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Nassau County ATV Accident

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are 3 or 4 wheeled motorized vehicles that are designed to travel on off-road terrain. While initially used primarily by farmers in recent years ATVs have grown in popularity particularly among teens and children as a form of recreation. Unfortunately, along with increased usage came a significant increase in the number of accidents and injuries. Because ATVs are open and do not have protective walls or ceilings, when there is an ATV accident there is an increased likelihood that a victim will be thrown from the ATV and suffer a serious injury such as a brain injury, back injury, neck injury, broken bones, internal injuries, amputations, and even paralysis. Sadly, in some cases an ATV accident leads to death. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 9,600 ATV related deaths over the past 30 years. While there are many possible causes of ATV accidents many such accidents are caused by negligence. If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer because you or a loved were injured in an ATV accident due to the negligence of another person, it is important to speak with a Nassau County ATV accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates who will explain your options for pursuing a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim.

Negligence use of ATVs

Owners and operators of ATVs have a duty to operate ATVs safely. If an operator is negligent resulting in an injury to another person or damage to property, then that negligent operator may be liable for the victim's losses. While ATVs and those who drive them are not subject to the same "Rules of the Road" as those who drive cars and trucks, New York does have laws that regulate the operation of ATVs. If an accident is the result of failing to follow a statutory requirement then the operator of the ATV was negligent and the victim will be able to pursue a personal injury claim.

In general, ATVs are only permitted to be operated on the private property of the ATV owner. N.Y. VAT. LAW § 2403. Thus, except under very strict circumstances ATVs cannot be operated on highways, public land, or another's private property. If someone drives an ATV on the highway and causes an accident the ATV driver would likely be ticketed and presumed responsible for the accident. Many ATV accidents are caused because the driver was speeding. While there is no specific speed limit for ATVs operating on private property, the law requires that the operator drive at a prudent, reasonable speed. N.Y. VAT. LAW § 2404. If a driver operates an ATV at a speed that is not safe for the terrain conditions resulting in an accident, then the ATV driver's negligence caused the accident. Unfortunately, because most ATV operators do not wear helmets, injuries from ATV accidents can be serious including head injury and spinal cord injury.

Many victims of ATV accidents are children who are under the age of 16. To children ATVs look like a lot of fun and in many ways resemble toy ride-on vehicles. However, an ATV is not a toy. An ATV is a powerful motor vehicle that can travel at significant speeds. Children do not have the experience or physical strength to operate an ATV in a skillful manner.

Under New York law the owner of an ATV is vicariously liable for any personal injury or property damage caused by the negligent operation of his or her ATV. N.Y. VAT. LAW § 2411. This means that even if the owner is not personally operating the ATV, the owner can be sued for damages for the negligence of the person who was actually operating the ATV.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you have been injured in an ATV accident that was caused by another person's negligence you may be entitled to compensation for you losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, it is important that you contact an attorney with experience as soon as possible as the law requires that you file your claim within a specified timeframe. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates is experienced in handling personal injury cases stemming from ATV accidents as well car accidents, truck accidents, and other types of vehicle accidents. Contact our legal team at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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