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ATV Injury Accidents


ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) are motorized three to four wheeled vehicles used for recreation and work. They are extremely heavy, weighing up to a quarter of a ton, and can reach speeds of 55 MPH. Since ATVs are so top heavy, chances of rollover are much higher than for a normal vehicle. The chance of rollover combined with the weight cause numerous accidents each year.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ATV accidents cause 700 deaths and injure 135,000 people annually.

An ATV accident legally needs to result in property damage, injury, and or/death to be considered an accident. More often than not, the vehicle's driver is responsible for the accident.


As with any vehicle, side-by-side vehicles have certain features that lend themselves to the potential risk of accidents or injuries. Some common examples of injuries or accidents that may be associated with side-by-side vehicles include the following:

    • Similar to cars, a person should not operate a side-by-side vehicle if they are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other medications that cause sideeffects which could lead to an accident (e.g., sedation, impaired judgment, etc.).
    • Some states permit persons to operate side-by-side vehicles on roadways. This increases the likelihood that if a side-by-side vehicle is not driven properly, then it could collide with other motor vehicles. The injuries resulting from such an accident could be worse for those riding in a side-by-side vehicle since they often are built as open-air enclosures. In other words, they are not encased in metal like most cars. 
    • Side-by-side vehicles may be subject to flip or roll-over accidents if they are moving too fast or are loaded down with heavy cargo. Roll-overs can also occur if one side of the vehicle holds more weight than the other. 
    • Depending on the model, UTVs usually have more safety features than ATVs do. However, even if a UTV offers equipment like seatbelts, it does not necessarily mean that a rider will wear it. In which case, a rider's injuries may be worse if they fail to use a seatbelt. 
    • It is generally recommended that persons who are not properly qualified or trained to operate side-by-side vehicles refrain from using them until they meet the proper requirements. This is especially true for children who do not know how to drive or for individuals who are unfamiliar with the steering and brake systems on these vehicles.

In the event that a driver or passenger does get into an accident or suffer any sort of injury while riding in a side-by-side vehicle, they may be able to recover damages by filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for the incident in question.


Most causes of accidents fall into two categories: operator behavior and equipment failure.

The driver is responsible if he/she:

  • Drives without proper training
  • Hauls a passenger or load against manufacturer's recommendations
  • Allows children to operate the ATV
  • Drives on public roads
  • Allows children to operate adult-size ATVs
  • Drives under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications

Equipment may cause the accident if failures occur in the:

  • Throttle
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Suspension
  • Lighting equipment

The manufacturer is liable if a defective or poorly designed ATV is sold to the public. Victims must prove the defective ATV caused the accident in order to receive compensation from the company.

Some states have no-fault insurance laws. This means claims from less significant accidents will be minimized, and victims will receive compensation more promptly. But, these laws can also hinder victims from receiving the amount of compensation needed to cover all expenses endured from the accident. This is why many people in no-fault states seek the help of a personal injury lawyer.


Some ATV accidents result in injury or death. Common injuries prone to ATV accidents are traumatic brain injuries.

Examples of TBI'S include:

  • Permanent concussion
  • Neurologic
  • Spinal cord
  • Neck
  • Fractures
  • Dislocation

ATV injuries are most often caused by the ATV rolling or flipping over. Along with traumatic brain injuries, victims may also experience physical and/or emotional damages, and mental impairment.


In order to obtain compensation, victims must prove negligence to insurance or a court. In order to do this, they must prove one or both of the following:

  • An injury was sustained
  • The accident occurred directly due to driver's carelessness

In some cases, more than one person may be at fault for the accident. In this case, liability is evenly distributed based on the estimated fault of each party. This is known as comparative negligence.

Victims can be rewarded compensation to cover one or more of the following:

  • Lost income
  • Lost prospects
  • Medical expenses
  • Physical and psychological pain
  • Property repairs


Some ATV accidents are handled directly through insurance. But for some cases, obtaining a personal injury lawyer may be necessary:

  • If the insurance company refuses to fully compensate you for all damages
  • There are prolonged delays in settling the claim
  • Claim is denied by insurance or government entity
  • The negligent party is not insured

Personal injury claims can often involve some complex legal issues. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney in your area if you need help filing an injury claim. Your lawyer can help you meet the various court requirements and can perform the legal research necessary to succeed on your claim. Also, your attorney can provide you with valuable legal guidance during the court hearings. Call our office today at 212-994-7777 or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a consultation.