All Terrain Vehicles, commonly called ATVs, are vehicles designed to travel on 3 or 4 low pressure tires. They have an open seat that the operator straddles and are steered using a handlebar. These vehicles are designed for off-road use, and are often operated on uneven, wooded, or muddy terrain. While manufacturers claim that the vehicles are safe for those uses, that is not always the case. How safely the vehicle can be operated depends both on design and the skill and experience of the operator.
ATV Accident Types
ATV accidents are usually of 1 of 2 types. Those in which the operator is injured, and those in which the vehicle strikes or otherwise causes injury to a third party. Claims arising out of instances in which the operator is injured usually involve questions of design defects. Proving such a case requires testimony from designing and engineering experts. Medical testimony tying the injuries to the accident is also required. In cases involving minors who are injured while operating an ATV, there may also be a claim based on the negligence of the owner in entrusting the vehicle to the minor.
Negligence Must Be Established
Accidents in which a third party is injured by the operation of the ATV are more like typical automobile accident cases in which the negligence of the operator must be establish. Such accidents may also involved claims against the manufacturer based on design. Such cases require expert testimony from medical professionals and, possibly engineers if design defects are also an issue.
Insurance Not Required
Unlike automobiles, ATVs are not required to be insured, so even if someone has a good claim, there may not be a source of funds to satisfy that claim. In cases in which design defects are proven, that probably won’t be an issue, as most manufacturers carry insurance to cover such claims. In cases involving negligence by the operator, or negligent entrustment to a minor, finding a source of funds could be more difficult. Knowing what sources might be available and how to tract them down could be essential to a person actually being compensated for their injuries.
These types of cases can be daunting and difficult. If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, don’t go it alone. Call the attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates for a free and confidential consultation. If you decided to retain us to represent you, we will put our experience and expertise to work assessing your case, finding the experts necessary to prove your case, and determining what sources of funds are available to satisfy your claim. All it takes is a phone call to (put in phone #) to start you on the road to recovering the compensation to which you are entitled.