With plenty of open roads and dirt paths, it’s no wonder so many people in Massachusetts enjoy spending a lazy Saturday afternoon on the back of an all-terrain vehicle, or ATV. ATVs tend to be fast-moving, high-jumping vehicles that offer very little protection from falls and injury to the person riding them or a person on the ground when they roar past. It takes only a moment of loss of control to cause a significant ATV accident. The results of such an accident can be deadly.
Why Do ATV Accidents Happen?
A variety of factors contribute to ATV accidents. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2011, an estimated 690 ATV-related fatalities occurred in the United States. In 2014, the organization reports there were 93,700 ATV-related injuries treated at area emergency departments in the U.S., and about 26 percent of these involved children under the age of 16. These statistics are alarming even to those that take precautions every time they ride an ATV.
ATV accidents occur for reasons such as:
- Operator distraction or reckless behavior
- Excessive speed
- Loss of control especially when the vehicle is mid-air
- Weather conditions
- Alcohol or drug use while in operation
- Navigation mistakes
- Hazardous conditions including mud, rain, snow, and hail
- Inability to control the vehicle due to poor skill
When incidents like these occur, individuals face many types of injuries. In some cases, injuries are minor, such as scrapes and cuts. In other cases, broken bones, dislocation of joints, and even brain injuries can occur from falls or rollovers. Death is also a very high-risk factor because of the speed and the overall hazardous conditions often present.
What Types of ATV Accidents Can Occur?
Some of the most common accidents attributed to ATVs include:
- The vehicle flipping over and landing off its wheels
- Collisions with other objects including other ATVs, vehicles, fixed objects or other people
- Slips that lead to the ATV colliding with other objects
- Skidding into other objects
- Burns from fires
ATVs can be involved in many of the same types of accidents that traditional vehicles can. What makes them much worse is that these vehicles are often used when conditions are poor, such as in mud or rain, and because of the types of risks drivers take. In addition to these causes, ATVs lack any type of protective barrier around them, meaning injuries related to the accident tend to be worse even if they are at slower speeds than motor vehicle accidents.
Securing an ATV Accident Lawyer
Beyond a doubt, an ATV accident lawyer can be helpful especially when negligence plays a role in the incident. If you or a loved one have been involved in an ATV accident, work closely with an attorney to obtain compensation for any losses you’ve suffered. A Massachusetts ATV accident lawyer like Peter Ventura can help you with:
- Investigating the circumstances of the incident and gathering evidence by talking to witnesses, reconstructing the accident with experts, or in contacting the police department for additional information.
- Determining the cause of the accident as well as who is responsible for it.
- Helping you to fight for any compensation owed to you as a result of the financial losses you’ve sustained both for medical and property loss, but also for lost earnings and pain and suffering.