fire Department is onsite to assist in getting the riders safely off the ride. The safety of our guests is our highest priority and the ride will be closed for a thorough inspection before re-opening.

The ride has had this problem before when it became stuck in 2014. The rescue took hours.

Roller coasters, while thrilling, are the most dangerous rides at amusement and theme parks. Each year, roller coaster and theme park injuries account for 9,000 emergency room visits.

If an amusement park’s negligence results in an accident, whether it be a roller coaster stalling or a slip and fall accident, injury victims may be entitled to financial compensation from the amusement park owners for their suffering.

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Former Kissimmee mayor, state lawmaker and Osceola County commission chairman Frank Attkisson was struck and killed while riding his bicycle Thursday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Attkisson, 61, was riding his bike on Kissimmee Park Road near Lake Tohopekaliga Road about 7 p.m. Thursday, when he was struck from behind by a Hyundai Elantra.

Attkisson was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The Hyundai’s driver was not injured.

The crash is under investigation.

After serving on the Kissimmee Planning Advisory Board, Attkisson was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Commission in 1990 and elected mayor in 1996. He was credited with enhancing the municipal airport, creating a reading program for students and pioneering a community-sponsored charter school.

Attkisson was elected to the state House in 2000 and re-elected three times, prior to returning to local government when he won a seat on the Osceola County Commission in 2010. He was elected to chair the commission in 2012, but was one of two incumbents ousted by challengers in 2014.

Bicycling has always been a popular form of recreation for Florida residents. Because of the mostly warm year-round climate, many Florida residents turn to bikes as an alternative form of transportation outside of passenger vehicles. However, due to the design of Florida’s roadways, bicyclists are extremely vulnerable to cars and other vehicles. It is not uncommon for bicyclists to be involved in automotive collisions.

A bike is no match for a passenger vehicle, SUV or truck. If someone you care for was killed in a bicycle accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. A Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you explore your legal options.

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Shaquille O’Neal has bought new furniture for the family of a 5-year-old Atlanta girl who survived a dog attack that left another child dead.

According to reports, the girl returned home this week after being hospitalized since the Jan. 17 attack. The two children were walking to a bus stop when they were attacked by two dogs. One died from his injuries. The dogs’ owner has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

O’Neal met the family at an Atlanta furniture store and picked up the tab for new items. The family said that the former NBA star and current TNT analyst has been involved with the family since the attack.

This may come as a surprise, but nearly 4.7 million Americans are attacked by dogs every year. These attacks result in 800,000 people requiring medical treatment for their injuries. Sadly, the dog attacks that result in fatalities usually involve innocent children.

It is true that most dogs go through their lives without delivering harm to anyone. However, most does not mean all and traumatic dog attacks do happen. If a victim survives a dog attack, they are usually left to deal with painful, permanent scarring to the face and body.

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Drivers should anticipate an increase in motorcycle traffic on Florida roads, as thousands of motorcyclists ride into Daytona for the 76th annual Daytona Bike Week March 10-19.

With that said, Florida has the most motorcycle crash fatalities in the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the most recent crash data, Florida saw a 30 percent increase in motorcycle deaths in 2015, the highest on record. Motorcyclists accounted for 20 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in the state, yet motorcycles account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles. In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on Florida roads.

The top counties for motorcycle fatalities are:

  1. Miami-Dade
  2. Hillsborough
  3. Broward
  4. Palm Beach
  5. Pinellas
  6. Lee
  7. Orange
  8. Duval
  9. Brevard
  10. Pasco
  11. Polk
  12. Volusia

Motorcyclists lack the protection offered to drivers of cars and trucks. Collisions that would cause minor injuries to a car or truck driver can be fatal to motorcyclists. That is why the fatality rate for motorcyclists in accidents is six times the fatality rate for passenger vehicle occupants.

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Manzana Products Co. Inc. is voluntarily recalling three different types of Trader Joe’s apple sauces because of the potential presence of glass pieces.

The three applesauces recalled are:

  1. Trader Joe’s All Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  2. Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  3. Trader Joe’s First Crush Gravenstein Unsweetened Apple Sauce

Each apple sauce is packaged in a 24-ounce glass jar, and customers can find the “best before” date stamped on the top of the lid.

The recall was initiated after the company received customer reports of glass found in some of these products.

The company said that all products have been removed from store shelves and destroyed.

Customers who have purchased the products listed above should not consume them. They may return them to Trader Joe’s for a full refund or throw them away.

Call Manzana Products Co. Inc. at 707-823-5313 with any questions.

Swallowing glass can pose serious health concerns. Sharp foreign objects, like glass, can cause laceration, puncture or other physical injury to someone’s teeth, jaw, tongue, perioral tissue, pharynx or esophagus. Once swallowed, glass or any foreign body can also cause injuries to the stomach, intestine or rectum while passing through the lower gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, the foreign matter cannot be passed and requires surgery.

Another concern of swallowing a foreign object, like glass, is the choking hazard. If a shard of glass is caught in a person’s throat, this can result in hypoxic brain injury or asphyxia related death.

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A cruise ship passenger alleges he was injured after he slipped and fell near the food court on the ship.

The man filed a suit on Feb. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Celebrity Cruises Inc. alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that on Nov. 9, 2015, while aboard the cruise ship, he slipped and fell while walking on a slippery area near the food court. As a result, he alleges he suffered pain, loss of earnings and incurred medical expenses.

The man holds Celebrity Cruises Inc. responsible because they failed to conduct routine inspections of the area, failed to warn passengers of wet or contaminated floor surface and failed to establish, implement and enforce policies and procedures regarding the proper maintenance of the area.

Cruise lines are responsible for warning passengers of known dangers, however they are not required to warn of open and obvious dangers. Open and obvious dangers are those that should be obvious to a passenger using common sense. When slapped with a slip and fall claim, cruise lines will often use this defense to claim the cruise ship had no duty to warn its passengers of the obvious danger.  The success of this defense depends on the unique circumstances of the case and the injuries involved.

Our Florida Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that slip, trip and falls suffered aboard a cruise ship can leave you in great pain and unable to go back to work to earn a living. These cases can be complex, which is why you need knowledgeable representation to go up against the cruise ship industry.

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A Kentucky woman claims a slippery deck near a hot tub on a Miami-based cruise ship caused her to fall.

The woman filed a complaint on Feb. 13 against Carnival Corp., doing business as Carnival Cruise Lines Inc., alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the woman claims that on Feb. 26, 2016, she suffered serious physical injuries when she slipped and fell while exiting the Jacuzzi onboard the Carnival Fascination. She holds Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. responsible because they failed to warn the her regarding the slippery surface while exiting the Jacuzzi.

If you were injured in a cruise ship accident, you are not alone. Countless cruise ship passengers are injured every year, usually do to the negligence of a cruise line or its employees. Sadly, most of these injuries are 100 percent preventable. Slip, trip and fall accidents make up the majority of these incidents, resulting in a plethora of injuries including head injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. In most cruise ship slip, trip and fall cases, financial compensation can be sought by filing a personal injury claim.

While there are numerous ways a slip, trip and fall accident can occur, negligence is usually a contributing factor. The key to gaining a successful outcome for your claim, is proving negligence and showing that the negligence caused injuries to the victim.

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A preliminary settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit filed against Kane’s Furniture that accused the store of failing to honor lifetime warranties for defective “bonded leather” furniture that peeled, flaked and deteriorated.

Notices to about 15,000 customers who purchased the furniture were put in the mail starting Friday providing details and asking them to submit claims by April 11 for full or partial refunds or store credits, according to court records.

Kane’s admits no wrongdoing in the settlement. It has blamed the Mississippi manufacturer that sold the furniture to Kane’s for defects and the inconvenience caused to customers. Kane’s actually filed a suit against that manufacturer in a case that was later settled.

A Kane’s spokeswoman said they are happy to settle the suit and would have never purchased the product if they had known it was inferior or defective.

Anyone who complained to Kane’s about problems with the furniture within a year of purchase is eligible for a 100 percent refund of the purchase price or a store credit, documents show. Anyone who complained after a year — but no later than two years — is eligible for a 50 percent refund or a credit valued at 100 percent of the purchase price.

Additionally, Kane’s has agreed to pay up to $2.5 million to those customers who did not complain within two years and others who never complained, ranging from 5 percent to 100 percent of the purchase price, depending on when the furniture was purchased, the claims notice says. That will be paid out in the form of a 60 percent store credit and a 40 percent cash payout.

Any payment made to Kane’s for furniture repair counts toward the refund or credit, the settlement says. Customers who have already received an exchange, credit or refund are not eligible for additional payments or credits.

The settlement involves furniture sold from July 27, 2010, through Dec. 5, 2016. At issue was furniture manufactured by Southern Motion Inc. using bonded leather, a synthetic, processed leather like substance that contains less than 17 percent actual leather.

When a product does not live up to its promise or it causes injury due to a bad design or manufacturing defect, the manufacturer is responsible. Manufacturers have a duty to design their products and test them to industry standards. If they know of any hidden or potential dangers, they must warn consumers. They must also stand behind their product, so if they know of a design flaw, they must make sure consumers are aware. In most defective products cases, large numbers of consumers experience similar issues due to the same design flaw.

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A Carnival passenger alleges he was injured because he slipped on a deck that was wet with rain.

The man filed a complaint on Jan. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Carnival Corp. alleging negligence.

According to the lawsuit, the man alleges that he sustained physical injuries when he accidentally slipped and fell due to a deck wet because of rain. The man holds Carnival Corp. responsible because they failed to warn the man of the hazardous condition of the lido deck.

All areas on a cruise ship that see a high volume of foot traffic must be must be free of dangers, and that includes any wet or slick surfaces that could result in slip, trip or fall injuries. Cruise line companies could be responsible for slip, trip and fall accidents that occur because of hazards employees create. Dangerous or hazardous conditions include slick or slippery surfaces and a failure to warn passengers of the wet area or failing to undertake reasonable safety precautions.

If a cruise line creates a dangerous condition or does not work to remedy the situation in a reasonable amount of time, they could be liable for all injuries they have caused. This negligence on the cruise ship’s part could mean you are entitled to recover financial compensation for your injuries.

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