Virginia atv accident attorneys
All-terrain vehicles: fun, but what happens if you get hurt?
Using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for work and recreation has been growing in popularity and shows no sign of stopping. The popularity of these vehicles is not surprising - they’re fairly easy to operate, and they have multiple uses.
ATVs have become common in agriculture, forestry, landscaping, and construction, as well as in law enforcement, search and rescue, and the military. Recreationally, ATVs are popular with outdoors enthusiasts, who use them for hunting and ice fishing, while others use them for off-roading and racing. Homeowners with large yards find ATVs helpful for raking leaves, plowing snow, cutting grass, and doing other maintenance tasks.
But, while ATVs can be fun, they can also be dangerous - even deadly. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in ATV accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim. A successful claim can get you and your family compensation for any damages the accident caused, including medical bills, pain and suffering, disability, lost wages, scarring and disfigurement, funeral costs, and more.
While we’d rather you never need to contact us, the Virginia personal injury attorneys at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys are here for you if you do get hurt. Talking to us is free, and we only get paid if we get you a settlement or jury award. Call (804) 413-6777 today to discuss your options.
Sobering ATV statistics
If you’re wondering just how dangerous ATVs can be, consider the following statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- An estimated 97,200 ATV-related emergency room visits were made in 2015, and an estimated 28 percent of those injured were under 16 years old.
- 123 children and 564 adults are killed while riding ATVs each year, on average.
- The majority (33 percent) of ATV-related fatalities happen on paved surfaces.
- Between 1982 and 2012, Virginia saw 239 deaths from ATVs. That number rose to 268 in 2015.
- July is generally the month with the highest number of ATV fatalities.
- When victims visit the emergency room after an ATV accident, here’s why:
- Head and neck injury: 29 percent
- Arm injury: 29 percent
- Torso injury: 21 percent
- Leg injury: 20 percent
- Other injury: 1 percent
Do you know the "golden rules" of ATV safety?
It’s always better to prevent an accident than to try to recover from it. That’s why we want to share these safety rules for ATVs with you:
- Wear the proper gear: helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, boots, and gloves. No hanging or trailing straps or fabric.
- Only drive in designated areas.
- NEVER use alcohol or drugs before operating an ATV.
- Supervise any young riders carefully - these vehicles are NOT toys.
- If it’s a single-rider ATV, don’t try to carry a passenger. If it’s a two-person ATV, don’t try to carry a third person.
- Ride an ATV that’s your size and that you can handle.
- Ride at a safe speed for the conditions.
- Consider taking an ATV safety course to make sure you’re fully prepared.
For more legal information, here are Virginia’s codes that govern ATV use.
Who is liable for an ATV accident?
Determining who (if anyone) is liable for ATV-related injuries can be difficult because these vehicles are generally used for off-road purposes. But here are some scenarios:
- If you were in a collision with another ATV and it was the other rider’s fault, he or she would be liable for the accident and injuries.
- If you were riding on someone’s property with his permission, and there was an unsafe condition on the property (such as an unmarked barbed wire fence, a low-hanging clothesline, a large hole that was hard to see, etc.), the property owner may be held liable for the accident and resulting injuries.
- If you are riding on a designated ATV trail, and that trail is not properly maintained, making it unsafe, the owner or party responsible for the trail can be held liable.
- If you are a passenger on an ATV and you are injured (thrown off the vehicle, it rolls over on you, etc.), the ATV’s driver can be held liable if he was negligent in his operation of the ATV.
- If the vehicle itself is responsible for the injury, the ATV’s designer, manufacturer, or the manufacturer of the defective part can be held liable. This would apply if the brakes were faulty, the steering didn’t work, a wheel fell off, etc.
- If the accident and injuries were the result of improper or lack of maintenance of the vehicle, then the owner of the vehicle (or the company that rented it to you) could be held liable.
Why you need an experienced ATV accident attorney
In an ATV injury or wrongful death claim, you are going to be dealing with the liable party’s insurance company and their high-powered lawyers. They will likely try to get your claim dismissed or get you to agree to a settlement that is not worthy of the losses you’ve suffered. An experienced ATV accident attorney will fight the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
Don’t delay. There are deadlines for filing a personal injury claim in Virginia. Call GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation at (804) 413-6777.
- ATVs – fun, but don’t let your ride become deadly!
- ATV Safety Information Center - CPSC
- ATVs Are Dangerous to Children: Injuries Have Increased, Estimated ATV Deaths Up-- but Data is Incomplete
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