All-terrain vehicles, better known as ATVs, are some of the most popular vehicles in Ontario, especially in the summer. Drivers wait all winter long to hop on their ATV and scoot around on their own property, their farms or branch out to other areas of the town or city. Because of this, the number of ATV injuries seen each year is increasing.
In fact, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information, ATV accidents are increasing at rates faster than any other type of vehicle.
When someone has been injured in an ATV accident, they may be eligible for compensation. It is important to speak to a qualified Toronto ATV accident lawyer who can help individuals get the full amount of compensation.
What is an ATV?
According to the Off-Road Vehicles Act, an ATV can be considered as:
- A dune buggy;
- An ATV with no more than three wheels that has handlebars controlling steering and a seat that is to be straddled by the driver;
- An ATV that has four wheels, is used for utility applications such as farming, has handlebars to control steering and a seat that is designed to be sat in by the driver.
Rules for ATVs in Ontario
Just like other motor vehicles such as cars, trucks and motorcycles, there are certain rules those driving ATVs must abide by. These include:
- Speed limits must be obeyed
- ATV insurance must be carried
- Passengers are not allowed
- May tow trailers
- Must have clear views from all angles
- Must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Motorcycle helmets must be worn
Many ATV accidents in Toronto are caused by one or more drivers not following these rules just before or at the time of accident. However, even injured parties not abiding by the above requirements may still be entitled to compensation.
ATV Accident Insurance
Just like Ontario has no-fault insurance for motor vehicles, the insurance on ATVs is also considered no-fault. This means that injured parties must apply for accident benefits through their own insurance company. Provided that the injured party was not at fault for the accident, he or she can also bring a lawsuit for pain and suffering and other damages against the other person who was at fault for the accident.
Similar to other motor vehicles, an ATV owner may allow someone else to drive their ATV at times. This is acceptable aside from children under the age of 12, though any child who is eligible to drive must do so under the direct supervision of an adult. If an accident occurs while someone other than the owner was driving, the owner will still be held responsible and will need to go through their own insurance company.
However, insurance is not always necessary for ATVs. If the vehicle is being driven or ridden solely within the confines of a person’s private property, it doesn’t need to be insured. If the ATV is going to leave the property, it must have valid insurance.
Compensation for Injuries in Toronto ATV Accidents
The injuries resulting from an ATV accident can be extensive, and they can vary greatly in their severity. During an ATV accident, the vehicle is most likely to roll and cause broken bones, or even paraplegia or quadriplegia.
When an injury has occurred, the victim can seek compensation for loss of present and future income, medical bills and in some cases, even the loss of guidance or care when a wrongful death has occurred. Pain and suffering may also be awarded, but these damages are very difficult to recover in Ontario ATV cases.
Contact a Toronto ATV Accident Lawyer
ATV accidents are similar to other motor vehicle accidents in some aspects. However, ATVs cannot be classified in the same way as cars and trucks and as such, this area of law can become quite complicated. If you have been injured in an ATV accident, contact a Toronto ATV accident lawyer who can help.