Cruising on an ATV is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors. But while some ATV rides end without incident, others are cut short by catastrophic accidents; statistics provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) show that in 2011 alone, more than 107,000 individuals were treated in the emergency room for injuries sustained while riding an ATV. Furthermore, 11,688 ATV-related fatalities occurred between 1982 and 2011. Sadly, 25 percent of those fatalities occurred among children under the age of 16.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an ATV accident, discuss your situation with us to understand how you can recover due compensation.
What causes ATV accidents?
Because they are often operated away from heavily trafficked roads, some view ATVs as less dangerous than regular automobiles and choose to drive with a lower standard of care. This carelessness could contribute to an ATV accident, injuring passengers and innocent bystanders.
Some common causes of ATV accidents include:
- riding the ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- driving without experience and operating the ATV;
- driving over poorly maintained or unfamiliar terrain;
- driver fatigue; and
- defective or malfunctioning equipment.
In some cases, because ATV riders are not protected by a steel cage, the parties involved may sustain serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Injuries associated with ATV accidents may include:
- head or spine injuries;
- broken bones;
- loss of limbs;
- electrical injuries;
- burns; and
- permanent disability.
Of course, a serious accident also can result in death.
Who can be liable for an ATV accident?
Depending on the circumstance of the case, myriad parties could be liable for an ATV accident. If reckless driving caused the accident, the injured party could file a claim against the driver responsible for the crash. If a defective product in the ATV contributed to the wreck, the injured party may file a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the malfunctioning piece of equipment.
If a death occurred as a result of the ATV accident, New York law provides legal recourse to survivors. Under Section 5-4.1 of the New York Estate Powers and Trusts law, the appointed personal representative of the individual killed in the accident can file a wrongful death suit on the decedent’s behalf to recover payment. The claimant may pursue compensation for funeral or burial expenses, loss of companionship, or even loss of future parental love and guidance, in the event that children are involved.
Our Attorneys Are Here to Help
Recovering after an ATV accident can be a strenuous experience; likewise, dealing with the loss of a loved one can be heartbreaking.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an ATV accident, contact the attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today to discuss your case. We will answer any questions you have and assist you in filing a claim. Feel free to contact us at 800-550-0000.