Each year, ATVs cause over 100,000 injuries, and over 300 people are killed in ATV accidents. A third of those killed and injured are children under the age of 16. ATVs can be very dangerous to operate for many reasons, especially by individuals under the age of 16 or by those who use them improperly.
Improper use of an ATV can include driving at excessive speeds, driving recklessly, riding with a passenger, or riding on paved roads. But ATVs also pose a potential risk to all riders because of an inherent design flaw due to a narrow wheelbase and high center of gravity that results in poor weight distribution and a lack of stability. This flaw makes them easy to flip over. What increases the danger is an ATV weighs between 300-600 lbs. If they do flip over, they can crush the rider, causing severe injury or even death. Most ATVs have no roll bars, no seatbelts, and offer no protection to the rider when flipped or rolled. Even in minor incidents with ATVs, serious damage can still occur.
Potential Injuries from ATV Accidents
Every year, many injuries are reported in Los Angeles County because of ATV accidents. Although some are due to driver negligence, many times, they are not. Manufacturers are often liable because of product defects, and we’ve seen a large number of recalls on ATVs every year because of things such as fire hazards due to fuel line leaks, stuck or broken throttles and defective brakes leaving riders unable to stop, engine failures resulting in loss of control, and much more. Some ATV accidents can also be the result of dangerous terrains, such as an unmarked ditch. Here is a list of the most common injuries resulting from ATV accidents:
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Neurological damage
- Torn ligaments
California Ranks Fourth Highest in Number of ATV Deaths
Due to the beautiful climate in California, especially in the Los Angeles area, there are a shocking amount of ATV accidents. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, California reported 756 deaths from ATV-related accidents between 1982 – 2017. California ranks 4th in the US for the number of ATV-related deaths during that time and is one of five states that has accounted for 25 percent of all reported ATV-related deaths in America.
Safety Tips when Operating an ATV
Riding ATVs can be an enjoyable experience when done correctly. Here are some common safety tips that you can follow to reduce your risk of injury when riding an ATV:
- Always wear an approved helmet
- Always wear appropriate footwear and other protective gear
- Never carry passengers
- Read and understand the vehicle’s operating manual before riding
- Always abide by local and state regulations for ATV use (they can vary greatly by state).
- In California, riders aged 14-17 must obtain an ATV safety certificate and are only allowed to ride under adult supervision
- Never drive an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Never drive recklessly
- Abide by all signage where you are riding
- Always carry a communications device so you can call for help in an emergency
Defective ATV Causes Injury in Riverside County
A day of fun on Paso de Oro Trail in Menifee turned tragic when our client’s ATV caught fire. He suffered extensive burns to his arm and was looking for representation. Prior to our representation, a law firm represented our client after his ATV accident but was unable to get a settlement from the manufacturer. They then withdrew from representation. After this, the client sought the Law Offices of Samer Habbas for our services. We took an aggressive approach in investigating the potential claim on Paso de Oro Trail and filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, alleging product defects to the ATV that caught fire in Menifee.
Through the expertise of a retained expert, we were able to put together a case against the ATV manufacturer for manufacturing, assembling, and making available for use a product that was defective. Liability was hotly contested by the manufacturer, but our experienced ATV injury attorneys fought back. Our attorneys refused to back down despite the difficulty, complexity, and risks of no recovery. The hard work paid off as ultimately, the case settled for $325,000.
Call a Los Angeles ATV Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured, or worse, as a result of an ATV accident, seek immediate medical treatment and then call an experienced ATV accident lawyer. Our top-rated attorneys will investigate the accident, check for manufacturer defects and recalls, and make sure you get the medical care you need. We will aggressively go after the ATV designer, manufacturer, retailer, landowner, and any other parties responsible in order to get you the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and lost earning capacity.
The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates have the knowledge and experience in handling a variety of accident and personal injury cases, including wrongful death claims. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside, Los Angeles, El Segundo, and San Diego, our accident attorneys represent families across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an expert Los Angeles County ATV injury attorney, please call 619-332-1124
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