All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a very popular form of vehicular recreation, especially in the summer months. As the warm season arrives, drivers dust off their ATVs for joyrides on the many off-road landscapes throughout the province. Riding an ATV can be exhilarating fun, but operating one of these dangerous machines requires caution, attentiveness, and skill. If an ATV driver operates their vehicle in a negligent manner, other riders can be severely injured. In fact, each season many Ontarians are severely injured in ATV accidents caused by negligent riders.
According to the province’s Off-Roads Vehicle Act the definition of an ATV includes dune buggies, three-wheelers with handlebars and a straddle seat, and four-wheelers (or “quads”) with handlebars and a dedicated driver seat. Some ATVs are intended purely for sport or recreational use, while others are meant for utility purposes such as construction or farming.
Just like any other motor vehicle in Ontario, including motorcycles, trucks, and cars, there are rules for the operation of an ATV. Drivers must:
- Obey speed limits
- Possess and carry ATV insurance, if driving outside private property
- Obey passenger limits (e.g., single-seat ATV cannot have any passengers)
- Maintain clear visibility while driving
- Abstain from the consumption of drugs or alcohol
- Wear motorcycle helmets
- And more
Unfortunately, not all ATV riders adhere to the rules. According to Statistics Canada, an average of 100 people die in ATV-related accidents every single year.
Nearly half of all ATV accidents are the result of rollovers. Additionally, a significant percentage of fatal ATV accidents are caused by collisions with stationary objects or another moving vehicle. In nearly half of all fatal ATV accidents, the consumption of alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs play a major contributing role in causing the crash.
Even non-fatal ATV accidents can have severe consequences for injured riders. ATV accidents can result in a variety of traumatic injuries, ranging in severity from moderate to catastrophic and permanent.
If you sustained compensable injuries in an ATV accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more, contact us today.
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
Riding an ATV can be an enjoyable pastime, but these vehicles are dangerous machines that can cause serious injuries when handled improperly. Some of the most common causes of ATV accidents caused by negligent riders include:
- Riding under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Reckless stunt driving
- Riding with passengers on vehicles designed for single-rider use
- Lack of credentials
- And more
As an ATV rider, you can do your part to help avoid an ATV accident when you’re out on the trails. However, even riders who take every possible safety precaution cannot control the actions of other negligent riders. If someone else’s negligence caused you to sustain injuries in an ATV accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Common ATV Accident Injuries
ATVs can weigh up to 600 lbs and reach speeds of over 100 km/hr. Like any vehicle that travels at high speeds, collisions and other accidents can have serious outcomes for everyone involved. ATV accidents commonly result in a number of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Torn ligaments
- And more
Some people injured in ATV accidents may have the instinct to “walk it off,” minimizing their injuries and choosing to suffer in silence. If you were involved in an ATV accident, even if it does not feel like you have been seriously injured, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
What to Do Following an ATV Accident
In the shocking aftermath of a serious collision, there are key steps to take following an accident. These may be beneficial for your physical health, and could prove useful for future legal action, should you choose to file a claim. After an ATV accident, it is important to:
- Seek medical help. Not only is this important in your physical recovery, but an official medical record, including diagnoses, may be essential to your case.
- Gather evidence from the accident scene. This could include photographs of the collision scene, and/or testimony from people who witnessed the event.
- Contact an Ontario ATV accident lawyer to discuss options for financial recovery that might be available to you.
Depending on the nature of your case, you may be able to recover compensation for damages you have incurred as a result of being injured. These costs could include medical expenses, as well as costs related to prescriptions, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, attendant care, and more. If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you may be able to receive income replacement payments for wages you have lost or will lose in the future as a result of the injuries you sustained.
Call Our Ontario ATV Accidents Lawyers for a Free Initial Consultation
Injuries sustained in an ATV accident can range from minor to life-threatening. If you have been adversely impacted by the negligent actions of another ATV rider, you may be eligible for compensation.
There is no need to suffer in silence. Call 1-800-JUSTICE today to book a free initial consultation with our Ontario ATV accidents lawyers, and see how Preszler Injury lawyers may be able to help you.