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ATV Accidents

Driving an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) can be a great adventure and a lot of fun. Commonly used for sport and pleasure, ATVs are also used on farms and in rural, off-road, and mountainous areas to get work done in places cars can’t go. Many people who live in urban areas like Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, and Kirkland wish to get away from the city and go off into the mountains or woods in the Cascades or the Olympic Peninsula to experience what an ATV has to offer.

Depending on who you are, driving an ATV can provide a thrilling form of entertainment or a practical and effective way to accomplish tasks.

In either case, ATVs have become a very popular mode of transportation, with hundreds of thousands of sales in the United States every year and approximately 4.2 households owning an ATV. Unfortunately, with so many people riding these peppy little four-wheeled motor vehicles, accidents happen.

Washington State ATV Laws

If you have been injured while driving an ATV, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. In order to do this, you have to determine who was at fault, or liable, for the accident.

Negligence is a legal term that denotes potential responsibility for an accident. In common legal parlance, a person or entity is considered to be negligent when they fail to demonstrate reasonable care in maintaining the safety of those for whom they are responsible.

The following is a list of ATV accident scenarios in which another person or entity might be found to be guilty of negligence, which led to an accident and injuries:

  • An ATV owner invites you to drive his/her ATV and you run into a tree due to failing brakes
  • While riding on an official and approved ATV trail you have an accident due to the trail not being properly maintained.
  • An ATV owner invites you to ride as a passenger on his/her ATV, resulting in an injurious accident.

There are many scenarios in which you may not be at fault for having been injured in an ATV-related accident. The best course of action is to contact an experienced ATV accident personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

ATV-Related Death & Injury Statistics

According to government statistics, roughly 300 – 400 ATV deaths occur every year in the United States. In 2016, there were over 101,000 ATV-related injuries treated in an emergency room—and about 25% of these injuries happened to minors under the age of 16.

While the overall number of ATV-related injuries has decreased slightly over the past decade, the injuries continue to be fairly serious. In 2016, there were over 28,000 ATV-related fractured or broken bone injuries, nearly 23,000 contusions or abrasions, and about 11,500 lacerations—with over 27,000 injuries to the head or neck.

Causes of ATV Accidents

The most common scenarios that cause ATV accidents are:

  • Rolling or flipping over
  • Passenger in the backseat of ATV (designed for single driver)
  • Driving on paved road (ATV designed for off-road surface)
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Intoxicated driver
  • Unsupervised child driver
  • Driving recklessly

The most common kind of ATV accidents occur when the vehicle rolls or flips over, compressing the driver and any passengers underneath. At slightly over 600 pounds, the average ATV can cause a great deal of damage to a vulnerable body pinned beneath it. However, ATV drivers and riders can also be thrown from a moving vehicle and strike the ground, a tree, a rock, or any other object in the surrounding environment.

Driving any vehicle while intoxicated is a bad idea, but the prospect is perhaps more alluring when driving an ATV off-road in places the police do not frequent. While you may get away with drunk driving for a while, an accident could shatter the illusion with a sudden and painful trip to the ER. As with any motor vehicle, always drive sober!

We all like to show off and have a good time, but considering the consequences of an ATV accident, it is best to use a bit of prudence and drive cautiously. Lastly, common sense tells us that a child should always be supervised when driving an ATV.

Practicing Safety While Driving an ATV

Because ATV accidents are so prevalent and serious, it is wise to adhere to a list of safety protocols whenever driving an ATV. The following is a good list of ATV driving rules:

  • Read and make sure you understand the ATV's operating manual, especially noting terrains on which your ATV can be driven.
  • Always wear a helmet, protective footwear and other appropriate gear when operating an ATV.
  • New or inexperienced drivers should always receive safety training and ATV driving practice with an experienced ATV operator.
  • Never carry a passenger on your ATV.
  • Always have a walkie talkie, cell phone or other communication device to use in an emergency situation when driving an ATV.
  • Be aware of government regulations regarding ATV use.
  • Don’t allow young children to drive an ATV.
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Determining Negligence and Liability in ATV Accidents and Injuries

If you have been injured while driving an ATV, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. In order to do this, you have to determine who was at fault, or liable, for the accident. Negligence is a legal term that denotes potential responsibility for an accident. In common legal parlance, a person or entity is considered to be negligent when they fail to demonstrate reasonable care in maintaining the safety of those for whom they are responsible.

The following is a list of ATV accident scenarios in which another person or entity might be found to be guilty of negligence, which led to an accident and injuries:

  • An ATV owner invites you to drive his/her ATV and you run into a tree due to failing brakes
  • While riding on an official and approved ATV trail you have an accident due to the trail not being properly maintained.
  • An ATV owner invites you to ride as a passenger on his/her ATV, resulting in an injurious accident.

There are many scenarios in which you may not be at fault for having been injured in an ATV-related accident. The best course of action is to contact an experienced ATV accident personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

Common ATV Injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Lacerations (including facial lacerations)
  • Sprains and strains
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Spinal and/or back injuries
  • Neurologic (nerve) injuries
  • Amputations

Because ATV drivers and riders are unprotected, much like riding a motorcycle, accidents can cause severe injuries. The worst injuries caused by ATVs are traumatic brain injuries, permanent concussions, and spinal cord injuries causing paralysis.

While these kinds of injuries are both debilitating and agonizing, a facial laceration can leave a permanent scar that may cause a lifetime of heartache or regret. Broken bones, whiplashed necks and bruised internal organs are no fun either—which all means that ATV drivers should be extra-precautious.

How The Jackman Law Firm can Help

After an ATV accident, you are likely understandably concerned and upset and maybe confused about how to go forward with your case, or you may even be unsure whether you have a case at all. The Jackman Law Firm can help you make the best possible decision regarding your case. We have the experience, resources, and ability to make the best of your case. We can help you recover the following:

  • Money for your lost wages
  • Money for pain and suffering
  • Money for out of pocket expenses
  • Money for loss of consortium
  • Money for medical bills

It is unlikely the insurance company for the ATV company will simply come to you and offer a fair settlement immediately for your injuries. Rather, you need the assistance of an experienced and dedicated lawyer who can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Feel free to call The Jackman Law for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Jackman has far exceeded my expectations in handling my case. I had hired another lawyer shortly after my accident, only to be told 2 short months before the statute of limitations ran out that he could not represent my case. I reached out to Mr. Jackman and within 4 months my case was settled and closed. Chris Jackman is a qualified, competent, up and coming Seattle Lawyer. He will handle your case in a prompt and professional manor. I can’t say enough about how he changed my perception of lawyers in general. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Jackman to my family and friends. Jim D.
★★★★★
Hired Chris for a personal injury case. I knew the Insurance companies would try to do what they do best – delay payment, save money, and not be fair! (Sorry, not a fan!) And they did just that. Fortunately I hired a caring, compassionate, awesome, kind, focused, brilliant, up and coming Rockstar of an attorney that believed in me and my case. Anytime something came up, I would call him and he would say "I’ll take care of it" and I knew it would be handled. You can count on Chris to go the extra steps to help you, and I really believe in him. Wouldn’t hesitate to hire or recommend. Thank you Chris for being a fair and honest man and Attorney! Anonymous
★★★★★
Mr. Jackman is by far the best to hire for personal injuries. With a tree falling on me and no one wanting to take on the insurance co. Chris meet with me was compassionate with my injuries, came to my house and told me he had my back. He went above and beyond to keep my family and informed on the processes what to expect and even and even worked while away and checked in with me weekly. He believed in me, I believed in him and together yesterday we won my case. If you want 5 star treatment from a 5 Star Lawyer, Chris Jackman is who you need! My family thanks you for all you’ve done!! Anonymous