All-terrain vehicles, also known as ATVs, are kinds of vehicles that be driven through all kinds of terrains and surfaces. ATVs, although fun, have a higher center of gravity and a narrow wheel base that creates a high risk of rolling over, even on flat surfaces. This makes the chances of personal injury very high and approximately 75 percent of ATV accidents cause serious long-term damage to the head or spinal cord. Other injuries could include broken bones, crushed limbs and lacerations. In many states, not only is there no minimum age law to ride ATVs, there are no safety helmet laws either. Safety is really important when it comes to having fun on ATVs, but accidents do happen.
An ATV accident is one that results in property damage, injury or death. These accidents can occur for many reasons, but with the risk of driving an ATV, most cases are due to the improper handling of the vehicle from the driver.
Victims of ATV accidents cannot collect compensation unless they prove the accident occurred through negligence. To show an accident was due to someone else’s negligence, the incident must fall under at least one of the following criteria:
- Caused harm to the victim
- Caused by another’s carelessness
- Was the fault of another
Comparative negligence could be a factor if there is more than one person that could be at fault for the accident. In other words, the liability is placed on the person who more than likely caused the incident.
If the accident occurred due to a faulty part in the ATV, this could be a case for product liability. Manufacturers and sellers are responsible if they sell a defective product.
On the other hand, if one utilizes an ATV for recreational use at an outfitter, the land owners must take precautions to carefully mark land boundaries. These markers should be clearly visible. Unmarked wire and rope boundaries could be fatal to people riding ATVs. If an accident has occurred and there are damages to the ATV, the driver may be responsible for reimbursing the ATV outfitter for the cost of the ATV at its current market value.
We know that Arizona has the perfect weather for ATV use all year round. That is why, at Skousen, Gulbransen & Patience, PLC., we understand the risk of accidents occurring quite frequently. If you have been the victim of an ATV accident due to an outfitter or landowner’s negligence, please contact us today to receive the compensation you deserve.