ATV Accidents Cause Serious Bodily Injury and Life-Altering Trauma
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) accidents are common and, unfortunately, are often linked to catastrophic injuries that cause permanent impairment or death. There are many types of ATVs, but the data reveals that it is often the passenger who is most likely to sustain the most severe injuries. The data further reveals that ATV accidents often involve just a single vehicle—the one being driven at the time of incident. This is contrary to many car accidents where one vehicle will impact another. The cause of ATV incidents varies, but often it involves one party negligently operating the vehicle and causing the injuries. These claims can be fatal or life altering and it is important to understand how recovery works in these scenarios. Often, the primary source of recovery is the negligent party’s own automobile insurance coverage. Many automobile insurance policies will include exclusions for off-road vehicles. General principles of contract state that parties can agree to whatever terms they want minus a few exceptions—one of which is if the term is prohibited by law. In Arizona, there are strict definitions for certain types of insurance policies for what qualifies for automobile coverage. Under certain circumstances, an ATV may fall into these definitions. Given the nature and severity of these incidents, it is important to work with a lawyer who understands the Arizona-specific-intricacies of automobile insurance laws, the types of recovery for injuries sustained as a result of an ATV accident, as well as the legal strategies and types of recourse. Members of Goodnow|McKay are experienced with these claims and are here to help. We are committed to helping our clients recover fair compensation. We are often able to negotiate reasonable settlements with the responsible insurance companies, but we are willing to fight for our clients through trial if necessary.
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Common Injury Scenarios
Data released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed two common scenarios regarding fatality-involved ATV-incidents:
Scenario 1: Two riders (a driver and a passenger) are on a single ATV. Often, these incidents involve only the ATV being ridden—there is no second vehicle that is impacted. This single vehicle crash may be caused by user error or an error with the vehicle itself. Regardless of the cause, it is clear that a majority of passengers who sustain death as a result of these incidents were riding behind the driver. In fatality-involved ATV-incidents that include a passenger, this scenario occurred approximately 83.5% of the time.
Scenario 2: The second most common multi-rider fatality-included scenario occurs when more than two riders (a driver and two passengers) are on a single ATV. Over 80% of these scenarios involve three individuals and a passenger was more likely than the driver to be fatally injured. In fact, 67.4% of incidents resulted in a passenger’s death. 27.9% of these cases resulted in driver death.
National ATV Statistics
The Consumer Product Safety Commission released the following statistics for all-terrain vehicles:
- There were an estimated 14,653 ATV-related fatalities between 1982 and 2016.
- There were 337 ATV-related fatalities in 2016 alone.
- In 2016 there were over 100,000 emergency room treatment visits for ATV-related injuries.
- A majority of ATV-related fatalities involved multiple riders on a single vehicle and the incident involved only the vehicle they were riding.