All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are extremely popular with children, teenagers, and adults. It is estimated that over 1.2 million Americans own an ATV. ATVs are especially popular with individuals who spend a lot of time outdoors or live in rural areas, and they can be used for a multitude of purposes, including hunting, recreation, and work. ATVs provide easy access to off-road areas where other vehicles cannot access or would be unable to maneuver and have the ability to pull or transport loads as well as provide dependable transportation for nature lovers and adventurers.
Like any vehicle, ATVs can be dangerous, especially if not operated properly. Sadly, thousands of people are injured or killed each year in ATV accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. Call Poynter & Bucheri, LLC at 1-800-265-9881 for a free consultation with an ATV Accident Lawyer.
Understanding all-terrain vehicles is an essential step to understanding how they can injure and even kill those who operate them when involved in an accident. In the last decade, the market for ATVs has grown exponentially, as has the number of ATVs to choose from. There are three main types of ATVs: utility ATVs, sport ATVs, and youth ATVs, with each ATV designed for its own specific benefits and disadvantages.
Utility ATVs offer:
- Versatile suspension
- Lower speed
- Heavier vehicle
- Ability to pull trailers and haul loads
- Automatic transmission
- Ability to go most places
Sport ATVs offer:
- Designed with competition in mind
- Faster speeds
- Allow for better maneuvering
- Manual transmission
- Narrower seat
Youth ATVs offer:
- Slower, beginner ATVs
- Smaller and simpler
- Made to train youth and teens into being responsible ATV riders
In addition to the three types of ATVs one can purchase or ride, there are also many brands on the market, some offering more bells and whistles than others. Some of the most popular ATV brands include:
- Arctic Cat
It is important for consumers to register their vehicles and pay attention to safety recalls, which increase the danger for all who operate the vehicle due to faults that have been discovered. Faulty parts on ATVs may include the tires, the clutch, the fender, the throttle, or more. For instance, in 2016, Polaris recalled two of their vehicles due to fire hazard, while in 2017 they received at least 30 reports of fuel leakages in their Sportsman 570 ATV, which had sold over 25,600 units, and was thus recalled.
In addition to individuals owning and operating their own ATVs, there are also many businesses throughout the United States that provide ATV rental. For Hoosiers, Brown County offers several ATV touring companies, as do other areas of the state. Similar to horseback riding businesses, ATV tours lead groups on ATVs off-road, through backwoods and hard to reach locations, for scenic and adventurous rides.
We Assist Personal Injury Victims Like You Recover Compensation for ATV Accident Injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. Call Poynter & Bucheri, LLC at 1-800-265-9881 for a free consultation with an ATV Accident Lawyer.
ATV Accident Statistics and Safety Tips
In 2018, approximately 8.11% of Americans aged 18-29 owned an ATV, while 11.85% of Americans aged 30-49 and 5.5% of Americans aged 50-64 owned ATVs.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been 14,653 ATV-related deaths reported from 1982 through 2016. Twenty-two percent (22%) of those deaths were children younger than 16 years of age. Indiana reported 243 ATV-related deaths from 1982 through 2016.
During 2016, the CPSC received 337 reports of ATV-related fatalities. The last year that figures for ATV deaths are considered complete was 2013. During that year, it is estimated that 653 people died in ATV-related accidents.
The annual injuries related to ATV accidents are much higher. During 2016, it is estimated that 101,200 people were treated in emergency rooms in the United States for ATV-related injuries, and in 2017 there were approximately 150,000 accidents involving injuries. However, these numbers could be higher because some people do not report injuries related to ATVs. Approximately twenty-six percent (26%) of the injuries were sustained by children younger than 16 years of age.
Safe ATV Riding
If possible, always ride an ATV with a friend or at least with the ability to contact someone should you be involved in an accident. It is important to keep in mind, though, that because ATV rides often involve being in the backwoods or out of populous areas, your cell phone may not have a signal on your ride. This means that should you have trouble, even if it just involves running out of gas or popping a tire, you will have a harder time if you are alone. Many areas have local ATV clubs or groups to help provide companionship and additional support for riders in their locale.
It is important to keep in mind that younger drivers are not only more susceptible to accidents and injuries, but also more likely to improperly operate a vehicle. It is highly recommended that those under 16 never ATV alone but rather go out in groups with at least one supervising adult.
The CPSC provides ATV safety information on its website, including the following ATV safety tips:
- Never allow a child under the age of 16 years to drive or ride an adult ATV
- Do not use ATVs on paved roads
- Complete a hands-on training course for ATV operation and safety
- Passengers should not ride ATVs with a driver
- Always wear helmets and other protective gear when driving an ATV
Additionally, the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) offers training for ATV riders, such as a 2 hour e-learning course as well as hands-on, in-person training for all ages and families. ASI suggests all ATV riders become familiar with the ways environmental and weather conditions can affect driving, how to properly negotiate different terrain, such as hills and valleys, how to clear or ride over obstacles, and how to make emergency stops or swerves, which if done incorrectly, can cause injury. They also encourage riders to:
- Purchase or wear proper DOT-compliant helmets that include eye protection when ATVing rather than helmets used for bikes or horseback riding.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when ATVing, as well as over the ankle boots and gloves.
- Only ride on designated trails and at speeds that are safe.
- Supervise all riders under the age of 16.
In Indiana, a law was passed in 2017 requiring all riders under 18 to wear DOT-compliant helmets when ATVing and all adults over the age of 18 who allow younger passengers to drive or ride without a helmet are in violation as well. This sets Indiana apart from the 19 states in the US that still do not require helmets, although Indiana does not require those over 18 to wear them.
When riding an ATV, you can come in contact with debris and foliage, as well as exposure to extreme sun and wind. Wearing the proper gear is an important step to staying safe and healthy while enjoying the freedoms and functionality that ATVs can provide.
To learn more about your legal rights and the compensation you deserve for your ATV injury claim, call 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to request your free consultation with an Indianapolis ATV accident lawyer.
Your time to file an ATV accident claim is limited. Do not wait too long to contact Poynter & Bucheri, LLC to discuss your claim or you could lose the right to receive money for your injuries and damages.
Common Causes of Indianapolis ATV Accidents
ATV accidents occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a third party may be responsible for the cause of the accident or injury, such as when a trail is not properly kept up or the vehicle has faulty parts. If another party caused your ATV injury, you could recover compensation from the responsible party.
Some of the common causes of ATV accidents in Indiana include:
- Inexperienced drivers
- Carrying more than one person (no passengers with driver)
- Lack of protective gear
- Defective ATVs or defective ATV parts
- Operating an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unsafe terrain or condition, including poorly maintained trails
- Driving on improper surfaces for the ATV, such as pavement and losing control
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Distractions and distracted driving
- Improper positioning of the ATV
Some of the most common factors in ATV accidents are inexperience, reckless operation, and impaired driving. Defective and recalled ATVs are also a common reason for ATV deaths and injuries. Approximately 1/3 of ATV fatalities occur with riders under the age of 16.
To recover compensation for your damages, you must identify the party who caused the accident or condition that led to your injury. In the case of ATV accidents, this can be more difficult than in accidents involving other vehicles. The PBAR team of Indianapolis ATV accident attorneys thoroughly investigates ATV claims to determine the cause of the injury and identify the party or parties liable for damages. If you or a loved one has been injured while riding an ATV, you may be entitled to compensation.
Call 1-800-265-9881 now for a free consultation with a Poynter & Bucheri, LLC ATV attorney in Indianapolis.
ATV Accident Injuries
As with other motor vehicle injuries, the injuries sustained in an ATV accident vary in type and severity. However, oftentimes the injuries can be traumatic because of the lack of vehicular protection for the rider, similar to the risks faced by motorcyclists. While protective gear and proper training can help reduce ATV accidents, some ATV crashes are unavoidable, especially when they are caused by negligent and wrongful acts.
Many ATV accidents involve the vehicle rolling over, and in the process, either throwing the rider (because ATVs don’t have seatbelts) or pinning the rider down beneath the vehicle.
According to statistics, almost 75% of ATV accidents result in severe injuries to the brain and spinal cord, and 29% of injuries involve the arm.
Some of the common injuries sustained in ATV accidents in Indiana include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and other head injuries
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
Additionally, many ATV accidents, because of the nature of the vehicles, occur in hard-to-reach, Indiana off-road locales, meaning that the victims can suffer for extended periods of time before help arrives or they have to wait to be transported back by other drivers. This can add to the pain suffered by the victim or the severity of the damages, as well as create or contribute to psychological trauma from the accident. Sometimes, riders may be so far away from a hospital that helicopters are required to get them to treatment.
Depending on the type and severity of the injury, an Indiana ATV accident victim could sustain permanent impairments or disabilities. The long-term consequences of an ATV accident can change a person’s life forever.
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Damages and Compensation for All-Terrain Vehicle Accident Claims
If you are injured in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your damages, injuries, and losses. The amount of compensation depends on several factors, including your injuries, financial damages, and liability. Unlike most motor vehicles, ATVs are not traditionally covered by vehicle insurance; this means that if you have any insurance coverage for an ATV accident, it probably falls under a different policy.
Common types of damages that might result in compensation in an ATV accident claim include:
- Costs of medical care and personal care, including hospitalizations, surgery, imaging and labs, specialty physicians, medications, medical equipment, physical therapy, and counseling
- Loss of income, including wages, bonuses, and other compensation
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Mental anguish, PTSD, and emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death claims
- Future damages, including ongoing medical expenses, personal care, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity
Working with an experienced Indianapolis ATV accident and personal injury attorney helps to ensure that you include all potential damages in your demand for personal injury settlement. It also helps to ensure that you do not accept a settlement offer from an insurance company that is much lower than the true value of your ATV injury claim.
Hi, my name is Rich Bucheri from Poynter & Bucheri. And today I want to talk about the importance of consulting an attorney right away if you're injured in an ATV accident.
So while ATVs can be really fun and a lot of young people like them, oftentimes if there are accidents, they result in very severe injuries. We're talking about either brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or some gruesome orthopedic injuries. And so it's important, right away, to establish potential liability. Who was the person or persons at fault for this accident and the subsequent injuries? Was it the driver? Was it the owner of the ATV? Was it the landowner, or was this a commercial enterprise? And the reason that we need to do that is because it's important to find out what insurance policies may be available. The more severe the injuries, the more the medical bills are going to be, the more damages you're going to have. And so it's so important to find out whether there is any potential insurance that's available to compensate you for your injuries.
Our Indianapolis ATV Accident Attorneys Can Help You!
If you suffer an accident caused by negligent, careless or reckless acts of another person or party, our Indiana personal injury lawyers may be able to help you. Your first step is to contact Poynter & Bucheri, LLC, for your free consultation with one of our lawyers. You may have the legal right to recover substantial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.
Call (800) 265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to schedule your free case review to learn about your legal rights to hold negligent parties responsible and liable for slip and fall injuries under Indiana’s personal injury laws.