ATV Accident Lawyers in New Mexico
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Whether a 3-wheeler, 4-wheeler, or any other type of off-road vehicle, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be fun and exhilarating recreational options for riders of all ages. They continue to grow in popularity, especially with young adults and teenagers; unfortunately, they can also be dangerous, especially if not operated safely or if proper safety measures are not followed. All too often ATV accidents can result in severe or even fatal injuries, while leaving victims or their loved ones faced with an aftermath that can be confusing, like any motor vehicle or automobile accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a New Mexico ATV accident, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced accident lawyers. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
atv accident statistics
Between 2015 to 2017, there were 2,210 fatal incidents reported across the United States involving off-highway vehicles, including 1,671 incidents involving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). During this period, New Mexico reported 27 fatal accidents resulting in 28 reported deaths. Meanwhile, between 2015 to 2019, there were an estimated 524,600 injuries treated in emergency departments across the country as a result of accidents involving off-highway vehicles.
Approximately 27% of these injuries occurred to children under the age of 16, while almost half of the injuries suffered in ATV accidents occurred to victims between the ages of 16 and 34. Importantly, these statistics reflect the frequency and danger of ATV accidents near you in New Mexico as well as across the entire country.
Common causes of an atv accident in New Mexico
The cause for many accidents involving an ATV can be uncertain and the circumstances confusing, especially without the help of an experienced accident lawyer to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. Seasoned accident investigators are aware that ATV accidents are caused by a wide variety of things, such as:
- Defective conditions on the land that cause the operator to lose control of the ATV
- A car or other vehicle crashing into the ATV
- The ATV being defective as a result of poor design or manufacturing
- The ATV not being properly maintained or repaired
- Improper, insufficient, or no training for the ATV’s operator
- The ATV being operated negligently
- Negligent supervision of an underage operator of an ATV
- The ATV’s owner failing to properly adhere to accepted safety standards
Further, rollover accidents are especially common with ATVs, and may be caused by a mechanical failure of some kind, a design flaw with the ATV, or negligent operation by the operator. If you have been injured in an accident involving an ATV, a skilled can help you determine the cause of the accident as well as who may be liable for your injuries or damages.
Common injuries suffered in new mexico atv accidents
While ATVs can be fun and exhilarating for riders, they can also be very dangerous. Many ATVs weigh as much as 1,000 pounds, or a half-ton, while also being capable of reaching maximum speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. As a result, accidents involving ATV riders can be severe and costly.
Similar to motorcycles, ATVs unfortunately offer very little protection for riders in the event of an accident. Common injuries suffered by ATV accident victims in New Mexico include injuries ranging from minor to severe, life-threatening, or even fatal, such as:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Facial injuries
- Head or brain injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck injuries
- Fractures or broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Temporary or permanent paralysis
- Amputated fingers, toes, or limbs
- Second or third-degree burns
- Crush injuries, such as internal bleeding or internal organ damage
If you or a loved one have been injured in an ATV accident in New Mexico, contact a skilled accident lawyer near you as soon as possible to help you determine your legal options for pursuing compensation for any injuries or damages. By hiring an accident lawyer, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while your attorney handles your case.
Applicable aTV Laws in new mexico
While ATVs continue to grow in popularity, they also pose significant dangers for riders, resulting in the need for states to enact laws and regulations to keep riders safe. Given the large number of ATV riders in the state, New Mexico has enacted various regulations to protect ATV riders, their passengers, and other roadway users. These regulations apply to ATV riders regardless of whether they are using the ATV for work, recreational purposes, or cross-country transportation.
An ATV accident lawyer can help you understand these safety laws applicable to all ATV users in New Mexico:
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 66-3-1010.3: Operation and Equipment; Safety Requirements
New Mexico law defines an off-highway motor vehicle as a “motor vehicle designed by the manufacturer for operation exclusively off the highway or road,” which includes ATVs, off-highway motorcycles, snowmobiles, and recreational off-highway vehicles designed for travel on four or more non-highway tires.
Pursuant to New Mexico law, every ATV must be operated:
- With a spark arrester approved by the United States Forest Service
- With one or more headlights capable of lighting objects at least one hundred fifty feet away
- With one or more taillights capable of exhibiting a red or amber light at a distance of at least two hundred feet
- Without producing noise which exceeds ninety-six decibels
- In areas where off-highway motor vehicle traffic is not prohibited under local, state, or federal rules or regulations
Further, no person is allowed to operate an off-highway motor vehicle:
- While under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- In a negligent, careless, or reckless manner that would endanger the person or property of someone else
- Unless the person possesses a registration certificate or a valid nonresident permit
Meanwhile, ATV riders under 18 are required to:
- Wear a helmet at all times
- Wear protective eyewear
- Obtain a safety permit by completing a certified OHV course
- Never operate an ATV while carrying a passenger at any time
- Be visually supervised at all times by a parent, legal guardian, or adult over the age of 18 with a valid driver’s license
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 66-3-1011: Operation on Streets or Highways; Prohibited Areas
ATV riders in New Mexico are not allowed to operate any off-highway motor vehicle on any limited access freeway or highway, or any paved street or highway. Meanwhile, while ATV riders are allowed to cross streets or highways, they may not cross a limited access highway or freeway. Further, off-highway motor vehicles in New Mexico may not be operated on any land that is owned, controlled, or administered by the state game commission, as well as any land that is owned, controlled, or administered by the state energy, minerals and natural resources department, unless in areas specifically allowed by the respective agency.
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 66-3-1012: Driving of Off-Highway Motor Vehicles Adjacent to Highway
New Mexico law does allow off-highway motor vehicles that have been issued validating sticker or a nonresident permit to be driven adjacent to a highway under certain conditions.
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 66-3-1014: Accidents and Accident Reports
Finally, New Mexico law explicitly requires any driver of an ATV that is involved in an accident to report the accident to a law enforcement agency if the accident resulted in injuries to or the death of someone, or which resulted in damage to private or public property to the extent of $500 or more.
is my atv accident covered by insurance?
After an ATV accident, many victims assume that any injuries or damages will be covered under the driver’s auto insurance policy. However, unlike automobiles, ATVs generally are not covered by auto insurance companies, meaning your car insurance coverage will likely not cover any injuries you may suffer if you are involved in an ATV accident. Indeed, almost all automobile insurance policies across the United States specifically exclude coverage for off-highway or all-terrain vehicles.
Instead, you will need to explore other sources of potential insurance coverage for your accident. To help you with this search, an accident lawyer at Zinda Law Group can help you investigate for any potential source of coverage. For instance, the property owners’ insurance policy may cover your damages in many cases if the accident was caused by a defective condition on the property owners’ land.
Many homeowners’ insurance policies include provisions that limit or exclude coverage for accidents involving ATVs. As a result, any potentially applicable homeowners’ insurance policy will need to be carefully reviewed after an ATV accident to determine whether the accident may be covered under the homeowners’ insurance coverage.
Some insurance companies do specifically provide coverage for ATV accidents, which may operate in a similar manner to automobile insurance, such as offering collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage, as well as coverage for property damage or bodily injury liability. This liability coverage can provide compensation for any damages caused to another person’s property or any injuries the person suffered in the ATV accident. If you have been injured in an accident involving an ATV, consider calling an experienced Zinda Law Group ATV accident lawyer to help you determine whether any applicable insurance coverage may cover your injuries or damages.
Contact an accident lawyer near you today
An ATV accident can be a traumatic and life-changing event for everyone involved as well as for their loved ones. The skilled ATV accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group understand this and have years of experience helping other victims pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to. Our attorneys also understand how confusing and difficult the aftermath of these accidents can be; for less stress, allow us to handle your claim for you so you can focus on your recovery.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an ATV accident in New Mexico, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Our lawyers can help you better understand your legal options and the next steps to take following your accident.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.