When a hayride accident results in injuries, the business or individual who owns the operation may be liable for injuries and medical costs.
Hayrides can Turn Deadly
Many hayride operations are not regulated by state or city laws, so business owners of the operation must be responsible for customer safety. The law imposes a duty of safe operations on the business or individual who operates the hayride. If a customer gets injured or killed on the ride, the owner of the hayride operation may face a civil lawsuit and liabilities for the customer’s injuries or death.
Many hayrides are conducted at night, so riders can enjoy the moonlight and a starlit sky. With limited visibility, many dangers that may cause severe injuries or death are overlooked.
Overloaded wagons, loose bales of hay, low-hanging tree branches, and bumpy dirt roads cause thousands of injuries to hayride passengers each year. If the hayride takes place on a public street or road, riders face even more dangers from moving vehicles. In a recent hayride accident in Kendal County, 11 riders were seriously injured when the hayride truck travelling on a city road was hit by a moving car.
Hayride trucks and wagons are not considered common carriers by law, so operators are not held to a higher standard of safety for rider protection. However, the law does expect hayride operators to protect their riders by providing:
- Properly maintained trucks, wagons, or carriages
- Safe weight capacity on trucks, wagons, or carriages
- Trained, experienced drivers
- Safe, clear routes for hayrides
- Adequate lighting
- Prohibition of alcoholic beverages
If a hayride operations owner fails to provide these safety factors and a rider is injured during the hayride, the rider can file a lawsuit with a truck accident lawyer for his/her injuries. The hayride operations owner may be found liable due to negligent actions.
In some hayride accidents, operators claim that riders often cause their own injuries by negligent behavior such as standing up, moving about, or changing seats during the ride. Since riders are usually seated on loose bales of hay with no security straps, they are urged to remain seated while the vehicle is moving. In these situations, fault may be difficult to prove without help from a truck accident lawyer.