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ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, have become popular all throughout Colorado, whether it be for work or recreation. But however fun these vehicles may be, it is important to remember that accidents can happen. These accidents can vary in severity and can result in very serious injuries. If you find yourself to be the victim of an ATV accident caused by the negligence of another, you may choose to file a claim seeking compensation for any injuries or damage caused by the accident. If this is the case, consider reaching out to an ATV accident attorney as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with our ATV accident attorneys. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us anything.
What to Do after an ATV Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in an ATV accident there are some important steps you should consider taking to protect your rights and make it easier to seek compensation in the future:
1. Seek Medical Attention
After being in an accident of any kind your top priority should always be your health and safety. It is possible that after an ATV accident you may not notice any injuries right away. However, trained medical professionals are on the lookout for these hidden injuries. Therefore, seeking medical attention is certainly in your best interest as such hidden injuries can worsen over time creating even bigger problems.
2. Contact the Police
If you or a loved one has been involved in an ATV accident, one of your first steps after seeking necessary medical attention should be to contact the police or local authorities. Some areas may in fact require a call to the police for such accidents. Regardless, reports created by police may prove invaluable should you decide to seek compensation for any injuries or damage caused by the accident. Police reports provide an objective view of what happened and compile information from multiple sources.
3. Document the Incident
If seeking compensation is an option you may wish to consider, you should document the incident as extensively as possible. This includes taking pictures of the scene, any injuries, and any damage to property. You should also consider reaching out to any witnesses of the accident and record their statements and ask for their contact information.
4. Keep an Organized Record
Keeping an organized record of all the information you gathered regarding the incident and any costs spent related to incident may prove helpful should you decide to pursue a claim. It is important to have this information readily available in a specific location. By being prepared with all of your information, all parties will likely take your case more seriously and treat you with the respect you deserve. Information you should consider keeping includes any documentation from the scene of the incident, any medical expenses, any repair receipts, and any contact information from those who were directly involved in the incident or who witnessed the incident. If you think the information may prove useful further down the line, you should certainly consider keeping it and placing it in your organized record.
5. Contact an ATV Accident Attorney
By far one of the best steps to take after an ATV accident is to contact an experienced ATV accident attorney. An ATV accident attorney can look at the unique facts of your case and explain to you any potential options you may have. Although it may be true that ATV accident claims can be confusing and overwhelming, experienced attorneys can help simplify the process and help you better understand what to expect. Contacting an attorney after your ATV crash is certainly in your best interest, and may just be the smartest choice you can make.
ATV Accident Statistics
If you are deciding whether or not to purchase or ride an ATV it is important to be aware of some key statistics. ATV accidents are much more common than some people may realize. Some important statistics related to ATV accidents from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission include:
- Nationwide, there are approximately 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries every year involving ATVs
- In 2017, there were approximately 93,800 ATV-related, emergency department-treated injuries nationwide
- 26% of these involved children younger than 16 years of age
- Nationwide, most ATV-related injuries occur in the summer months (May, June, July, August, September)
- In Colorado, between 2015 and 2017, there have been approximately 22 reported ATV-related fatalities
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
Although ATVs are usually seen as a great source of fun all throughout Colorado, it is important to remember that accidents can still happen. No matter how prepared you are for any situation, ATV accidents can happen to anyone. Common causes of ATV accidents include:
- Vehicle collisions
- Poor design or manufacturing problems
- Improper repairs or routine care
Common Injuries from ATV Accidents
If you decide to purchase or ride an ATV it is important to be aware of some common injuries that can occur to drivers or passengers. These injuries can range in severity from minor cuts and bruises all the way to fatal or life changing injuries. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
Filing A Claim for An ATV Accident
If you decide to seek damages for your ATV accident you may consider filing a claim with the assistance of an attorney. If this is indeed the case, you should be aware of some important steps that are usually taken when your attorney is filing such a claim. Some common steps that attorneys may make when filing and pursuing a claim for an ATV accident include:
After an ATV accident, your attorney may try and gather as much evidence as possible to try and determine exactly what happened. Based on this information, your attorney may then decide what options may be available to you. Common sources of information attorneys look at when investigating ATV accidents include police reports, photographs, medical reports, witness statements, repair receipts, and your statements.
After a thorough investigation, your attorney may then reach out to the other party in the case or, if applicable, the insurance company. Your attorney may use the information gathered from their investigation in an effort to reach a settlement. This settlement may take into account a variety of complex factors in deciding the right amount of compensation. Negotiation can be quite confusing without the aid of an experienced ATV accident attorney.
If a settlement is not able to be agreed upon, your attorney may then consider taking your case all the way to trial. Although trials may be a rare occurrence in such cases, it is important to understand that they are still an option. An experienced attorney may help explain to you the process and make sure you understand the options you have and the potential outcomes of your case.
If you have been injured in an accident involving an ATV, it is important to take the time to learn how compensation is sought and what damages you may be able to seek. Generally, in order to be successful when seeking damages, the victim must show that the other party that caused the injuries was negligent. In order to prove negligence, the victim must prove four things:
- The person who caused the injury owed the victim a duty of care
- The person who caused the injury breached that duty of care
- That person’s negligence caused the accident
- The accident caused the victim’s injuries
If the victim is able to prove negligence, the next major area to understand is what areas of compensation are available. When considering this it is important to understand the difference between economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily calculated and are objective, while non-economic damages may be more subjective and harder to precisely quantify. Common areas of compensation for ATV accident claims include:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
- Punitive damages
Legal Time Limits
Every state has different laws which governs how lawsuits are handles. One such way in which lawsuits are governed by state laws is the legal time limits in which such claims may be filed. These legal time limits are generally called a state’s “statute of limitations.” Filing outside of a state’s statute of limitations may prevent your case from being heard, and therefore may prevent you from seeking the compensation you need after an accident.
In Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims that may arise out of ATV accidents is just two years. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to file your claim seeking compensation. If you are confused about how the statute of limitations applies to your case or if there are any exceptions to the general rule, consider reaching out to an experienced ATV accident attorney who can help explain to you your situation. Do not let time pass you by when considering whether or not to file a claim, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
OUR EXPERIENCED Colorado ATV ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS MAY HELP!
While ATVs are advertised as a highly useful all-terrain vehicle, in truth they are extremely dangerous, resulting in thousands of severe accidents in the United States every year. If you or a loved one has been injured by an ATV, you may be entitled to compensation.
It is highly important to focus on your health and recovery after an ATV accident. Therefore, we believe our experienced attorneys may help ease the legal burden by fighting on your behalf before the court, against adverse parties, and with applicable insurance companies.
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