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ATV Accident Injuries – Determining Who Is Liable In Off-Road Crashes

Florida is blessed with mild, warm weather throughout the year, as well as an abundance of different terrain, from oceans fit for yachting to swamps, lakes, and even forests suitable for off-road traversal. So it should be no surprise that because of this combination, the all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, is a popular motorized vehicle for Florida.

ATVs have practical use in getting to areas without roads, which is useful for work purposes, but ATVs are popular as recreational vehicles. Their big appeal, however, is that not only are they easy and fun to use, but it is also legal for minors to operate these vehicles.

Fun & Games Until The Accident

Because of how enjoyable and accessible ATVs are, it’s no wonder that these are extremely popular vehicles to use in Florida, both for work and play, especially in up-and-coming areas like North Port or Parrish where there is still undeveloped land to ride on. Unfortunately, this also means that accidents with ATVs can occur with regularity here in Florida, and if that happens, the injuries can be serious.

As with a motorcycle, an ATV is an exposed vehicle. A rider on an ATV has only the thickness of clothing to mitigate friction damage, and a helmet to protect against head injuries. The off-road nature of ATVs means that riders are, by design, tackling uneven, difficult surfaces, which makes falls, loss of control, and collisions a risk. But accidents don’t just occur off the road, they can occur on the road too.

Not Legal, But It Happens

ATVs are strictly regarded as off-road vehicles and should not be operated on any major roads. Unpaved roads are the only exception to this, as auto traffic is generally lower in these areas. Unfortunately, especially when dealing with people using ATVs on a recreational basis, obeying traffic law isn’t always a priority.

It’s not unusual, especially with people citing alcohol as a factor, for people to decide to take their ATVs on public roadways and get into accidents with them. Unfortunately, as with motorcycles, people who get into an accident with motor vehicles while on an ATV tend to get seriously injured since they don’t benefit from seat belts, roll cages, airbags, or any of the other protective devices that automobiles are equipped with.

An Array Of Injuries

People who get into accidents on ATVs can sustain numerous types of injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Paraplegia or quadriplegia
  • Cuts, scrape and other lacerations
  • Soft tissue damage like sprained or torn muscles
  • Blunt force trauma from impact or collision

And many more.
If this happens, the accident victim should get medical treatment as quickly as possible, and, if the situation warrants it, efforts should be made to determine who is at fault for the accident and whether any compensation is required.

It Goes Both Ways

Injuries on an ATV can happen in any number of ways. Some may be unavoidable, such as navigating tough terrain when an animal appears causing a necessary swerve to avoid it. Others, however, are preventable. You may, as a driver in a car, get hit by an ATV that shouldn’t be on the road, but due to drunkenness, an incident occurred. Or you may be on an ATV yourself and get into a collision with another ATV because the other driver was playing around, lost control of the vehicle and collided with you.

If you’re injured in an ATV accident, it is not your fault; you’re entitled to some compensation. All you have to do is talk to a lawyer experienced with ATV injuries and explain what happened. If you have sufficient grounds, you have a case, and you can seek what you’re owed in a court of law to make sure the people responsible answer for what they’ve done.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

ATV Accident Injuries – Determining Who Is Liable In Off-Road Crashes

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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