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Four juveniles injured in ATV crash in Prince George County

Virtually everyone in Virginia understands that a person must be 16 years and three months old to obtain a driver's license and that the minimum age for a learner's permit is 15 years and six months. But, what about ATVs? Virginia law prohibits anyone under the age of 16 from operating an ATV, but the statute does not require a license. These laws will be under scrutiny following a recent ATV accident where three juveniles suffered serious injuries.

Two ATVs collided in a field in Prince George County. The people operating the ATVs were all under 16, according to police. One of the children was only 9 years old. The two juveniles who were seriously injured were taken to VCU Medical Center, where they were described as being in serious but stable condition.

The cause of the collision is being investigated by police, but the circumstances of the accident may not be as important as the issue of supervision. Apparently, none of the children was old enough to legally operate an ATV. The owners of the ATVs have not been identified. Under Virginia law, the owner or the person in possession of an ATV has a duty to ensure that no underage children operate them. Early reports indicate that the police investigation could raise serious questions about whether the vehicle's owners or custodians took appropriate steps to prevent the children from operating the vehicles.

The failure to adequately supervise and control vehicles, such as ATVs, may give rise to liability for any damages caused by underage use of the vehicles. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in an ATV or car accident caused by underage use may wish to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for an evaluation of the evidence in the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages.

Source: wric.com, "Police investigating after young kids on adult ATVs crash in Prince George County," Sept. 16 2017

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