Injured in an ATV Accident? You May Be Eligible for Damages.
When you’re enjoying a vacation with your family, the last thing you want to hear is that your loved one has been injured. Unfortunately, many parents hear this kind of chilling news each year, as more people are turning to ATVs – or all-terrain vehicles – for their summer adventures.
ATVs are dangerous in their own right, and when a manufacturer is negligent, the resulting accidents can be catastrophic. If you or a family member sustained an injury on one of these vehicles, our team of motor vehicle accident attorneys can help you determine who is liable.
ATV-Related Injuries and Deaths Are Increasing
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 14,653 people died from ATV-related accidents from 1982 through 2016, and 22% of them were children under 16. As the CPSC notes in its report, this heartbreaking number will likely grow in the coming years, owing to the increasing popularity of these vehicles. The toll for injuries is even higher: In 2016 alone, over 225,000 people visited the emergency room for ATV-related injuries.
ATV accidents most commonly cause the following serious injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Caused by sharp blows to the head that affect brain tissue, the symptoms of a TBI depend on its severity. A TBI often requires immediate medical attention or hospitalization, and its symptoms can range from mild concussion and lightheadedness to coma and permanent loss of motor function.
- Dislocations and bone fractures: Bones are vulnerable to the heavy, unstable weight of all-terrain vehicles, and can be crushed or fractured by many of the moving parts. Rehabilitation for severe bone injuries can take years to heal.
- Internal bleeding: The tremendous force exerted on your body during an ATV-related accident can cause serious internal bleeding and hemorrhaging, and can be fatal without proper medical treatment.
- Spine & neck injuries: As the foundation of the human body, the spine is critical to movement — and extremely vulnerable to accidents. Ranging from whiplash to full paraplegia, spine, and neck injuries need time to heal and can prevent you from full-time work.
While user error, inexperience, and disregarding the rules of the road account for many of the recorded ATV-related injuries, there are many cases where a manufacturer was directly responsible for an injury sustained on an ATV, and even more where another driver can be held accountable for injuries.
If you believe your accident was caused by the negligence of any variety, you should consider discussing your case with an experienced lawyer. The rules governing personal injury in North Carolina are strict, as the state follows the “contributory negligence rule.” This law means you cannot file a civil suit if you were partially at fault for the accident, as determined by a jury. Discussing your case with a personal injury attorney is the best way to recover the full extent of damages you’ve suffered.