ATV, UTV, and Recreational Vehicle Accidents and Injuries

ATV, UTV, and Recreational Vehicle Accidents and Injuries

Outdoor activities are a great source of enjoyment for all types of people. Part of that enjoyment can involve riding, driving, and using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs, such a four-wheelers), utility task vehicles (UTVs, such as side-by-sides, “gators,” and “mules”), and other types of recreational vehicles (dirt bikes, golf carts, etc.).

ATVs, UTVs, and recreational vehicles are fun pieces of equipment to use. They also can be very, very dangerous and can cause serious and catastrophic injuries, and even death. If a person driving or riding an ATV, UTV, or recreational vehicle suffers an accident, they can break bones, tear ligaments and tendons, have limbs amputated, suffer traumatic brain injury, and even become paralyzed.

ATVs, UTVs, and recreational vehicles are required by law to have adequate warnings and instructions posted conspicuously in noticeable places on the vehicles themselves and also written in their instruction manuals. The reason for the legal requirement of those obvious warnings and instructions is because ATVs, UTVs, and recreational vehicles have a number of inherent dangers associated with their use.

They can be top-heavy and flip over or roll when turning or riding on a slope or hill. They have seatbelts and other safety belts and harnesses, as well as nets or netting, that must be installed correctly and must be available for occupants of the vehicles to easily use to prevent people from being thrown from the vehicle. ATVs, UTVs, and recreational vehicles have weight and occupancy limits and capacities to make sure the vehicle is not overloaded, which can cause it to malfunction, break, or crash. There are minimum age limits for people who are allowed to drive or ride ATVs, UTVs, and recreational vehicles.

The warnings, instructions, and vehicle manuals are supposed to make users of ATVs, UTVs, and recreational vehicles aware of those dangers, vehicle details, and safety devices so accidents are prevented, or at least minimized. When people get hurt, injured, or killed in accidents involving use of an ATV, UTV, or recreational vehicle, legitimate liability and lawsuits can exist related to the cause of the accident or crash. A wreck involving use of a recreational vehicle is not always the user’s fault. The vehicle or a part on the vehicle could be defective (product liability). The warnings and instructions for the vehicle could be inadequate (failure to warn). Any number of things could have gone wrong to cause the accident, none of which would be the fault of a driver or a passenger.

When a person is involved in a wreck while driving a recreational vehicle, and another person is present and it is apparent a person has been injured in the accident, laws in states like Alabama and Georgia require the non-injured people present at the accident scene to contact medical providers and assist with obtaining aid for the people injured in the accident. If a person leaves the scene of an accident, especially an accident in which a person is injured, they are likely breaking the law, and they can be held liable for the injured person’s injury or death, depending on their involvement in the accident.

Accidents happen while using ATVs, UTVs, and recreational vehicles, but they are not always the driver or passenger’s fault. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an ATV, UTV, or recreational vehicle accident contact Bodewell Legal Group’s injury attorneys for a free consultation and let Bodewell investigate and pursue your claim today.

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