All-terrain vehicles, better known as ATVs, are popular throughout Georgia. Some people ride a four-wheeler ATV or a three-wheeler ATV to perform job tasks. Others ride them to quickly access the far corners of their property. Most of us just ride ATVs for fun.
Like any motor vehicle, ATVs must be driven carefully. Otherwise, they can cause serious harm, such as spinal damage, traumatic brain injuries, and even fatalities.
The Atlanta injury lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC have successfully represented many ATV accident victims and dirt bike accident victims, including passengers injured by careless drivers, riders injured by a collision with another ATV, and riders injured by defective ATVs.
If you or someone that you love was seriously injured in a dirt bike or 4-wheeler accident, you should not hesitate to call an ATV accident lawyer. The attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC understand that when you’re grief-stricken, it’s difficult to make any decisions because your mind is occupied with sorrow. Our goal is to ease your suffering by listening to your story and helping you find your voice so that your family can recover the compensation that it deserves.
ATV Accidents We Handle
Our ATV accident attorneys have years of experience handling all types of recreational and motor vehicle accidents, including:
- ATV Collisions
- ATV Rollover Accidents
- Dirt Bike Crashes
- Defective ATV Accidents
- Utility terrain vehicle (UTV) Accidents
- Defective Dirt Bike Accidents
The Risks Associated With ATVs
The following risk factors contribute to people being seriously injured in ATV accidents:
- No seatbelts: ATVs and dirt bikes typically do not have seat belts. Therefore, there usually is nothing to restrain a rider or passenger from being ejected from the vehicle.
- Lack of safety gear: ATV and dirt bike riders should wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet. However, many operators and passengers forgo helmets, gloves, jackets, long pants, or boots. Those unsafe choices increase the risk of road rash and other soft tissue injuries.
- Lack of experience: Many novices are comfortable hopping on ATVs and driving them because ATVs are easier to control and balance than motorcycles. Indeed, families are often comfortable permitting children to drive ATVs at a young age. Children are often unable to safely control the speed of the ATV, or make an evasive maneuver.
- No licensing requirement: Georgia does not require ATV operators to obtain any certifications or licenses before operating an ATV. . As a result, many ATV riders have not been taught the basic safety rules of the road, let alone how to drive vehicles on uneven terrain.
- Heavy machinery: People that ride ATVs often forget that ATVs are very heavy. Depending upon the size and type of an ATV, the ATV might weigh, on average, between 350 to 550 pounds. An ATV that rolls over a body part or pins a person to the ground can cause catastrophic injuries.
Common Causes of Dirt Bike and ATV Accidents
There are many causes of dirt bike and ATV crashes. At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, we typically litigate ATV accidents that were caused by one of the following factors:
- Speeding in relation to the ground conditions and weather
- Taking tight turns
- Operating a dirt bike or ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Carrying a passenger when the ATV or dirt bike is not designed for a second rider
- Operating a dirt bike or ATV on paved roads when the tires are intended for off-road surfaces
- Operating a dirt bike or ATV in heavy traffic
- Riding on unfamiliar terrain
- Riding off of the intended trail
- Intentionally attempting stunts
- Reckless operation of an ATV or dirt bike
- Failing to keep a lookout for other vehicles and riders
- Inexperienced and untrained operators
- Underage operators on vehicles too big for them
- Inadequate maintenance of the ATV or dirt bike
Types of ATV Injuries
Some of the most common injuries suffered in dirt bike and ATV crashes include:
- Concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Head and face trauma
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Knee and leg injuries
- Arm, elbow, and hand injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Crush injuries
Many ATV accidents cause head or brain trauma. You or a loved one could also experience a moderate or severe TBI, which can cause long-term physical or cognitive limitations or personality changes. Even concussions can have long-term consequences. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury in an ATV accident that wasn’t your fault, do not hesitate to call an ATV accident lawyer.
Fatal ATV Accidents
Our ATV accident lawyers have represented many families that have lost loved ones due to ATV accidents. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 337 ATV-related fatalities in 2016, 484 ATV fatality reports in 2015, and 581 ATV deaths in 2014. Between 1982 and 2016, the CPSC received reports of 3,232 ATV-related fatalities of children 16 years and younger. Forty-four percent of these deaths were for children 12 years and younger.
If your spouse, parent, or child was killed in an ATV accident, and your family believes that the accident was someone else’s fault, you should call an ATV accident attorney. A diligent and skilled lawyer will collect evidence to determine what happened. If the accident was caused by someone else, then the lawyer will explain your rights and strategize the best way to pursue compensation under Georgia’s wrongful death law.
Who Is Responsible for an ATV Crash or Dirt Bike Accident?
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a dirt bike or ATV crash, your damages are immense. You’ll naturally want to know how to hold the careless ATV operator accountable for the harms that he or she caused.
If you were riding as a passenger on an ATV, then you might have firsthand knowledge that the ATV operator was traveling too fast for conditions. If you were the one driving the ATV, the location of the incident is important. For instance, you might have been riding on a designated ATV trail that was poorly maintained trail. In that case, the property owner might be responsible for your losses.
If you were operating the ATV on private property with the owner’s permission, then the property owner owes you a duty to maintain a safe riding terrain. If the owner acted negligently by failing to maintain the trail, then you might be able to seek compensation from them.
However, if you were riding on someone’s private property without permission, you might be considered a trespasser. In that case, the property owner only has to refrain from willfully causing you harm. In that situation, you might not be able to recover compensation from the private property owner.
Let an ATV Accident Lawyer Help
If you are hurt or a loved one passed away from a crash, you should call our ATV accident attorneys from Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC as soon as possible. We will help you recover the compensation that you deserve, including:
- Compensation for your medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disability and/or disfigurement.
If your family lost a loved one, we can pursue compensation for your expenses, emotional distress, and the loss of your relative’s financial contributions and services.