There are more than 700 deaths and 100,000 injuries each year involving ATVs and other off-road vehicles, according to CPSC’s most recent data. By following the key safety tips below, hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries related to ATV accidents can be prevented.
ATVs are designed to be driven on off-road terrain and are difficult to control on paved roads where they are at risk of overturning or colliding with cars and trucks.
More than 90 percent of ATV-related accidents involving children can be attributed to a lack of developmental skills needed to maneuver the faster, more powerful adult ATVs. Children younger than 16 should be on one of the age-appropriate youth models, which are required to travel at lower speeds than adult ATVs and to have an adjustable speed limiter. All ATVs should be equipped with a label that indicates the manufacturer’s recommended age for that particular model. Children younger than 6 years of age should never be on any ATV — either as a driver or passenger.
A single-rider ATV should only have one person on it—the driver. ATVs are designed for interactive riding. The driver must be able to shift his or her weight freely in all directions. Passengers can inhibit the driver’s ability to safely control the ATV and it could roll over or crash. Most ATVs sold today are single-rider ATVs, which are not equipped with handholds or footrests for passengers.
Wear helmets! The ATV Safety Institute recommends U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) certified helmets. Riders should also wear goggles, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and over-the-ankle boots.
Many deaths and injuries occur when an inexperienced driver loses control of an ATV, is thrown from an ATV, overturns the off-road vehicle, or collides with a fixed object or a car. Hands-on training can give experienced and first-time riders the skills to handle the multiple riding situations that can happen in off-road conditions. Courses are offered by the ATV Safety Institute. Riders can also check with the National 4-H Council, local ATV rider groups, state agencies and some ATV manufacturers.
Perhaps you were riding along and your brakes stopped working, or the vehicle flipped even though you were obeying the operator’s manual. Cases involving a defective or dangerous vehicle part take the form of product liability lawsuits. In these personal injury claims, you will not have to prove the manufacturing company or other defendant was negligent in the creation of the off-road vehicle or one of its components. You will simply have to show that the off-road vehicle had a defect and that this defect caused your accident.
In Louisiana, you have just one year from the date of your ATV accident to bring a claim against a manufacturing company or distributor. Our firm of personal injury lawyers can help investigate whether there was a design flaw, manufacturing mistake, or marketing error that caused your accident.
The ATV accident lawyers at Murphy Law Firm can evaluate your case during a no obligation or fee consultation while helping you identify your rights regarding your accident. Call Murphy Law Firm at (225) 928-8800 for more information.
A. In any action for damages where a person suffers injury, death, or loss, the degree or percentage of fault of all persons causing or contributing to the injury, death, or loss shall be determined, regardless of whether the person is a party to the action or a nonparty, and regardless of the person’s insolvency, ability to pay, immunity by statute, including but not limited to the provisions of R.S. 23:1032, or that the other person’s identity is not known or reasonably ascertainable. If a person suffers injury, death, or loss as the result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of another person or persons, the amount of damages recoverable shall be reduced in proportion to the degree or percentage of negligence attributable to the person suffering the injury, death, or loss.
B. The provisions of Paragraph A shall apply to any claim for recovery of damages for injury, death, or loss asserted under any law or legal doctrine or theory of liability, regardless of the basis of liability.
C. Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraphs A and B, if a person suffers injury, death, or loss as a result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of an intentional tortfeasor, his claim for recovery of damages shall not be reduced.
Amended by Acts 1979, No. 431, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 3, §1, eff. April 16, 1996.
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