Riding ATVs is one of America’s most popular recreational pastimes. ATVs come in several different types. Most ATVs have four wheels and are also called quads. Some three wheel ATVs, or trikes, still exist, bit most of these are no longer legal in the United States. Unfortunately, ATV accidents injure and kill thousands of men, women, and children every year. ATV accidents are generally quite different from snowmobile accidents.
Causes of ATV Accidents
Some type of operator error causes most ATV accidents. One troubling trend in ATV accidents is the number of children injured every year is increasing.
Some of the most common causes of ATV accidents are:
- Operator error
- Distracted driver
- Poorly trained or inexperienced guide
- Manufacturing defects
- Excessive speed for conditions
Part of the claims process in ATV accidents involves figuring out who is at fault. This can be very difficult, especially when children are involved. Because ATVs are becoming increasingly popular family recreational choices, the number of children injured in ATV accidents is steadily growing. However, an experienced personal injury attorney who deals with ATV accidents can often help sort out who is responsible. This matters because if you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident because of somebody else’s negligence, you may have a right to be compensated for your injuries.
If you are at fault for the accident, you most likely will not be able to be compensated by someone else for your injuries.
Types of Injuries in ATV Accidents
Because ATV riders are exposed and do not have the protection of a passenger compartment like in a car, ATV accidents produce some catastrophic injuries.
Here are some of the most common ATV accident injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Crush injuries from being under the ATV
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Sprains and strains of muscles
The first priority after being injured and any ATV accident is to get medical help as quickly as possible. Even if you initially are able to walk away from an accident, you may still have internal injuries. Often in the first 24 to 48 hours after the adrenaline from an accident has worn off you will discover pain and stiffness in parts of your body. It is always important to get fully checked out by a medical professional, even if you do not need emergency medical care.
The sooner you begin treatment for your injuries, the sooner you’ll be on your way back to a full recovery. If you do have any type of personal injury claim you’re more likely to get the compensation you deserve if you have a history of getting immediate medical attention for your injuries and following the doctor’s recommendations.
ATV Accident Facts and Figures
Most ATV accident happen in remote locations. This is because in most jurisdictions ATVs are not allowed on public roads. They are not street legal. Additionally, ATVs are designed for off-road use and much of the thrill comes in riding them down wilderness trails and on beaches.
Every year over 70,000 people are injured while riding ATVs. More than 75% of those injured are under the age of 35 years old most are males.
The majority of the injuries come to the arms legs and torso. However head injuries make up 25% of all ATV accident injuries. Over half of all riders involved in an accident were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Not surprisingly, the less experience a rider has the more likely they are to be involved in an ATV accident.
Of the over 70,000 injuries every year, approximately one thousand people die as a result of an ATV accident every year.
Studies have been conducted on ways to reduce the number and seriousness of ATV accidents. One of the most effective ways to reduce serious injury is to always have wear a helmet when riding an ATV. Studies also show that the more training and experience a rider has, the less likely that rider is to be involved in a serious accident. Even watching a brief training video has been shown to reduce injuries.
Of particular concern are injuries involving small children. Children are much more likely to be seriously injured when writing on an adult sized ATV, or an ATV that is too big for them. With the explosion of ATV riding and popularity among families, there’s also been an increase in the number of child size ATVs on the market.
Making a Claim in ATV Accidents
ATV accidents, like any other type of personal injury accident, often require the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer before they can be settled successfully. While every state has slightly different personal injury laws and different rules regulating ATV use, before you can make an injury claim you must show that the injuries or because of someone else’s negligence.
The person who is responsible for the accident also must have some type of insurance or enough assets to cover payment of a personal injury claim. These cases can be very complicated when a family member is injured because the negligence of another family member. They may need to make a claim against that family member’s insurance.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, claims may be made against an ATV rental company, the company that manufactured the ATV, another ATV driver, or even the driver of a motor vehicle if it was involved in an accident with the ATV.
If you were a left on has an injured in an ATV accident you do not have to deal with the financial aftermath all by yourself. You should consult with a personal injury attorney who has a successful track record of dealing with ATV accidents. Let us help you find an ATV accident lawyer near you to help evaluate your case and protect your rights.