Many people enjoy riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in various off-road locations throughout the state. While these vehicles are intended for recreational purposes, they are just as dangerous as any other motor vehicle in many ways and even more dangerous in others. While an ATV may offer greater stability and easier handling than a motorcycle or dirt bike, the ATV rider is still fully exposed and unprotected from crash impact forces.
If you own an ATV or plan to use one in the near future, it’s important to seek guidance from an experienced rider and learn safe handling in a controlled environment before proceeding to offroad ATV use. Additionally, you must understand that while the ATV is very similar to a standard vehicle, it is not intended for the same use and should not be used on paved roads.
Potential Injuries From ATV Accidents
Any ATV accident has the potential to cause severe or even life-threatening injuries. Commonly reported injuries include broken bones, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. In addition, any injury resulting in permanent disability or other permanent harm is a “catastrophic” injury. Therefore, the plaintiff may have grounds to claim compensation if another party is responsible for their injury.
Unfortunately, many victims of ATV accidents cause their own injuries, leaving them little recourse aside from insurance if they happen to have purchased coverage specific to an ATV accident they caused. If another party causes an ATV accident with you or a loved one and directly causes injuries, you have the right to hold them accountable for all resulting economic losses.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in the State
You must establish fault before claiming compensation for your losses to succeed with an ATV accident claim or any other type of civil action against another party. In any civil claim for damages, the plaintiff must identify the party they believe to be responsible for their damages and prove they owed a specific duty of care in the situation in question. Next, they must prove the defendant violated this duty of care and directly harmed the plaintiff, showing proof of the full extent of their damages.
While an ATV accident is technically a type of motor vehicle accident, and insurance claims are typically the first steps in recovery for most vehicle accident victims, only specific types of insurance apply to ATV crashes. An experienced attorney can help you determine how your recent ATV accident happened and identify the party responsible. Once you know another party is to blame for your injuries, your attorney can assist you in proving the full extent of the harm they have done.
Economic damages in most personal injury claims include medical expenses, long-term medical treatment costs, lost wages, and lost ability to earn an income due to permanent injuries. Victims also have the right to seek compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced because of another party’s negligence or misconduct. Since many ATV accidents cause extreme injuries, some plaintiffs can expect to secure substantial pain and suffering compensation for their ordeals.
Product Liability Claims After ATV Accidents
It’s possible for an ATV accident to occur due to a problem with the ATV itself. In the event that a rider suffers injuries because their ATV is defective in some way, the manufacturer could be responsible for resulting damages under product liability statutes. The plaintiff would need to prove the ATV was mechanically defective, failed to include proper instructions for use, lacked necessary safety indicators, or failed to meet claimed performance capabilities.
An experienced attorney is a valuable asset no matter how you think your recent ATV accident occurred. If you suspect that any other party bears fault for your damages, your legal team can help you hold them accountable with a civil claim. In addition, you can improve your chances of success with all the recovery efforts you attempt when you work quickly to secure legal counsel you can trust from a reliable attorney. Speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident ensures they have more time to build a compelling case on your behalf and answer your pressing legal questions during recovery.
Q: What Is the Leading Cause of ATV Crashes in the State?
A: One of the most commonly reported causes of all ATV crashes is use on paved surfaces. “All-terrain vehicle” is something of a misnomer as ATVs are designed for off-road use. Most ATVs handle very well on uneven organic surfaces but handle very poorly on paved roads. Therefore, ATV users should not assume these vehicles will handle just like standard motor vehicles on paved surfaces.
Q: What Are the Most Common ATV Accident Injuries?
A: Any ATV accident can potentially cause a host of severe injuries. Broken bones, head injuries, and damage from sliding along uneven or rocky surfaces can all cause permanent harm to the victim. Unfortunately, head injuries are the most commonly reported ATV accident injuries, and even the best helmets can only mitigate the harm done by severe trauma to the head.
Q: Can an ATV Crush You?
A: Most ATVs weigh several hundred pounds. If a rider attempts to traverse uneven terrain and rolls the ATV, it could easily roll on top of them and cause severe injuries. Depending on how an ATV accident happens, it is also possible for the rider’s arms or legs to be crushed by the wheels or in the inner mechanics of the ATV. Crushing injuries can easily result in permanent disability.
Q: Should I Hire an Attorney After an ATV Accident?
A: If you believe any other party is responsible for an ATV accident or any other incident resulting in physical injuries, economic losses, and pain and suffering, you have the right to seek accountability for your losses with a civil claim. It’s also possible to have a claim against a manufacturer under product liability law if you were injured by an unreasonably dangerous and/or defective ATV.
Luis P. Guerra, LLC, can provide the legal counsel you need after experiencing any level of harm in an ATV accident. We’ll review the details of how and why your accident happened, help you determine fault, and assist you in calculating your claimable damages. If you believe you have grounds for an ATV accident claim, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our firm.