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An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is a motorized off-road vehicle with 4 wheels. There are two main types of ATVs. The first type is meant to be driven by a single driver with no passenger. The other is meant to have a driver and a single passenger. ATVs are very popular in Texas, where riders may enjoy an abundance of open land for off-roading. ATVs can often be a fun and safe activity that allow you to get outdoors and experience nature in a unique way with your family and friends. However, sometimes ATVs may become dangerous and result in serious injuries to drivers and passengers.
After being injured in an ATV accident, the burden of filing a legal claim for compensation may be overwhelming to victims. Consulting an experienced attorney may decrease this burden. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience handling ATV claims and can help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to while you focus on getting better physically.
What to do After an ATV Accident?
1. Medical Attention
Even after administering basic first-aid, it is still important to seek medical attention by going to an emergency room or other doctor. Even when you think you may not have any serious visible injuries, you may still have suffered internal injuries that aren’t outwardly apparent. Regardless
of your injuries, if you are considering seeking legal compensation after an ATV accident, an official record of your injuries and treatment by a medical professional is essential to filing a claim.
2. Call the Police
It is always best to call the police after an ATV accident so that they can create and file an official police report. It is important to be honest with the police about what happened, your injuries, and any other information relating to the accident. The report created by the police will also be an important piece of evidence in your claim.
3. Document the Scene Yourself
The police will document what happened and anything else they deem relevant, however it never hurts to take matters into your own hands. Do your best to document anything you can. Take pictures of the area where the accident occurred, take pictures of the ATV and any damage, take pictures of your injuries as soon as you can, and try to write down any memorable details about what happened.
5. Consider hiring an attorney
After an ATV accident, victims can feel overwhelmed with trying to get their lives back on track, seeking treatment for injuries, and trying to pursue legal action in order to seek compensation. You may want to consider speaking with an attorney in order to determine if their assistance will be a valuable resource to you in seeking any compensation you may be entitled to. Our lawyers at Zinda Law Group can help!
ATV Accident Statistics
The most recent data from The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that in the year 2017 there were over 93,000 ATV related injuries in the United States. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission additionally sites Texas as the leading state in the United States for ATV related deaths. 13 people died in 2018 alone in Texas due to an ATV accident.
ATV accidents can pose an even greater threat to children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has found that 100 to 150 children and teens under the age of 16 die each year across the country due to an ATV related accident. While not all cases result in death, there are 40,000 children being treated for injuries in emergency rooms each year for ATV injuries.
Luckily, ATV accidents can be prevented and at the very least the likelihood than an ATV accident will result in serious injury can be lessened. Dr. Lerone Simpson, a Texas trauma surgeon, states that people who come into the hospital after suffering an ATV accident often were not wearing any protective equipment. The likelihood that you could be injured or even killed on an ATV may be reduced by 50% simply by wearing a helmet. This one simple step can make all the difference in ensuring your safety.
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
ATV accidents can be caused by a number of factors, however the most common causes of ATV accidents are:
- Driving an ATV on pavement. ATVs are meant to be driven off-road and do not function properly on paved roads or highways.
- Carrying a passenger on an ATV that isn’t meant to have a passenger. Some ATVs are meant for a single driver only and will not function properly with the added weight of another passenger.
- Driving or riding an ATV without proper experience.
- Riding an ATV that is not suitable for your height and weight
- Attempting to perform tricks or various stunts.
- Operating an ATV at an unsafe speed.
- Operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol.
Common Injuries from an ATV Accident
Injuries resulting from an ATV crash take many different shapes and forms. Always consult a doctor to make sure you are receiving the necessary treatment after being injured in an ATV accident. Here are a few of the commonly sustained injuries from an ATV accident:
- Head Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck Injuries
- Internal bleeding or other internal injuries
- Emotional injuries
- In serious circumstances, death
The main reason individuals get hurt while operating an ATV is because they aren’t wearing a helmet or other protective body gear. Always wear a helmet when operating or riding as a passenger on an ATV.
Filing a Claim for an ATV Accident
1. Speak with an Attorney
It is certainly not a requirement to have an attorney when you file a claim in an ATV accident case, however it is the best way to ensure you are being treated fairly by the legal process and the insurance companies involved. The attorneys at ZInda Law Group have a breadth of experience dealing with ATV claims. Call our office today free of charge to speak with an attorney about your ATV accident and your possible claim.
After you decide to pursue legal action for an ATV accident, an investigation is essential. The purpose of an investigation is to get the details on what happened, who was involved, what injuries occurred, and any other relevant factors that could affect how much compensation you should seek. If you choose to hire an attorney, they will have the experience to conduct this process efficiently and thoroughly.
Legal claims often require a lengthy negotiation process. The responsible party may reach out at some point to your attorney with an offer of settlement. Parties often settle lawsuits before they go to trial so that no one has to deal with the court process and the risk of losing in front of a jury. Most cases settle. However, usually initial settlement offers aren’t adequate. Therefore, an attorney can advise you on whether or not to accept and offer or negotiate further.
Compensation in an ATV accident claim is based on who is at fault. Owners and operators of ATVs have a legal duty to make sure the ATV is being operated safely in order to reduce the risk of any injuries to the driver, passengers, or even any bystanders. Any breach of that duty may result in liability.
Generally, there are two types of available compensation in a personal injury case. These two types are economic compensation and non-economic compensation. Economic compensation is meant to reimburse you for anything with an easily ascertainable price tag. This would include medical bills, lost wages, gas mileage for traveling to doctors appointments, property damage, and any other incidentals. All of these things have an actual dollar amount on them.
Non-economic compensation is based on emotional injuries such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. What you are owed in non-economic compensation is usually based on your medical bills multiplied by some number between 1-5 depending on the severity of your injuries.
Legal Time Limits
Texas places a two-year statute of limitations of personal injury claims. This is important because if you wait longer than two years from the day you were injured, you may not longer be allowed to file a claim and pursue legal action.
In the event that an ATV accident has resulted in the death of a loved one, you may potentially have a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims must be brought under Texas law within two years from the day the death was discovered or should have been discovered if an individual was exercising reasonable diligence.
OUR EXPERIENCED 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.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.