All terrain vehicles, commonly known as ATV’s are a great way to cross nearly any type of land quickly and of course, like anything else that has a motor, American’s love them. Not only are they used for recreation and on vacations, but farm owners and other businesses use them to herd cattle, haul supplies, and inspect the land. However, whenever you attach a motor to something the chance of being involved in a serious accident increases and that certainly is the truth when it comes to ATV’s. Recently, one celebrity family learned that lesson the hard way, making it clear to the public that these vehicles might be fun but they are also extremely dangerous.
Niece Of Singer Britney Spears Hurt In Crash
The 8-year-old niece of famous singer Britney Spears was with her family on their own property in February of 2017 when she joined hundreds of others who are the victims of ATV accidents.
The child was on an ATV that her parents had gotten for her birthday and was riding around a pond on the property. Right in front of her parents she suddenly swerved in order to avoid a drainage pipe, however, her turn was too sharp and the vehicle immediately flipped. Both she and the ATV landed in the pond, submerged.
Her family rushed to her side but due to the ATV’s size, her seatbelt, and the protective netting they had installed they were unable to free her from the water. It took emergency crews to get her out and she was rushed to the local hospital where, thankfully, doctors were able to save her life. She remained unconscious for two days, sustained serious injuries and remained hospitalized for nearly a week.
This little girl who survived a horrific experience is not alone.
Hundreds Die Each Year
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 98,000 people were treated for injuries due to an ATV accident at an emergency room in 2015 alone. Nearly 30% of these victims were children under the age of 16. This doesn’t include the hundreds of deaths that occurred as a result of serious injuries.
What Makes ATV’s So Dangerous?
Although ATV’s are certainly safer than motorcycles or dirt bikes because they have four wheels creating a solid base, the fact remains that these vehicles still have serious safety issues of their own. Most accidents involve the vehicle rolling over, either throwing the driver or landing on top of them. Unless installed by the owner, most ATV’s do not have roll bars or seat belts, but as in the case above, even these don’t create a safe environment.
When you combine speed, power, and a lack of safety, a seriously dangerous environment occurs and it’s rare that a crash victim is able to get up and walk away.
The most commonly reported injuries include:
- Head trauma
- Spinal damage
- Broken bones
- Gaping wounds
These injuries can leave a victim with permanent damage that could impact their quality of life and their ability to work.
Civil Lawsuits Are Common
Over the years we have helped hundreds of clients who were injured in an ATV accident. In order to obtain compensation, a plaintiff needs to prove that:
- The accident caused them harm.
- The accident was caused by another party’s negligence.
What do we mean by negligence? In these cases, the responsible party may have failed to:
- properly instruct the person using their equipment
- stop a child from using an ATV designed for an adult driver
- operate the ATV under the maximum allowable weight and took too many passengers on or towed too many passengers
- keep the ATV in good repair, causing it to break down while the victim was driving it
When one party is negligent and an accident takes place, a lawsuit is often the only way through which the victims can obtain the compensation they need to pay for their treatments.
How Much Is A Lawsuit Worth?
There is no simple answer to this question. In order to provide a client with an estimate, we need to review the case and their losses. Settlement and damages awarded by the court are based on what the plaintiff has actually lost and no two cases are the same.
ATV’s Aren’t The Only Dangerous Off-Road Vehicles
In the past, our firm has also represented clients whose injuries were sustained in dirt bike and off-road motorcycle accidents. Just like with ATV accidents, a negligent party can be held responsible after an accident.
Don’t hesitate to call if you’ve been injured, in every case there is a statute of limitations, meaning that there is only a short period of time that a victim has to file their complaint. Once this time has passed, you may no longer be able to obtain compensation.