ATV Injuries and Accidents

ATV accidents can be very complicated – particularly figuring out who may be responsible. Depending on the facts of the accident, sometimes the owner of the ATV may be responsible and you may need to file a claim against that person. If you were riding on a trail that was "dangerous" in some way, the person or organization that owns the trail may be responsible. In California, a "Dangerous condition" means a condition of property that creates a substantial (as distinguished from a minor, trivial or insignificant) risk of injury when such property is used with due care in a manner in which it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used. Finally, you may have a product liability case if the ATV itself was defective or unsafe in someway.

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, 385 ATV accident deaths occurred.
  • This number has been dropping since 2007, but it is expected to pick back up as ATVs grow in popularity, especially with younger children.
  • 93,700 ATV accident injuries landed riders in the emergency room in 2014.
  • Injuries most often occur to the arms, head, and neck.

Safety Tips

Safety tips should always be followed when using an ATV to minimize the risk of injury or death:

  • Only one person should be on an ATV at a time.
  • Before operating your ATV, read all literature and become familiar with the operation of the vehicle.
  • Inspect the vehicle thoroughly each time before operating it.
  • Wear proper clothing and safety equipment when operating the vehicle.
  • Supervise children at all times
  • Never drive or ride an ATV while intoxicated

Remember, inexperienced and young drivers have a much greater risk of injury or death as compared to experienced drivers. Parents should not allow their children operate an ATV without supervision. Consider taking a training course which can be greatly beneficial in quickly acquiring the skills needed for safe operation of an ATV. Activities such as drinking alcohol, driving at night, driving on paved roads, drugs, and speeding should always be avoided.

Types of ATV Accidents

When ATVs were introduced to the m arket in 1971, most were three-wheelers. However, due to their propensity for rollover accidents, they were removed from the market.  Nearly 20 years ago, the federal government declared ATVs an "imminent hazard" and forced manufacturers to drop unstable three-wheel models in favor of the four-wheelers sold today. Regulators also compelled the ATV industry to adopt safety warnings and offer rider training to stem the accidents. Still, an estimated 2.4 million three-wheelers had already been sold and many remain in use today.  Nonetheless, the major manufacturers refuse to accept responsibility. Honda, Polaris, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Bombardier and Arctic Cat all insist their machines are safe and stable if operated properly. They fault riders for accidents. In fact Honda's safety slogan is: "Stupid Hurts." But the statistics don't don't bear that out as ATVs can, and should, be designed and built better. (For example: "ATV Safety―Potential Effectiveness of the Quadbar as a Crush Prevention Device

Two of the most devastating and common types of ATV accidents involve collisions and rollovers. These types of accidents can result from design flaws, mechanical malfunctions or a "dangerous condition" on the property. For example, if an ATV has defective brakes or steering, it is more likely that a collision will occur.

We help clients who have sustained serious injuries in an ATV accident, whether it is a "roll over" due to the negligence of a manufacturer, dangerous condition on the property, or ATV collision with another vehicle. In these accidents, drivers frequently suffer serious trauma such as:

  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Facial injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Crushing injuries
  • Open or comminuted fractures
  • Traumatic amputation or dismemberment

A personal injury attorney can help recover the full amount for your damages.

ATV Accident Liability

Even if you are extremely careful when operating an ATV, you are still at risk for an ATV injury. If you are injured in an ATV accident, it may be possible to make a claim for damages for your injuries if the accident was caused by another party’s negligent, reckless, or careless actions.

A personal injury attorney will investigate several factors that can contribute to an accident to determine the proper responsible parties or manufacturers such as:

  • A dangerous property condition

  • Manufacturing or design defects of the ATV

  • Negligent design and manufacturing of the ATV

  • A manufacturer’s failure to warn of  the danger