I know ATV enthusiasts are likely to go out riding when the weather gets warmer — but as a Missouri ATV accident attorney, I also know that their ATVs aren’t always safe. Unfortunately, that was the case with an ATV accident that has a southwest Missouri town grieving for an elementary school principal. Leasha DeCamp, 41, died April 4 of injuries she sustained in an ATV accident two days earlier, when she hit a bump and was ejected from the vehicle. DeCamp, 41, was the principal of Hubble Elementary School in Marshfield and a married mother of two who lived in Webster County. A funeral is scheduled for Friday at Marshfield High School, from which she graduated in 1988.
According to the Marshfield Mail, DeCamp was riding a 2011 Arctic Cat ATV in her own driveway when the accident took place. Around 4 p.m., the ATV reportedly hit a bump in the driveway and ejected DeCamp from the vehicle. She was unresponsive when emergency medical workers arrived. Emergency workers airlifted her to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, where she was listed in critical condition for two days. Reports said she was on life support with a serious brain injury. A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper said DeCamp was not wearing a helmet, but that helmets are not required for adults operating ATVs on their own property. She was the only person on the ATV.
As a St. Louis ATV accident lawyer, I know all too well that Missouri ATV safety laws do not require helmets for most adults. State law requires helmets for people 18 and under, and for all riders when they use public roads. However, ATVs are designed for off-road use, which means adult riders aren’t required to wear helmets in most situations. It’s unclear whether a helmet would have helped DeCamp, but safety studies of motorcycle helmets find helmets effective at preventing or reducing the kind of head trauma that she reportedly had. The designs of certain ATVs pose several other safety problems. In addition to lacking a seatbelt or other restraint mechanism, ATVs are sometimes designed with a perilously high center of gravity, increasing the chances of a life-threatening rollover crash during ordinary use.
Carey, Danis & Lowe represents clients throughout Missouri and southern Illinois who believe their ATV accidents were caused or exacerbated by safety flaws. As with any consumer product, ATV manufacturers are legally required to ensure that their products are safe to use as directed, and free of design or safety flaws. If they fail to do this, or warn customers about a foreseeable risk, they can be held legally responsible for any resulting injuries. Our southern Illinois ATV accident attorneys have substantial experience in this area of the law and have followed ATV safety since the toll of death and injuries began rising. We help ATV accident victims claim financial compensation from manufacturers who sold them an unsafe product, which can help cover the costs of medical treatment and any necessary ongoing care.
If your family has suffered an ATV crash that you believe was caused by a flawed design, you should call Carey, Danis & Lowe to discuss your case. To set up a free, confidential case evaluation, send us an email or call today at 1-877-678-3400.