The autumn season is around the corner! Long Island is home to miles of farmland, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. However, the beauty of the fall foliage and sweet smell of freshly picked apples can mask some of the potential safety hazards that lurk behind these fall activities.
Apple and pumpkin picking are great family activities that are enjoyable for all ages. However, there are a few dangers that can arise from these activities, which include:
- Slips, trips, and falls over farm debris in uncleared pathways or over roots;
- Falls from an elevated tree; and
- Hayride wagon malfunctions, among others.
Trip, slip and fall accidents that are caused by unclear pathways, roots, and other farm debris are quite common. Many times, accidents such as these occur in corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards. The corn stalks, pumpkin vines, and apple tree roots can pose a tripping hazard, resulting in an injury.
Climbing onto a tree to reach a shiny apple at the top can be hazardous. New York State has a common law statute that is known as the “assumption of risk” statute, which states that some activities are inherently dangerous, and the individual assumes the risk in the event of an accident. The newly-passed Safety in Agricultural Tourism Act helps codify this statute. However, if the proper steps, as stated by the Act, are not taken to prevent any sort of injury, there may be some grounds for a lawsuit.
Hayrides also pose safety concerns. The wagons that are used are often unsteady and pulled by old tractors or horses. The tractor or wagon may malfunction, break, or tip over, potentially causing the passengers to suffer serious injuries. Also, if the wagon is pulled by horses, this can pose a major risk. Horses are animals with inbred behaviors that can lead to serious injuries to wagon occupants and bystanders. There has been a substantial amount of history of hayride injuries, including fatalities nationwide.
Becoming injured may not be your first thought when participating in some family-fun fall activities. However, if you or a loved one were injured while attending a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or other farmland, it is important to contact a skilled New York personal injury attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The attorneys at Levine & Slavit, PLLC have over 60 years of experience representing clients in personal injury actions, including Long Island farm accidents. With law offices conveniently located in Long Island and New York City, Levine & Slavit, PLLC represents clients throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County as well as Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (888)-LAW-8088.