Our California ATV Accident Lawyers have been helping victims of auto accidents since 1978. The Law Offices of Bisnar Chase has recovered over $500 million in compensation and we continue to hold a 99% success rate when it comes to winning cases for our clients.
Those who have been injured can seek recovery for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, therapy and pain and suffering. A personal injury claim may be filed against an at-fault party such as the driver of another vehicle.
If you or a loved one have experienced serious injuries in an all-terrain vehicle crash please contact our personal injury attorneys at 800-561-4887 for a free case evaluation.
5 Steps to Take After an ATV Accident
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are fast and fun to ride, but they can also be unstable and dangerous. ATV accidents may occur as a result of a driver error, product defect or faulty vehicle design. Regardless of how or why these accidents occur, they have the potential to cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
If you have endured an ATV collision you should:
- Seek medical attention immediately: There are numerous injuries that one can obtain in a four-wheeler crash. Some can even become paralyzed. Call for an ambulance and wait for the police to arrive. Do not leave the scene of the incident without being cleared by a medical professional or officer first. Also, even if it has been confirmed that you are physically okay, schedule an appointment with your primary to receive x-rays and exams just in case you might have an underlining condition.
- Collect information: An ATV accident is a unique circumstance and collecting evidence for your claim is crucial. The information that you gather at the scene of the incident should include witness accounts, names, addresses and driver licenses if there were any others involved in the collision. If there is a situation where a driver left the scene of the wreck, if possible, quickly jot down or take a picture of their license plate number.
- Take photos: Capturing the wreckage left behind in an ATV crash is vital. This will give your California ATV accident lawyer concrete evidence of what potentially took place at the scene. You will need to take photos of the four-wheeler and the vehicle/vehicles involved. Do not forget to take photos showing the surroundings and scene of the wreck, which can include any street markings, extreme weather conditions, or any warning signs in the area.
- File a collision claim: Although there are many similarities between filing a car accident claim and an ATV accident claim, there are some key differences to take note of. Not all states require that you have insurance for your four-wheeler; in fact, ATV insurance is not a required in California. However, it is in an owner’s best interest to obtain an ATV insurance policy just in case expenses need to be covered for a collision. Call your insurance company right after the accident to begin the process of filing your claim and to provide your statement of what occurred.
- Contact a California ATV accident attorney: If you or your child have been seriously injured in a four-wheeler crash, our ATV wreck lawyers are here for you. We understand that being in a collision will have an extreme financial impact on you and your loved ones. Our attorneys have a 99% success rate and believe that client satisfaction should be the main priority in serving you. Call our law offices for a free case analysis.
ATV Accident Statistics
Hundreds of people are hurt or killed in ATV accidents each year. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), within a 32-year study period, 694 people died from quad collisions.
A number of these injuries and fatalities involved minors below the age of 16.
Types of ATV Accidents
ATVs are commonly involved in rollover accidents due to the way they are designed and because they are usually driven on rugged or uneven terrain. Accident victims have experienced multiple injuries or have died by being crushed, or being thrown off a four-wheeler. ATV accidents may occur as a result of driver error, product defect or faulty vehicle design.
In addition to defective auto parts, some of the most common causes of ATV accidents include:
- High-speed collisions
Different Kinds of ATVs
An ATV or all-terrain vehicle has been designed for riders to go off-roading. The ATV is meant to endure tough ground. Manufactures separate ATVs into two categories which are single passenger and two passenger all-terrain vehicles. ATVs are also often referred to as four-wheelers and certain models have specific purposes.
Different kinds of all-terrain vehicles include:
Utility ATVs: These types of four-wheelers are created for those who want to carry extra items. People who hunt or work outdoors usually use this type of ATV. All-terrain vehicles that are electrical are becoming common amongst hunters because they allow them to maneuver quietly.
Sport ATV: For riders who want to drive fast, sport ATVs are the best option. These vehicles are lightweight and can operate on the roughest terrain. Sport vehicles are made to endure bumps and sharp turns. Their exteriors can also be customized to a person’s liking.
Side by Sides: Many ATV enthusiasts claim that side by sides are equivalent to a golf cart. These types of all-terrain vehicles are meant to carry multiple people and heavy cargo. They are used by firemen, rescue teams and sometimes military personnel.
Kid’s ATV: Although there are ATVs that are designed for children, that does not make them safe. They can only support 100 pounds, and they typically do not have the option of carrying an extra passenger such as a parent.
All-Terrain Vehicle Crash Cases
All-terrain vehicle crashes happen more often than many people think, and most victims are under the age of 16. Below are just a few of the many minors that have been killed in ATV accidents.
ABCNews has reported on multiple incidents involving fatalaties and serious injuries, including:
- Elizabeth Cornes: 10-year-old Elizabeth Cornes was found unconscious by a neighbor after losing control of a four-wheeler. Reports stated that Cornes appeared to be bleeding from the nose, ears and eyes when her neighbor discovered her on the ground.
- Mikey Brugger: Brugger was 13 years old when he crashed his ATV into a utility pole. He and his family were spending their vacation in Pennsylvania’s Pocono mountains at the time. His mother, Alexis Kingkiner, said: “The pain has never gone away for me and my family. I sit at the cemetery everyday begging God to give Mikey back to me.”
- Kyle Rabe: While traveling on an Oregon road, 11-year-old Kyle Rabe lost control of his ATV and was pinned to the ground. He lost his ability to breathe and was unable to be resuscitated after being found by his father and a close friend. People close to Rabe stated that he was a cautious motorist and was wearing the proper safety gear. His parents ultimately filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Brooke Scalise: On a Costa Rican guided tour, 12-year-old Brooke Scalise was descending a 200-foot cliff when she missed a turn. The tour was said to be led by minors. It had also been stated that those leading the group were violating the Costa Rican law which prohibits minors under the age of 16 to operate an ATV. Although it can be argued that negligence was present in this case, Jennifer Scalise, Brooke’s mother, did not pursue litigation after being informed that her chances of winning were slim.
- Ryder McCarey: At only three years old, Ryder McCarey lost his life after being thrown off an all-terrain vehicle. The child’s lungs were punctured, and he suffered swelling and skull injuries. Later, his parents made the decision to take him off life support after being told he was not experiencing any brain activity. If you or your child have suffered from serious injuries due to a four-wheel collision, speak to an ATV accident lawyer to explore your legal options.
Common Quad Collision Injuries
Despite ATVs being smaller than most cars, an ATV accident can be just as serious as that of a regular passenger vehicle. ATVs do not provide adequate protection which can make riders more prone to being thrown off or being hit directly by another vehicle. There are many injuries that one can obtain from a quad incident.
Typical ATV collision injuries include:
- TBI: Brainline.org stated that in just one year, there were over 2.8 million emergency room visits associated with head injuries. In some cases, effects from traumatic brain injuries may show up later much later than the original accident. Since many riders do not wear helmets while driving the ATV they are more susceptible to suffering from major brain injuries. Brain injury victims frequently experience symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, seizures and clear fluids dripping from the ears.
- Broken bones: Since riders are not protected by a door, they can be easily thrown off onto the ground in an ATV incident. The number of broken bones a rider obtains can be dependent on the speed at which the vehicle was traveling at the time. Bone fractures from an ATV accident could include crushed ribs or spinal cord fractures.
- Internal bleeding: Physical signs of internal bleeding can involve bruising, pain in the chest or abdomen, trouble breathing, vomiting or blood appearing in the mouth or rectum. Internal bleeding can be fatal. If you become exhausted or are having difficulty breathing, seek medical help right away. You may be experiencing internal bleeding and suffer quickly from a seizure or experience organ failure.
Insurance for ATV Incidents
California is one of the many states that does not demand that all ATV owners have all-terrain vehicle insurance. Just because it is not required though, doesn’t mean that it is not extremely encouraged. ATV insurance works similarly to car insurance.
ATV insurance can potentially cover the costs for you and passengers in the event of a collision. The types of coverage that you can receive through insurance companies for your four-wheeler can include liability, collision and comprehensive.
The Process of Filing an All-Terrain Vehicle Accident Claim
Once you have obtained medical assistance for your injuries, reach out to your insurance policy holder to file a claim. Upon your call with an insurance representative, when giving your statement, it is important to just state the facts and never claim any fault in the accident.
Some insurance companies have strategies to devalue your claim or influence you to admit liability for the collision. Tactics like this can involve providing you with a quick settlement, misrepresenting what you are entitled to, or downplaying the importance of hiring an attorney.
There can be limitations to ATV coverage. In some cases, not all of your expenses will be covered by your insurance policy.
California Trial Lawyer Brian Chase said: “Insurance companies are not your friend. Insurance companies are a business like any other business. They want to make money and if they pay out money for claims they lose money. So, their job is to not pay out money for your personal injury case or pay as little as possible because that helps them make their profits.”
Expenses that can be Covered
Recovering from a four-wheeler crash is not only painful, but it can also be expensive. If an insurance company does not provide you with the maximum compensation that you need to heal from your accident, seek legal help immediately.
Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will inform that you can potentially earn compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
The amount of compensation you will earn will rest on how much damage you or your loved one has sustained from the incident.
Liability for an ATV Accident
Multiple parties can be at-fault for an all-terrain vehicle accident. If a part of the ATV is defective then the manufacturer can be responsible for the collision. ATV manufacturers such as Artic Cat, Baja, Yamaha and Kawasaki are just some of the many manufacturers who have had ATVs recalled for auto defects. Manufacturers owe what is known as a “duty of care” to their consumers. This means that the designer or manufacturer of the product has a responsibility to make sure their products are safe for their consumers. At times, it is not the manufacturer that is at fault for an ATV crash, but the seller. An example of this can be if TARGET stores sold Yamaha four-wheelers and did not store the ATVs properly, causing them to have mechanical issues.
There have also been many cases in which riders have been injured while using an ATV at a resort. A resort can be held liable for injuries since they should be maintaining upkeep on equipment, and should have strict safety regulations set in place to keep the riders safe. To release responsibility for injuries, resorts can often make ATV riders sign a waiver form.
Keep in mind that it can be difficult to hold resorts accountable for an accident in other countries since the laws differ those of the United States.
Preventing an All-Terrain Vehicle Collision
Four-wheeler incidents can be prevented. Accident prevention will not only keep you safe while riding on an ATV, but it will also keep your children alive.
Those looking to purchase or ride an ATV should:
- Do research: Before even buying an ATV, it is important to do your research. It is best to avoid certain models that have been recalled numerous times, or to refrain from purchasing a model that has been involved in several crashes. If you have already purchased an ATV, it may be in your best interests to stay abreast of ATV part recalls.
- Maintain upkeep: Get your ATV regularly looked at by a qualified mechanic. Any broken, worn down or improperly installed part can cause you to lose control. Make sure your vehicle is in proper working order before riding it anywhere.
- Obtain proper training: It is also important to receive proper training. These vehicles may seem fun and harmless, but they can be extremely dangerous. Inexperienced and untrained drivers have an increased risk of crashing. Ride at speeds that you feel comfortable with, avoid fast turns on hills, travel slowly on trails and paths that you are unfamiliar with, and never ride while intoxicated.
- Prohibit their children from riding the ATVs: Having additional passengers on an ATV can also cause the vehicle to become unstable and roll over. If you would not allow your child to drive a car, you should not allow him to operate an ATV that could reach speeds of 80 to 100 mph. Wearing proper safety gear such as a helmet is critical to prevent major injuries. ATV accidents involving children are usually accompanied by serious injuries to their small bones.
Trust our California ATV Accident Attorneys
Our California ATV accident lawyers can make sure that your rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings. It can be challenging to deal with insurance companies and manufacturers.
The law firm of Bisnar Chase can make your life easier by negotiating on your behalf.
Our knowledgeable all-terrain vehicle accident attorneys can help protect your legal rights and options every step of the way.
Call us today for a free case evaluation at 800-561-4887.