ATV’s, also known as all-terrain vehicles (or “quad” and four-wheelers), are recreational vehicles commonly used to go “off-roading.” Although it is a very popular activity, riding an ATV can also lead to serious accidents if not driven properly. If you or a loved one were injured from an ATV accident, contact our experienced accident attorneys at Heidari Law Group to see if you have a viable ATV accident claim. Heidari Law Group serves clients injured in an automobile and vehicle accidents, and could determine the best option for compensation.
An ATV is intended to have a single rider with no passengers. However, riding an ATV is very dangerous, and when not driven correctly, could lead to potentially fatal accidents. According to the United States Product Safety Commission, ATVs are the most dangerous product for children. There were about 2,900 emergency room treated injuries as a result of ATV riding during the four days of Memorial Day weekend in 2015. About 25% of the injuries suffered from ATV accidents are by young teens under the age of 16. 80% of the injuries sustained are by drivers rather than passengers. One of the most common ways drivers get injured is when the ATV flips over because the rider would make a forceful wrong turn.
There are various types of ATVs, each designed for a specific purpose. Types include sport ATVs for faster speeds, utility ATVs for hunters, and side-by-side ATVs for multiple passengers.
Not all states have legislation for ATV accidents. Only some states have enacted laws in the United States to prevent accidents. For example, California Vehicle Code section 38503 makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to operate an ATV. Children aged 14-17 may only ride an ATV if they have an ATV safety certificate. California has specific training sites in various counties where one could get their ATV safety certificate. A training course costs around $200. During the course, they teach riders how to inspect the vehicle, ride it, and how to wear protective gear.
In Nevada, an ATV vehicle needs to be registered. This was enacted recently to prevent the reselling of stolen ATVs. However, insurance is not required for the vehicle. The minimum age to operate is 16 years old. There is also no legal requirement to wear a helmet when operating an ATV, and there is no speed limit. A driver’s license is not needed to operate the vehicle in Nevada.
There are some guidelines one could follow in order to avoid any future accidents or injuries.
- Children should operate and ride ATVs only approved for use for children, and under adult supervision. Children should not be driving an ATV that is only approved for adults.
- Children under six years old should not be riding an ATV.
- ATVs should not be driven on straight paved roads, as the tires are meant for rugged conditions, and a paved road will likely result in slipped tires. 33% of ATV accidents occur on paved surfaces. (United States Consumer Product Safety Commission)
- All ATV riders must wear a helmet at all times. It is also advised to wear protective gear to prevent any scrapes of burns if the driver were to fall.
- Drivers must keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle.
- Drivers should receive hands-on training prior to driving for the first time.
Common Dangers with ATV Riding
Common dangers associated with ATVs are:
- Colliding against other drivers or trees
- Speeding and losing control of the vehicle
- Losing control of the steering wheel, which leads to the ATV flipping or rolling over
- Many ATVs now have a bar that prevents the ATV from rolling, however, some manufacturers still experience design defects with their ATVs.
- Manufacturing defects
- Manufacturing defects could lead to very serious injuries, including fatalities.
Defects and Liability
Liability is not always based on the driver’s negligence. Oftentimes, there are recalls done on ATV vehicles, which could place the liability on manufacturers. There have been various ATV companies that recently issued recall notices. In April 2021, Kawasaki recalled their ATVs due to a fire hazard. In March 2020, Kawasaki recalled another ATV model for the same reason. In 2020, Polaris recalled their Phoenix ATVs because there were incidents of the throttle breaking, and drivers being unable to stop. Since there may be potentially multiple defendants, it is advised to consult an attorney. Our experienced all-terrain vehicle attorneys will assist you in determining liability, and take the mystery out of litigation. To better learn and get an idea, check out the personal injury legal steps our attorneys at Heidari Law Group will take when bringing your personal injury case to court.
Common injuries associated with ATVs include:
- Brain injuries that could lead to a concussion
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
What To Do if You Are Involved in an ATV accident
If you are involved in an ATV accident, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you can get compensated for your injuries.
- When the accident occurs, the victim should seek medical care. However, do not leave the scene unless advised by a medical professional.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene and the crashed ATV, along with collect any witness contact information.
- Taking photos of the crashed ATV is considered an important piece of evidence for California courts.
- When getting medical care, the victim should keep all records and receipts of the costs.
- The ATV should be stored in a safe place away from tampering so the cause of the accident could be determined.
- If you have insurance for the ATV (not required in California or Nevada), file an insurance claim. Before speaking to the insurance company, speak to your attorney.
- Consult an attorney to check for any defects. If there is a defect, the retailer and manufacturer could be held liable. If the cause of the accident is related to the course, the course operator and landowner could be held liable.
Damages from an ATV Accident
Injured ATV riders could be compensated for a variety of damages, including medical expenses to treat their injuries, rehabilitation, therapy, pain and suffering, etc.
If you have been injured in an ATV accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained. Call our experienced law firm to determine if you have a case. Heidari Law Group accident attorneys will determine the liability and the best strategy for receiving compensation. We will investigate the cause of the accident and create potential models of the ATV for jury trials. We have offices in every major city, from Irvine to Las Vegas.
***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.