All-terrain vehicle (ATV) riding comes with many associated risks. These are heavy, motorized vehicles that have three or more wheels and are designed for driving in off-road conditions. They can be used for farming, business, sports and recreation. ATVs are useful as equipment for transporting feed and other items on the farm, and some business and homeowners use ATVs to assist in property maintenance activities.
Many ATVs are capable of reaching speeds of up to 65 miles per hour and when people act less than responsibly while riding, accidents are a reality. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that there were 494 ATV-related fatalities between 1982 and 2012 in Pennsylvania. In the event of serious injuries or deaths involving an ATV accident, an attorney in Bucks County can help victims or their families pursue compensation for their damages if another party is to blame.
Liability for ATV Accidents in Bucks County
Many ATV accidents are preventable, and riders who ignore safety precautions and laws governing the riding of these vehicles are often the most likely to be involved in a crash. However, unavoidable scenarios also occur while riding and can cause accidents. Factors such as mechanical failures and defects or unsafe or improperly maintained riding trails can cause collisions as well.
The following list of causes of ATV accidents may help you identify the cause of your crash.
- Uneducated or untrained riders: The ATV Safety Institute offers training courses to help inexperienced drivers learn the basics of safely operating and ATV. Riders who are overconfident and untrained are more likely to have an accident on an ATV and may be liable for any injuries their reckless behavior causes.
- Riding with passengers: Many ATVs are not designed to carry passengers. Riding with passengers on a one-person ATV can compromise safety and increase the likelihood of a crash. Operators who allow more than the allotted passengers might be liable.
- Riding on roads: ATVs are prohibited from riding on public roads. If you need to cross a road that intersects with a state-approved and designated trail, that is an exception to the rule. Motorists who cause accidents with ATVs might be liable in some cases.
- Mechanical defects or tire failures: Collisions can result from faulty parts on an ATV, improperly installed tires, or tires that have unsuitable air pressure. An ATV, tire, or parts manufacturer might be liable if a defect caused the ATV accident.
- Unsafe surfaces: If you are riding on a trail that is poorly maintained or has large potholes or other obstacles, a crash is more likely. A property owner might be liable for damages in these cases, though keep in mind that ATVs are designed for off-road conditions and operators should expect rougher terrain.
- Drugs and alcohol: Many accidents involving ATVs can be attributed to riders being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired ATV operators may be liable for any damages that result from an accident.
Can an ATV accident attorney in Bucks County help me recover compensation?
If you are in an ATV accident for which another party is at fault, you may pursue damages related to medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Your attorney can review your case to help determine the types of damages you may recover. ATV accident lawyers in Bucks County, PA can also help you collect evidence you need to prove your case.
If you have been in an accident and need representation, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. An ATV accident attorney in Bucks County can assist you in determining the cause of your accident and can help identify any liability that might be attributed to a third party. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation.