All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are three- or four-wheeled motorized vehicles used in recreational, and some work-related, activities. These vehicles can often travel at speeds over 50 miles per hour, and may way as much as 700 pounds, making them very difficult operate. As a result, ATVs have been involved in large numbers of crashes and injuries. In fact, three-wheeled ATVs are no longer manufactured because of their inherent instability and the number of rollovers and injuries involving these vehicles. However, these vehicles were not recalled and many remain in use today. Four-wheeled ATVs or “quads” provide greater stability and safety, but they can still be very hazardous.
Because an ATV has no side doors or a roof, riders are not protected. If the vehicle tips over and the driver attempts to use an arm or leg to brace themselves, broken arms, legs, or other injuries can occur. If the heavy vehicle rolls over a rider, its weight can injure or even kill the rider. Sadly, many of these accidents involve children.What causes ATV accidents?
Determining the responsible party in an ATV accident is not always simple, and that’s why it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a knowledgeable Miami ATV accident lawyer. Some possible complexities include:
- Lack of instruction. Often, ATV operators are not given the proper training or warnings before being allowed to operate the vehicle. Operators are often unaware of how fast ATVs can go or how heavy they are. If you were injured because of inadequate instruction, you may need to pursue action against the vehicle’s owner or insurance company.
- Location. ATV accidents don’t often occur on public roads, and privately owned roads and trails may not be properly maintained. You may need to seek compensation from those property owners or their insurance companies.
- Defective equipment. If your accident was caused by malfunctioning brakes or tires, or your ATV had structural issues with the frame or welding, you may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer(s).
If you’ve been injured in an ATV accident caused by defective equipment or someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses through the legal process. You could be entitled to compensation for vehicle repairs, medical bills, loss of earnings and future earnings, and pain and suffering. If a loved one has died as the result of an ATV accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit.
If you have been in an ATV accident, you should:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, to minimize future medical complications and to document the extent of your injuries.
- Collect information about your accident, including contact information for all people involved including witnesses, the location of the accident, make and model number of the ATV, and any insurance information.
- Do not sign anything or discuss your accident with anyone except law enforcement officials without talking to an attorney.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. There may be legal deadlines for filing a lawsuit, and an experienced attorney can help you meet those deadlines, negotiate with insurance companies, and assist with the legal process.
The law offices of Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, P.A. have helped ATV accident victims and surviving family members obtain compensation for deaths or injuries from product defects or another person’s negligence. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney with extensive experience in ATV accident litigation, call our Miami/South Florida offices at 305-448-8585 or toll free at 877-448-8585, or fill out our online contact form. Consultations are available in English, Spanish, and Creole.