South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Says Responsible Action Must Follow New ATV Safety Law

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Bert Louthian of the Louthian Law Firm, P.A. in Columbia, S.C., reminds ATV operators that despite ‘Chandler’s Law,’ responsibility for safety is still in their hands.

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Bert Louthian

Unfortunately, legislation does not abrogate recklessness or negligence, and in most cases, the legal responsibility for how an ATV was operated will be considered after someone has been hurt.

Bert Louthian, a noted South Carolina personal injury attorney, warned that a new state law intended to make riding ATVs safer does not relieve adults of responsibility for safe use of the off-road vehicles.

“We certainly support the tenets of ‘Chandler’s Law’ and hope to see it quickly help to reduce the number of ATV accidents, injuries and deaths in our state,” said Louthian of the Louthian Law Firm, P.A., a South Carolina accident and injury law firm with offices in Columbia. “But it’s a mistake to ignore the fact that, regardless of the law, being safe is a result of adults acting responsibly.”

“Chandler’s Law,” named for an 11-year-old from Swansea who was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in 2003, requires training for ATV riders aged 7 to 15 and the use of proper safety gear. It also requires that parents supervise children, and it bars children from riding adult-sized ATVs. The law went into effect July 1.

“Unfortunately, legislation does not abrogate recklessness or negligence, and in most cases, the legal responsibility for how an ATV was operated will be considered after someone has been hurt,” Louthian said. “Chandler’s Law can’t prevent faulty equipment either, which is a concern illustrated by the sad history of accidents attributable to the design of the Yamaha Rhino ATV.”

After approximately 120,000 Rhinos were sold over six years nationwide and previous recalls were intended to make the vehicle safer, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2009 ordered a halt in sales as the vehicles were recalled and modified.

Louthian, whose firm has represented numerous South Carolinians injured in crashes involving all types of motor vehicles, said individuals hurt in an incident involving an all-terrain vehicle, or the loved ones of someone killed in an ATV incident, have rights that should be protected.

“Don’t accept the idea that a crash is an accident that could have happened to anyone,” Louthian said. “ATV operators have a responsibility to act safely as riders and, in many cases, as vehicle owners.

“If you’ve been hurt in a wreck involving an ATV, act quickly to have an experienced legal team review the incident,” Louthian continued. “At The Louthian Law Firm, we have seen many, many cases where an ‘accident’ was somebody’s real, identifiable fault. And when that’s the case, these who are harmed deserve the kind of strong advocacy we are proud to provide.”

About The Louthian Law Firm

The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, S.C., has been obtaining fair compensation for personal injury victims since 1959. The firm was founded by Herbert Louthian, who has more than 50 years of trial experience and is licensed to practice in all courts in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm focuses on personal injury cases involving medical malpractice; car, truck and motorcycle accidents; and other serious and catastrophic injuries throughout South Carolina. For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact the firm by phone at (866) 410-5656 or through its online form.


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