Four-wheel vehicles such as ATVS, also sometimes referred to as “quads,” are a fun activity for both teenagers and adults to enjoy as a family. Four-wheeling is becoming increasingly popular among all age groups on trails or at other off-road vehicle sites.
Some people also use ATVS to help with their workload, such as transporting heavy hauls or just to get around, particularly in rural areas. However, this fun and increasingly common activity can have devastating consequences if an ATV is involved in an accident.
Usually, ATVs are stable and simple to operate. In fact, they were designed to withstand rocky roads and other patches of uneven ground. But when ATVS are involved in a crash, the injuries that result are often very serious.
Alarmingly, most ATV accidents involve children under the age of 16 years who may have lifelong health consequences as a result. Victims of ATV accidents who have fallen off an ATV or were thrown out of it can suffer from broken bones and fractures, scrapes, lacerations and disfigurement to the face and head. ATV injuries can also include traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries and spinal cord injuries, which in some cases can lead to long-term disability or paralysis. If the ATV flips over, it could pin a child and caused injuries that become fatal.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ATV ACCIDENTS?
It is not always easy to find the person or property owner at fault when it comes to an ATV accident. In many cases, people ride ATVS in areas where they are the only motorists on private property. However, in some cases, the ATV owner may be responsible for the accident if the ATV is not properly maintained.
In other cases, the ATV was being ridden on a public road among other motorists, one of whom may have caused the crash. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer experienced in ATV accidents can help you determine the responsible party and file claims for compensation.
The most common defendants in ATV accident injury cases are trail owners. If you or your loved one was riding an ATV on a designated ATV trail that was designed for that purpose and suffered injuries as a result of the crash, you may have a case against the individual or property owner of the ATV trail. These property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on areas for public use or for warning visitors if unsafe conditions exist.
If a weather event such as a thunderstorm or blizzard caused unsafe conditions, if erosion had eaten away at formerly safe parts of the trail or if large potholes were present in the trail but visitors were not warned to avoid them, the individual or group that owns the trail should be held responsible. An L.A. ATV accident lawyer can help you file a claim against the trail owner’s insurance policy to win compensation for medical costs and emotional suffering.
Another possibility is that the ATV was not safe to ride as a result of negligence on the part of the manufacturer. Many ATV parts can be defective, including brakes, tires and welding. In dddition, the ATV could have had a design flaw that caused it to become unbalanced or affected the steering. An ATV accident lawyer can help you determine if you have a product liability case.