Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC
No Fees Unless We Win Free Consultation
608-406-2282 866-821-1345
Serving Injured And Disabled Clients In Minnesota and Wisconsin

Wisconsin ATV riders at risk for fatal accidents, experts say

As the weather warms in the La Crosse area, the number of people engaged in recreational activities such as boating, motorcycle riding and all-terrain vehicle use also goes up. There are safety measures which can be taken, such as wearing life jackets or helmets -- but not everyone follows safety guidelines.

For ATV riders in Wisconsin, a license is required and children under the age of 12 are not permitted to operate an ATV independently. However, riders are frequently younger than that. Experts have indicated that the increased use of ATVs for farming and for recreational uses has resulted in an increase in fatal accidents.

According to news sources, five children were treated for ATV injuries at a Lafayette County hospital in the past two months and a 9-year-old boy was fatally injured. The Safe Kids Coalition reported that approximately 130 children die and 40,000 children are seriously injured in accidents related to ATV use.

One cannot assume that all of these children were operating the ATVs. Many of them were probably passengers. If a passenger is injured in an ATV accident due to negligence, such as speed or unsafe operation, the injured passenger could hold the operator liable for damages including pain and suffering. If these are family members riding together, civil litigation may not be pursued.

A current gap in Wisconsin state law does not require any training or safety equipment for children operating ATVs on family farms. It was not reported how many of the injuries in Wisconsin occurred on farms, compared to recreational injuries.

Some believe that the ATV operator law should be the same age as for driving a car -- 16 years old -- due to the physical and mental requirements of safe operation. It seems clear that the risk is present in either case.

Source:, "UW Health reports increased number of ATV injuries," May 10, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

The Mission Starts With A Free Consultation

We handle most cases on a contingency basis. We will not ask you to pay any fees unless we are successful in getting you compensation. If you have questions or would like to learn more about how we can help you, call us at 608-406-2282, or toll free at 866-821-1345. You can also reach us by completing our online contact form to discuss your case with an experienced La Crosse personal injury attorney.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC
123 7th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

Toll Free: 866-821-1345
Phone: 608-406-2282
Fax: 608-784-4908
La Crosse Law Office Map