Pursuing Compensation for Injured Hunters
Tree Stands, sometimes referred to as “deer stands”, are used by 90% of hunters to avoid detection. This is done through a combination of factors, which include reducing the hunter’s scent, removing the hunter from a deer’s line of sight, and increasing camouflage. Using a deer stand also provides the utility of a higher vantage point and better shooting angle for the hunter. The elevated height is what makes tree stands so sought after, but also what can make them extremely dangerous.
The attorneys at Monsees & Mayer take pride in their ability to successfully represent hunters injured in tree stand accidents. In fact, Timothy Monsees, Bobby Thrasher and Reed Martens are experienced hunters themselves. They understand the sport, the equipment and the inherent risks. They use their knowledge and love of the sport to help injured hunters obtain the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in a hunting accident contact them today to arrange a free consultation.
Fighting the Big Manufacturers
Our Attorneys are not afraid to take on the big tree stand manufacturers such as Ameristep, Big Game Tree Stands, and API Outdoors. In fact our firm has actively pursued cases against Ameristep. You can read the opinion of the Unites States Court of Appeals in the case of Bradley v Ameristep. In each of these cases our clients were sitting in tree stands when inferior straps holding the stand to the tree broke causing our clients to fall and sustain serious injuries.
There are a host of different types of tree stands: “hanging stands” use straps or cables to literally hang from the tree; climbing stands use devices that allow the hunter to essentially “walk” up the tree, and “ladder stands” affix to a tree but have a ladder that is used to ascend to the elevated platform. There are a host of other accessories including ladders, steps, and straps that can have defects in design or manufacture. At times, even the safety devices sold with the stands can cause or enhance injuries. For example, we have seen circumstances in which a properly worn safety harness leads to a condition known as “suspension trauma”, resulting in serious injury or death. With this in mind, many hunters refuse to wear safety harnesses despite being directly contrary to the tree stand manufacturer’s instructions and warnings.
It is not uncommon to hear about hunting injuries, but most hunters do not expect to be seriously injured while using their tree stand. There are, however, some tree stands that have been poorly designed and others that have been recalled due to defective tree stand designs. The use of these poorly designed stands pose a serious threat to a hunter’s safety, as many tree stands are in excess of 10 feet in the air. Failures of any part of the tree stand can cause serious injury to an unsuspecting hunter: strangulation, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and even death can occur.
Types of Defects in Tree Stands
Hunting tree stands can be defective for a variety of reasons. This can include low quality materials, defective parts, or a faulty mechanism. Usually a product is considered defective if it has one of the following:
- Design Defect – Design defects apply to the overall design principals. The manufacturer must take into account any and all foreseeable uses. If the product does not have all the necessary qualities to make it safe it is then considered to be defectively designed.
- Manufacturer Defect – Manufacturing defects occur when there is an assembly error in a properly designed product. Unlike the design defect, the manufacturing defect will not apply to all of the product models, just the specific product that caused the injury.
- Warning, Marketing or Label Defects – This type of defect occurs when manufacturers do not inform or warn consumers on how the product should be used. In most cases, this occurs when manufacturers fail to include adequate training or instruction.
Defects can be found in the support straps, metal used to construct the stand, connecting components, ladders and straps attached to the stand and even the safety harness designed to keep the hunter safe. Determining which defect may apply to your case requires a thorough analysis. If you have suffered an injury speak to our attorneys at Monsees & Mayer for a free consultation.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For My Injuries
An individual injured in a tree stand accident may have cause for legal action against the manufacturer and the seller of the tree stand. This includes the distributor, retailer, manufacturer and wholesaler. The product must not have been altered or modified from its original state.
It is important to note you do not have to be the original purchaser to bring a claim for your injuries. You could have received the defective tree stand as a gift or purchased it from a friend. As long as there were no alterations or modifications to the original design, you could still have a claim.
Returning the Tree Stand
After sustaining an injury do not return the defective tree stand until you have consulted with an attorney. Often times the item can strengthen or even be critical to your case. Keep all information referring to the sale including receipts, packaging, and any safety and instructional manuals.
Steps to Take Following an Injury
First, it’s best to seek out and follow all appropriate medical advice and treatment. Make sure someone secures the stand in its after-accident condition. Do not “fix” it, remove items, clean it or otherwise do anything to change the condition in which it is found. Keep all accessories and if your stand is new and you still have the box, it is important to keep the packing materials and manual in a safe place. Make sure your attorney is given access to all such materials.
Second, it is best to avoid speaking about the accident on social media, or to any insurance companies or representatives of the manufacturer without your attorney present. A single statement that is taken out of context can eliminate the potential you have to recover compensation.
Last, be sure to keep record of all medical treatment and accident related expenses to give to your attorney as well. Any documentation related to the injury you sustained can be used by your attorney to substantiate the cause of the accident. Also, anything you remember about what happened or saw during the accident should be written down so you don’t forget or confuse the facts.
By taking these steps, your attorney will have the ability to help you build a strong case and recover the maximum amount of compensation allowed by the law for your injuries.
Contact Us | Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hunting accident contact our experienced attorneys at Monsees & Mayer, PC. Our attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience working on behalf of injured victims. Our offices are in Kansas City & Springfield, Missouri, but we travel nationwide to represent hunting accident injury victims. If you have been injured in a hunting accident contact our lawyers today to arrange a free consultation.