Injured in an Off-Road Vehicle Accident? We Can Help.
Recreational vehicles are popular ways for people to enjoy the outdoors, but a fun ATV ride can turn into a life-changing accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in a recreational vehicle accident, an ATV accident lawyer can help you recover from your injuries.
All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are often used for recreation, but also provide transportation for farmers, ranchers, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and emergency personnel who need to get to places unreachable by car. They can be especially dangerous for children to ride.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Pennsylvania has the second highest fatality rates from ATV accidents.
Those who have suffered injuries in ATV accidents should not delay in reaching out to an injury lawyer today. You only have a limited time to build a case and receive compensation to recover from your injuries. Our ATV accident personal injury lawyers have been helping victims in Pennsylvania for decades, and we will not take a fee unless we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.
How to Avoid an ATV Accident in Pennsylvania
While ATVs can be dangerous vehicles, there are ways to avoid getting into a crash while riding. First, every rider who gets on an ATV should understand Pennsylvania’s laws and have an awareness of general ATV safety. The top safety tips to avoid ATV injuries include:
- No alcohol. These vehicles are often used for recreation, and some riders might be under the impression it’s safer for some reason to drive a quad while under the influence than it is to drive a car. That is not the case. Regardless of what kind of vehicle you are driving, alcohol and drug use impairs judgment, reaction time, alertness, and spacial reasoning. This means that while drinking it’s easier to make a deadly error whether you’re behind the wheel of a ATV or a car. Always ride sober.
- Ride an Age-Appropriate Size Vehicle. There are ATVs for smaller riders, those under the age of 16. These young drivers should not be behind the wheel of adult ATVs.
- Follow the Law. In Pennsylvania, 15 year olds and under may only drive an ATV if they are on their parent or guardian’s land, or if they have a safety training certification. However, if the driver needs to cross a highway or road, any driver under the age of 16 must have adult supervision or a safety certification. Also, in Pennsylvania it is only legal to ride ATVs on roads specifically designated for four-wheeler use. As an ATV rider, if you crash with a car, the injuries could be catastrophic. Especially since ATVs can be harder to control on paved surfaces.
- Be Safe. The number one piece of safety gear you should have riding an ATV is a helmet. Due to the open nature of the vehicles, ATV crashes can result in traumatic brain injuries. The best way to prevent serious injuries is by wearing protective gear. If your children are learning to ride, you should enroll them in a safety training course (with you if you are also a new ATV rider!). This is the best way to help new riders get comfortable with all kinds of situations you could experience on a quad. Safety courses can be valuable for experienced riders as well, teaching some helpful tricks to avoid an accident. Overall, riders who complete a safety training certification are less likely to be injured on an ATV. You should also perform a safety check before riding. This includes making sure your quad has all its necessary parts and safety features. Test things like the headlights and taillights to make sure they are working before you ride.
- Be Careful with Passengers. Passengers add weight to an ATV, which means it will handle differently for the ATV rider behind the wheel. If you are a driver with less experience, this could result in serious injuries for you and your passengers. You should only be traveling with passengers if your all terrain vehicle is equipped for multiple riders.
What Causes ATV Accidents?
From road conditions to driver inexperience, ATV crashes can happen for a variety of reasons. According to Off-Road Ed, an inexperienced rider is 13 times more likely to have an accident during the first month of riding than an experienced rider. From OffRoad, here are common causes of ATV accidents:
- Driving on a paved surface. These vehicles are designed to be off-road vehicles and can be less predictable when driven on a paved road.
- Riding with passengers on an off road vehicle only meant for one person
- Driving without experience and without adult or experienced supervision
- Performing risky stunts
- Driving in terrain or areas you are unfamiliar with
- Disregard for state and local laws in place to provide safety
- Traveling at unsafe speeds
Common Injuries in Recreational Vehicle Accidents
The most common way an ATV crashes is by flipping or rolling over. This means injuries to passengers inside a flipped vehicle can be incredibly serious. Even if you do not believe you have been injured after an off-road vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention. These vehicles lack protection of others on the road, and so injuries should be taken seriously.
Similar to other auto accidents, off road vehicle accidents can result in anything from a scratch to more severe injuries, or in the worst case, death. Children in particular are more susceptible to injuries as well due to their size.
Here are common ATV accident injuries:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Joint pain
- Concussion and other head injuries
- Cuts and bruises
What to Do Immediately After an ATV Accident
ATV accidents happen, but knowing what to do immediately after an accident occurs can help save you from severe injuries as well as help you recover compensation later as you build a personal injury case. After you assess your safety as well as the safety of any passengers, here is what you should do at the scene of an ATV accident:
- Seek medical treatment. Even if you do not believe you have sustained serious injuries, you should see a doctor. There could be internal injuries that you cannot see. Or maybe you have injuries that seem minor, but they could develop into something serious if not treated.
- Call 911. Make sure you get a police report for the accident. It will be a key piece of evidence in any future ATV injury or personal injury case to prove negligence from the other driver. You should also get an ambulance for any injured party who may need one.
- Collect information from everyone at the scene. This includes any other drivers involved in the ATV crash as well as witnesses who may have seen it.
- Take photos to show the scene. Make sure you take photographs to show the scene of your ATV accident. This will help prove negligence in your personal injury case.
- Call a personal injury law firm to help. Do not admit fault or speak to any insurance company before talking about your case with a personal injury attorney who can help you recover from ATV related accidents.
Who Can Be Held Liable in ATV Accident Cases
If you’ve been in an ATV accident, the answer to who is at-fault could be more than just the other driver involved. These cases can be complicated because more than one party could be responsible in a negligence lawsuit. At-fault parties in an ATV accident could include:
- Other Drivers. If the other driver is determined to be at-fault for your injuries, they or their insurance company could owe you compensation.
- Third-Party Owners. If you were renting an ATV from a rental company and they failed to properly maintain or service their vehicles, and this caused the accident, they can be held liable.
- Manufacturers. If your accident was due to a malfunctioning part from a manufacturer, they could be at-fault.
- Property owner. If you were riding on a property meant for your ATV to be riding on, and the owner failed to maintain safety standards on their land, they could be liable for any accidents on their property.
Possible Damages You Can Collect in ATV Accidents
ATV accident lawyers can help you recover a variety of possible damages in ATV accident cases. Depending on what your off road vehicle crashes with (a large car or truck, for instance) or how they crash (flipped over versus rear ended), your damages after an ATV accident can be catastrophic.
Medical treatments including medical bills, doctor’s visits, surgeries, and more are easily quantifiable in a dollar amount based on your costs. Not all damages are this easy to translate into compensation. That does not mean you are not owed anything for them.
Here are some of the most common damages you can receive compensation for in an ATV accident lawsuit. This is not an exhaustive list. Every personal injury case is unique and an experienced attorneys can help you understand what financial compensation you could be owed for your injuries.
Medical bills. Make sure you keep track of every doctor visit, surgery, prescription or over-the-counter medication, and other treatments prescribed by your doctor. You should also keep track of the costs you incur getting to and from the doctor. ATV accident attorneys will use this documentation to build your case.
Pain and suffering. These are non-economic damages that include things like loss of enjoyment of life, emotional stress, and more that your personal injury attorney can help you quantify.
Financial losses. If your accident prevents you from going back to work for a few days or potentially for a lifetime, the negligent party can be held liable for your lost wages and loss of earning potential.
Work with an Experienced ATV Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or worse, wrongful death, in an ATV accident, talk to a personal injury lawyer today. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our team of passionate lawyers have been helping injury victims throughout Pennsylvania recover compensation for more than 60 years. We have the expertise, skills, and drive to ensure you receive maximum compensation. And we don’t get paid unless we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.