In many areas with forests and ample off-road trails, people will use all-terrain vehicles to travel or have enjoyable rides. Many will build ramps and ride off embankments. Often, the riders are younger individuals who are on the ATVs for fun, but do not have any license or formal training. They only have experience with the vehicles in small doses. ATV accidents can result in numerous injuries and should be ridden with extreme caution. One of the primary reasons that ATV accidents are so prevalent (with over 100,000 injuries per year) is due to the lack of many regulations for them. In fact, the only regulation that is concrete is an ATV safety certificate. This is often not enough to prevent anyone from riding the ATVs, and it is already difficult to enforce safe riding due to all the trips happening away from paved roads and traffic. If you were injured in an ATV accident, contact one of our off road accident attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group today.
ATV Regulations in California
California has a number of regulations concerning ATVs and riders. These regulations are meant to keep riders safe and aware of their surroundings. Refusal to follow these laws and attain the necessary certificate can result in fines and other punishments. According to vehicle codes in California:
- “Neither a parent or guardian of a child who is under 14 years of age, nor an adult who is authorized by the parent or guardian to supervise that child, may grant permission to or knowingly allow that child to operate an off-highway motor vehicle who cannot reach any of the controls of the vehicle. Cal. Veh. Code Ann. § 38304.1″
- No person may drive an off-highway motor vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of other persons or property. Cal. Veh. Code Ann. § 38305″
- No person may operate, nor may an owner permit the operation of, an off-highway motor vehicle in a manner likely to cause malicious or unnecessary damage to the land, wildlife, wildlife habitat or vegetative resources. Cal. Veh. Code Ann. § 38319″
- At dark and dusk, ATV must be equipped with at least one headlight. Cal. Veh. Code Ann. § 38335“
- An ATV must be equipped with a working spark arrestor. Cal. Veh. Code Ann. §38366“
- No person under the age of 18 years, on and after January 1, 1990, shall operate an all-terrain vehicle on public lands of this state unless the person satisfies one of the following conditions: (a) The person is taking a prescribed safety training course under the direct supervision of a certified all-terrain vehicle safety instructor; (b) The person is under the direct supervision of an adult who has in their possession an appropriate safety certificate issued by this state, or issued under the authority of another state; or (c) The person has in possession an appropriate safety certificate issued by this state or issued under the authority of another state. Cal. Veh. Code Ann. §38503″
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Violation of these regulations can lead to dire consequences. It is therefore highly recommended that all individuals take safety training courses and adhere to the basic rules of the roa and land when operating ATVs.
ATV Accident Causes
Regulations are in place to keep riders safe. However, many riders will ignore these regulations anyway and proceed to ride regardless. The most common example of this refusal is when kids under the age of 18 ride ATVs with no certifications. It is not uncommon for young people to get on quads and other vehicles and take them into the woods or desert to have joyrides. There are many reasons that ATV accidents can happen, including:
- Going over ramps or jumps
- Riding in trenches
- Riding in muddy or compromised areas
- Riding on paved roads
- Riding with too many individuals on the ATV at a time
- Hazards in the roads or ground, like fallen trees and rocks
- Lack of riding experience with ATVs
- Loss of control
- Riding while drunk
- Operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs
- ATV defects and malfunctions
ATV accidents can involve the vehicle flipping over, rolling over, crashing into stumps and trees, crashing into concrete barriers and dirt embankments, falling into rivers or lakes, and more. These off-road accidents can be extremely dangerous, even fatal at times, as evidenced by the yearly deaths of more than 500 riders.
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Injuries in ATV Accidents
The list of ATV accident injuries is very long, but what makes it especially unfortunate is how preventable many of the accidents are. Too often people will avoid wearing the necessary protective gear and helmets to stay safe in the event of accidents. This gear is extremely necessary given the fact that ATVs are generally unsafe and do not have safety features. Most off-road vehicles may have roll bars, but most have nothing at all – no seat belts, no air bags, and no way to protect the rider. Riders are meant to be thrown from the ATVs in the case of accidents because it is better to be flung than to be crushed. Some of the injuries that can happen in ATV accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Nerve damage
- Torn muscles
- Knee and hip injuries
- Closed head injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Disc injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Severed digits and limbs
- Crushing injuries
- Puncture wounds
The degree of your injuries will play a large part in the value and worth of your lawsuit. Speak with one of our ATV accident lawyers to learn more.
ATV Accident Lawsuits
You may wish to file a lawsuit after an ATV accident if you were injured. However, you can only file a claim if you can find negligence in some way. For instance, if the ATV had a defective brake line or parts of the vehicle were loose or fell off, you could sue the company. A product liability case requires that you prove that there was a design flaw, a manufacturing error, or a lack of warnings. However, you may be able to file a fellow ATV rider if it is revealed that he was negligent or had violated regulations. For example, if the individual was riding around without a safety certificate or he was riding at night with no headlights, he could be held responsible for the incident. In these personal injury claims, you must prove that you were owed a duty of care that was violated, and that the violation of duty led to an accident that caused physical injuries.
Learn more about your legal options: call (888) 649-7166 to speak with a representative now.
To have ample proof for your lawsuit, you should take the following steps:
- Get medical attention for your injuries
- Hold on to medical receipts and doctor’s notes
- Take photos of your injuries, the scene of the accident, the damage to the ATVs, and more
- Write down eyewitness and bystander statements and testimonies
- Write down contact and insurance details of any other involved parties
- Hold on to the ATV as evidence
- Contact a skilled ATV accident attorney to determine your next best path of action
If you wish to file a lawsuit against the company for a defective ATV, you will need to file a report with the business and preserve your evidence, making sure to not return it so that it can be replaced. If you wish to file a claim against an individual, your claim should outline fault and responsibility. Either way, an expert attorney will be able to handle your claim for you and ensure that it goes to the right place.
ATV Accident Compensation
It is within your rights for you to receive financial restitution if you were hurt in an ATV accident and the incident were not your fault. Our team of experienced attorneys will strive to win you the damages you deserve, including the following:
- Coverage of medical bills and future medical treatments
- Reimbursement of lost wages from the past and payment for future missed income
- Repair or replacement of damaged property
- Compensation for emotional trauma and pain and suffering damages
We know that you may not have the funds needed o pay off these various expenses, and we will do all we can to win your claim for you so you do not have to worry about fees.
The Best Firm in the State
Our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, is one of the premier law firms in California. We have numerous highly-rated attorneys who can take on your ATV accident lawsuit and who will fight until the end for your rights and compensation. We are willing to go to court if we have to, and our aggressive lawyers never let an offer sit on the table. We constantly strive to maximize your earnings and we refuse to give up until we are satisfied. Call (888) 649-7166 today to set up a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys. We invite you to ask us anything you wish and we will answer your questions. We will tell you more about the legal process and what you could expect moving forward. Additionally, we will give you our zero fee guarantee. This states that you won’t have to spend a dime of your own money through the case. We will only get paid if we win, and if we lose, your savings will remain untouched. For more information, contact the Downtown LA Law Group today so we can start on your ATV accident lawsuit.