Many people are seriously injured each year either by or on public transportation, also referred to as “common carriers”. A common carrier is an individual or organization that charges to carry passengers as a part of a business operation that is open to the public. Mule trains such as those used in the Grand Canyon are considered common carriers as their purpose is to carry paying passengers as a part of a tour.
The mules used in mule trains are carefully selected for temperament, strength and endurance. They are also trained by the guides so that they are well-adapted to the work they do. However, being animals, mules are unpredictable at times making riding a mule risky. It only takes something as seemingly harmless as a small wild animal crossing the path of a mule that is carrying a passenger to cause a serious accident in which the passenger is thrown off the mule and injured.
In 1996, a teenaged boy helping lead a group on a wagon trip was seriously injured when the mules he was holding broke free and dragged a wagon over him. The animals were startled by a truck that approached from behind. During the spring of 2009, a 66-year old woman sustained severe injuries when the mule she was riding in the Grand Canyon lost its footing and fell. The animal rolled over the woman. The woman suffered several broken bones and fractured two vertebrae.
Many mule train accidents happen because the mules lose their footing wherein they stumble, fall down or stop suddenly. Often times when someone is injured in this type of accident, the mule they were riding on has tripped over something such as a rock or root of a tree, sending the passenger flying off the animal.
Seeing that mule trains traverse in the wild along rough trails, there are many things that a mule can stumble on, making mule riding risky. If a mule were to lose its footing along a steep cliff, the passenger could very easily fall off the animal and plunge to his or her death.
Among the most common injuries suffered in mule train accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries including traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a mule train accident, you should seek the assistance of an experienced California personal injury attorney. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine who or what caused it. In order to win a lawsuit, you must be able to identify the individual or entity that is responsible for your injuries.
Often times, the responsible party in a mule train accident is the tour operator. Sometimes tour guide operators running mule trains neglect to have their passengers sign waivers to release the operators from liability in case an accident happens. In this type of situation the tour operator could be found negligent wherein anyone hurt on a tour can claim compensation.
The personal injury attorneys at Hogan Injury have the experience, expertise and resources needed to help you get the compensation you are legally entitled to so you can secure your future. We understand how serious injuries change lives. We will work hard on your behalf to ensure you obtain a positive legal outcome.