ATV Accident Lawyers
ATVs, also known as all-terrain vehicles, are motorized off-road vehicles that have four wheels. These motorized vehicles are incredibly popular in Texas. ATVs can provide a safe and exhilarating way to get outdoors and experience nature with friends and family while still sitting in the comfort of a vehicle; however, they can also be incredibly dangerous. ATVs are notorious for devastating accidents that can quickly kill the driver and/or passengers riding at the time. Each year, multiple people die in preventable ATV accidents in Texas. Specifically, ATV rollovers are all too common. In the United States each year there are an average of over 90,000 ATV related injuries. Why are ATVs so dangerous? And what can you do if you have been in an ATV accident?
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
ATVs, just like passenger vehicles, can be incredibly dangerous and require drivers to operate the vehicles safely and with great care. Even the best ATV driver can get into a serious crash. The following are the most common causes of ATV Accidents:
- Rollovers: The majority of ATV accident fatalities are caused by rollover accidents in which ATV drivers and passengers can be seriously injured if an ATV flips. An ATV itself can pin drivers and passengers to the ground, crushing their bodies. ATV rollovers can be caused by flaws in vehicle design, steep embankments, lack of manufacturer warnings, and reckless driving, among other causes.
- Manufacturing Defects: The ATV manufacturing industry is unfortunately not well regulated and has seen its fair share of lawsuits related to design flaws and manufacturing defects. Lack of safety regulations lead to dangerous accidents caused by lack of proper safety warnings, dangerous products on the road, and serious defects in ATV design and manufacturing.
- Driving an ATV on Pavement: ATVs are not meant to be driven on the road – they are called off-road vehicles for a reason. All-terrain vehicles do not perform well on pavement, which can quickly lead to rollovers, losing control of the ATV, and more. Passenger vehicles and large trucks may also not be able to see an ATV on the road, leading to serious accidents.
- Reckless Driving: ATV drivers and passengers often do not realize that ATVs can be just as dangerous as passenger vehicles, if not more dangerous. They must be driven with caution. Many all-terrain vehicle accidents occur when drivers carelessly drive on uneven ground, speed in unsafe conditions, run into obstacles without slowing down, or drive while distracted by a cell phone or a passenger.
- Drinking and Driving: Just like passenger vehicles, if a driver chooses to operate an off-road vehicle while intoxicated, they increase their chances of getting into a serious accident. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a driver’s reaction time decreases and the driver will not be able to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. Many ATV accidents occur because the driver was intoxicated and chose to drive anyways.
- Inadequate ATV Maintenance: Many ATV owners don’t use their vehicles on a regular basis. They use them sporadically, some only at their ranches or other rural properties when they happen to visit. Due to the infrequency of use, ATV maintenance can fall by the wayside. Failing to properly inspect and maintain any vehicle can cause it to be more error prone and thus lead to more potential accidents.
Common ATV Accident Injuries
ATV accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries that range in severity. If a driver and/or passenger is not wearing a helmet and/or other protective gear, these injuries can be even worse. It is essential to consult a medical professional after being in an ATV accident to make sure you are treated properly for any and all injuries resulting from the crash. Even if you believe you were only in a minor accident and just have a headache, that could be a sign of a serious injury that has not presented itself yet. The following are some common injuries resulting from ATV accidents:
- Broken Bones
- Head Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Internal Organ Damage
- Internal Bleeding
- Mental Distress
- Permanent Disablement
ATV accident injuries can be incredibly serious, as there are fewer safety features to protect drivers and passengers. ATVs are open; and, while they do have seatbelts, helmets and safety gear are always recommended.
What Should You Do After an ATV Accident?
The first thing to do after an ATV accident is to seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. There may be internal injuries or injuries that have not presented themselves yet immediately following the crash that require care. Next, call the police to file a police report. Having an official government accident document will help your case by serving as evidence. If you are able to, document the scene of the accident by taking pictures and video. Make sure to take pictures of your injuries as well as all vehicles involved, if there is more than one. Once you have started on the road to recovery, consider hiring an experienced ATV attorney to represent you when seeking compensation for your injuries.