The use of an All-Terrain-Vehicle, or an ATV, is usually considered a fun pastime where individuals can ride in open terrain without the usual concern regarding the laws of traffic. However, these vehicles can be hazardous and, frequently, result in severe injury for those riding and around them. Every year in the United States, more than 750 people are killed as a result of ATV accidents and related occurrences, and more than 130,000 people are injured severely enough to require a trip to the emergency room for immediate medical treatment.
Understanding the risks associated with driving ATVs and knowing what your options are if you are involved in an accident can be vital tools after a crash. If you have recently suffered from an incident involving an ATV, you need to contact the experienced Phoenix ATV accident lawyers at Torgenson Law. Our lawyers will offer the assistance that you need to secure compensation after an ATV accident. If proof of negligence can be established, our ATV accident attorneys are here to help you receive the restitution that you deserve.
Understanding the Risks of ATV Accidents
Arizona is particularly associated with the use of ATVs because of the fact that it is a state that contains many off-road trails and roads that are attractive for riders who are seeking a new challenge or terrain. While accidents involving ATVs are not as commonly discussed as motorcycle accidents, ATV collisions are still very commonplace within the state and can cause disastrous consequences.
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reported that 141 off-road ATV collisions occurred in 2014, with 78% resulting in some injury on the part of the rider or passenger. After suffering this type of injury, you will likely need an experienced Arizona accident attorney to properly file a suit and regain lost finances. ATV-related injuries can be extremely expensive and cause life-long damages.
Victims involved in an ATV-related injury accident should contact an experienced collision lawyer as soon as possible. The professionals at Torgenson Law are adept at working with ATV injury claims and are here to help you secure the compensation you deserve. We are here to protect the rights of the involved victims in some of the most commonly suffered injuries involving an ATV-related accident or collision, such as:
- Broken arms, elbows, fingers, legs, toes, ankles, etc.;
- Skull fractures;
- Spinal cord damage;
- Paralysis; and
- Limb amputation or removal.
Types of ATV Accidents
ATVs are designed to handle terrain that most vehicles are not able to navigate. Because of this, many of their manufacturers and retailers focus their advertising and resources into promoting these unique features. This marketing campaign often creates a misconception that these vehicles are perfectly safe for off-road terrain use. However, while they are better able to handle the bumps and dips off-road paths provide, the vehicles do not safeguard the drivers against injury.
Similar to motorcycles, ATVs do not offer much protection to the rider from external risks and factors, leaving passengers vulnerable to accidents and injury. Furthermore, ATV passengers can be suddenly and violently thrown to the ground or even underneath an ATV, causing severe damage to the individual if they survive. While ATVs are not as massive as traditional cars and vehicles, they are cumbersome, weighing several hundred pounds. This weight gives them the potential to cause severe damage to passengers. In the event of an injury or death related to an ATV accident, it is crucial to enlist the help of experienced ATV collision attorneys in Arizona to ensure you collect compensation. Our lawyers at Torgenson Law are here to protect your rights.
There is a range of injuries which can be the direct result of an ATV accident. The injuries an individual may suffer after an ATV accident can range from minor to catastrophic, and the long-term consequences and costs of each type of injury vary widely.
- Bone fractures – These injuries can be varied in their level of severity, from mild hairline fractures that may cause moderate pain to more extreme compound fractures that can cause victims to experience shock, leaving long-term damage.
- Spinal cord injuries – This is another common kind of injury and a very likely possibility during an ATV accident. ATVs do not offer riders the same security as more conventional vehicles, and when passengers are thrown from an ATV, they can quickly experience a spinal cord injury due to the accident. The spinal cord is essential to the overall function of the human body as it transmits signals from your brain to the rest of the body and is mainly responsible for the range of physical motion that you are naturally capable of. Even slight injuries to the spinal cord can result in permanent damage. However, unlike other parts of the body, the spinal cord is not able to repair itself, leading to long-lasting and life-changing injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries – TBIs are another common possibility after ATV accidents. Wearing helmets while driving can help ATV passengers dramatically reduce their risks of head and brain injuries in the event of a collision. However, the use of helmets when riding is not always legally required, and some passengers choose to ride without their use. Additionally, even with a helmet, you may suffer brain injuries due to the sheer force of the collision. The severity of traumatic brain injury falls into a defined range, which can extend from a mild concussion to a life-threatening hemorrhage. There is even a possibility of brain death as the result of an accident. Passengers who are thrown from ATVs could also potentially suffer brain injuries due to the penetration of the helmet by debris, such as rocks, trees, or even the vehicle that was involved in the collision. These types of open and severe brain wounds require immediate medical attention.
Wrongful Death and ATV Accidents
The loss of a family member or loved one in an ATV accident causes not only mental anguish but a sizable monetary burden. These financial consequences can take the form of medical and funeral expenses as well as the loss of financial support due to the death of a family member.
Wrongful death is often the result of intentional or neglectful actions on the part of another individual. For a wrongful death claim to apply, the death in question must have been the result of the other individual who caused the injury, and proof of this connection must be established to seek legal recourse.
If your loved one or family member has been a fatal victim in an ATV accident, it is crucial to choose a law firm with experience in Arizona wrongful death law. The ATV accident attorneys at Torgenson Law have years of experience as well as knowledge of wrongful death clauses. Arizona law governs specific statutes that deal specifically with wrongful death and compensation claims. These statutes help to define:
- Who can file a claim for wrongful death;
- Who can receive compensation; and
- Any damages that can be recovered that are resultant from the incident.
Arizona Rules and Regulations for Users of ATVs
ATVs have strict rules and regulations in place to ensure not just the safety of the riders but of anyone who may be nearby. These primarily involve the ages, heights, and weights which are suitable for operation of the vehicle. Being aware of these regulations when consulting with your Arizona ATV collision attorney can help us better defend your case and secure your compensation. Our lawyers at Torgenson Law want to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe at all times.
Under Arizona law, you must follow specific essential guidelines when purchasing and operating an ATV or similar vehicle. For example, a rider cannot operate a full-sized ATV if they are under 16-years-old. When purchasing a vehicle for younger passengers, be confident that it is appropriate for their size. More experienced drivers should also ride with young passengers to correctly teach them how to guide and steer these vehicles. Most manufacturers of ATVs and similar vehicles require that riders be a minimum of five feet tall and weigh at least 100 pounds before they can operate a vehicle. It is possible to find maximum weights listed on the body of the machine as well. Optional seating alternatives are not encouraged for passengers to use when the vehicle is in operation, as this can increase the likelihood of crashes and injuries.
All operators of ATVs, despite their age and individual experience, should wear proper safety equipment when driving the vehicle. Arizona has precise regulations regarding the usage of helmet and eye protection when using ATVs in off-road situations. Additionally, all drivers should inspect safety equipment prior to operating the vehicle, and make sure that the brakes, horn, headlights, and turn signals are functional before riding. In Arizona, all mufflers must be fully functional on all vehicles. In Phoenix, riders and operators of ATVs may need to have their vehicle tested at a local emissions facility before operating the vehicle.
ATV Accident Liability
ATVs are a type of vehicle that can be driven through all kinds of terrains and surfaces. These vehicles often have a higher center of gravity along with a narrow wheelbase, creating a severe risk of the vehicle rolling over. This creates a higher chance of personal injury on the part of the rider, with about 75% of ATV accidents causing serious, long-term damage, often to the head or spinal cord. Safety is always essential when operating any kind of vehicle, especially ATVs, but sometimes, accidents occur despite safety preparation.
Victims who have suffered injury as the result of an ATV accident are unable to collect restitution unless they can prove that the accident was caused by the fault of another party. Our experienced Arizona ATV collisions lawyers at Torgenson Law are here to successfully file your personal injury claim and secure repayment to cover a wide variety of losses and damages. To prove that the accident was the result of another individual’s negligence, the accident must involve one of the following:
- Harm caused to the victim;
- Injury as the result of another’s carelessness; and/or
- Fault by another party or individual.
Filing an ATV Accident Claim
In the case that you have experienced harm as the result of an ATV accident, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income. ATVs can be incredibly dangerous due to the lack of external protection provided to passengers, and this is especially true when they are taken into off-road terrain. Due to this reality, riders of ATVs must have the required experience and ability to operate these vehicles safely at all times. When an accident does occur, the acts of negligent parties must be documented to hold them accountable for the injuries they caused. You need an experienced Arizona ATV collision lawyer that can prove this negligence in order to file a claim successfully.
When filing a claim of negligence regarding an ATV accident or collision, it is vital to consider the following:
- You must provide evidence that the negligent party is responsible either by action or inaction.
- Your lawyer must provide evidence to the court concerning how this action or inaction resulted in immediate harm to the victim. If you did not receive any injury or damage as a result of the incident, you are not able to pursue a claim.
- You must provide the court with evidence that the negligent party owes the victim of the incident for costs that are directly resultant of the accident or collision.
If you feel that you have evidence to support a claim, contact our experienced Arizona ATV collision attorneys at Torgenson Law. We will review the details of your claim and inform you of any compensation that you can regain. We promise that we will get you what you deserve in the case of injury or death resulting from an ATV accident in Arizona.