Suffolk County ATV Accident
While at one time ATVs where primarily used on farms, , ATVs have grown in popularity over the past several decades for recreational purposes. Many people, particularly children, teens and young adults view them as fun and exciting, not realizing just how dangerous they are. In 2009 alone, there were approximately 100,000 injuries and 300 fatalities as a result of ATV accidents. Such injuries include paralysis, head injuries, broken bones and back injuries. 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 or a loved were injured in an ATV accident due to the negligence of another person, it is important to immediately contact a Suffolk County ATV Accident Lawyer who will explain your options for pursuing a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim.Danger of ATVs
All terrain vehicles are motorized vehicles that typically have four large tires, with a seat in the middle that a rider straddles while steering by the handlebars. They are meant to be used off-road or on dirt roads, not on paved roads or highways. Historically they were almost exclusively used on by farmers as a type of work vehicle. Because of the increasing popularity of ATVs as recreational vehicles, in recent years manufacturers have designed faster, stronger, and heavier ATVs, capable of causing severe damage.
High center of gravity. Weighing more than 800 pounds, ATVs have a high center of gravity. This means that like SUVs, ATVs are prone to roll over.
Designed to travel on harsh terrain. Because ATVs often travel on harsh terrain that includes rough surfaces, rocks, and debris, they are more prone to travel over terrain that will cause the driver to lose control and end up in an accident.
Few safety features. Because they have no roll bars, safety cages, or seatbelts, when they tip over riders are thrown. In some cases the ATV ends up rolling over on top of the riders.
ATV accidents can result in serious physical injuries that include: back injury, brain injury, burn injury, broken collar bone, amputation and spinal cord injury. Of the serious personal injuries caused as a result of ATV accidents, statistics have shown that approximately 75% cause severe damage to the head, neck and spine, often resulting in long term disability or paralysis.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.
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.Suffolk County ATV Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an ATV accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Stephen Bilkis and 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 us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those injured in accidents in the following locations: