An ATV accident often results in catastrophic injuries for the rider, and an ATV accident lawyer can help seek compensation for your injuries. Pennsylvania offers many recreational areas that are prime for ATV riding. However, when preventable accidents occur an ATV accident lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm can help accident victims who have suffered serious injuries.
As of September 2021. the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) collected reports of 1,566 fatal ATV incidents between 2016 and 2018. Of these accidents, 25 involved multiple fatalities. In fact, Pennsylvania had the third highest rate of fatal ATV incidents in the United States.
Common ATV Hazards
Overturning – overturning happens when a vehicle experiences a sideways rollover, or overturns forward or backwards, often while ascending or decending a hill or steep terrain. On flat terrain, a ATV driver may cause an overturn when attempting to make a sharp turn due to a high rate of speed, a change in terrain surface, or from improper loading. Turnovers may often occur due to slanted or uneven terrain. About 65% of fatal accidents in ATVs have involved an overturn, and it is the primary hazard in about 38% of ATV fatalities according to CPSC data analysis.
Collisions – are a frequent hazard for ATVs and are very common among ATV fatalities. The majority of these collisions are with stationary objects, and over 30% involve collisions with other vehicles.
Less frequent hazards include:
- Drowning from falling into a body of water
- Vehicle fires
- Falling or being ejected from the ATV without a collision or overturn
Common ATV Injuries
ATV injuries can be result in traumatic injuries that take weeks or months to recover from. Other people suffer permanent disability that pervades every aspect of their life. Examples of injuries from ATV accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Spinal cord injury / paralysis
- Fractured bones
- Severed limbs requiring amputation
- Severe sprains and strains
- Burn injuries
- Nerve damage
- Dislocated joints
- Severe lacerations and other wounds
- Wrongful Death
Children and ATV Injuries
Children between ages 12 – 15 have the highest injury rate of ATV injuries requiring treatment by an emergency department. Between 1985 – 2015, ATV accidents resulted in the death of 3,000 children under the age of 15 and nearly 1 million emergency department visits. While there are youth ATVs available on the market, the highest percent of fatalities occurred in children driving adult-sized ATVs.
Who may be Liable for Damages?
Depending on the unique situation of the accident, victims of an ATV accident may be able to file a claim against multiple defendants. The driver of the ATV may be at fault for reckless or careless operation of the vehicle. Or a property owner with a known hazard on the property may be at fault. In some cases, the manufacturer of the ATV may be at fault for a defective product. Defective products may include parts of the vehicle such as the gas tank, tires, throttle, or clutch. In these cases, you may be able to file a product liability claim. And in many cases, an individual may need help filing a claim against their own insurance company for medical expenses, lost income, funeral expenses, and more. These cases can be very complicated, especially when multiple defendants or insurance companies are involved. An ATV Accident lawyer in our firm will investigate the incident to identify who may be liable for your injuries.
What Types of Compensation Are Available for ATV Accident Injuries?
If you or a loved one suffered an injury while riding an ATV due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Speaking with an ATV accident lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm can help you your legal options and what damages you may be able to recover. You could receive money for:
- Medical expense – costs for the treatment of accident-related injuries, such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, physician visits, rehabilitation expenses, surgeries, and medications.
- Incidental costs – compensation for other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, such as costs of traveling to medical appointments
- Lost wages – compensation for missed work or reductions in pay from time off of work while recovering from your injures
- Pain and suffering – compensation for non-economic damages, such as physical pain, mental anguish and emotional suffering from the accident
What if I was Partially Responsible for my Injury?
Pennsylvania law uses the legal concept of comparative negligence. Section 7102 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly outlines that victims can seek compensation for their injuries even if they are partially at fault. Evidence from police reports, medical reports, witness statements, and other pertinent information from the accident scene may be reviewed to help determine the percentage of fault.
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule. The plaintiff can collect damages if it is found that they are less than 51% at fault. However, compensation for damages is reduced by the percent that the plaintiff is found to be at fault. For example, if a plaintiff with damages of $100,000 is found to be 10% at fault, their compensation would be reduced to $90,000.
Do I need an ATV Accident Lawyer?
Always consult an ATV accident lawyer following an accident that results in serious injuries. Determining fault for an ATV accident can be complex. A Philadelphia personal injury attorney can help get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding your accident and hold the negligent party responsible. At the Wieand Law Firm, our experienced and aggressive lawyers will advocate for you and your family, so that you can focus on recovery and not dealing with insurance companies. We offer a free consultation so that we can listen closely and understand your unique situation. After that, we strategize on how to help you obtain the best possible result for your damages. Call us today at 215-666-777 or send us a message to speak directly to an attorney.