Alabama ATV Accident Attorneys
ATV, or all-terrain vehicles, are designed for fun, adventure, and having a good time. However, to call them all-terrain may be a misnomer; there are plenty of terrain types that are not well suited for ATVs. When an individual who is operating an ATV doesn’t understand this and what off-road trails are safe, isn’t aware of proper operation procedures, or fails to operate an ATV with a high duty of care, an accident can happen. In fact, every year in the United States, there are thousands of ATV-related injuries, and hundreds of ATV-related deaths reported.
ATV accidents occur for a number of reasons, and can result in myriad injuries. If you are someone who has been involved in an ATV accident in Alabama, contacting our experienced Alabama personal injury attorneys at the offices of Smith & McGhee should be your next step. Our attorneys can help you to understand your rights, options, and how to seek a compensation award that accounts for all of the losses you have suffered.
Causes of ATV Accidents
One of the most tragic facts about ATV accidents is that nearly all ATV accidents are preventable, and would never happen but for negligence. Defined as the failure to exercise the duty of care that is reasonable for the situation, negligence is the direct cause of injury and death to countless individuals. Some of the top acts of negligence, and the top causes of ATV accidents, include:
- Operating an ATV at a reckless speed;
- Taking a turn too fast (often leading to a tip-over incident);
- Operating an ATV while intoxicated or impaired;
- Allowing an unskilled, untrained child to operate an ATV;
- Attempting to perform tricks on an ATV, such as taking jumps;
- Exceeding ATV capacity (operating an ATV designed for one person with two or more people on it); and
- ATV defects, including defective throttles, tires, fenders, gas tanks, etc.
Injuries Caused by an ATV Accident
When an ATV accident occurs, the injuries can be very serious. Typically, injuries are more serious when the injured party is not wearing a helmet, or is not wearing proper ATV gear (long pants, boots, gloves, etc.). Some injuries that may result from an ATV accident are:
- Head, scalp, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Back, spine, and spinal cord injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries, including muscle and ligament sprains and strains;
- Puncture injuries;
- Burn injuries;
- Scrapes, bruises, cuts, and laceration injuries;
- Amputation injuries;
- Crush injuries (this is common when the ATV tips or rolls, trapping its rider); and
- Bone fracture injuries
The type and severity of ATV-related injuries depends on a number of factors, including the force involved, the angle of the accident, protections for the rider (helmet, etc.), and more.
ATV Accidents Cause More than Just Physical Injuries
An ATV accident causes more than just physical injuries like those listed above; it also causes serious psychological and economic losses. When a person’s injuries are severe, they may be prevented from going to work and earning a wage, from doing the things that they once loved and enjoyed, from providing for their family or contributing to household duties, and perhaps even from being able to care for themselves on their own. Of course, lost wages, the costs of in-home care, and the costs of medical bills for hospitals stays, medications, surgeries, and more result in huge economic losses for a victim. Economic losses, pain, suffering, and loss of mobility can then lead to psychological injuries, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Recovering Compensation for Your Losses
The losses above are significant, and when an ATV accident occurs that was not your fault, you deserve to be compensated for every penny’s worth of damages suffered. At the law offices of Smith & McGhee, our skilled Alabama ATV accident attorneys can help understand how to file a claim with an insurance company, or bring forth a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation for your:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Lost wages and future lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Property damage; and
- All other economic and noneconomic losses you have experienced.
Determining Liability for an ATV Accident
One of the key parts of recovering compensation after an ATV accident is being able to prove the fault of another party. Our lawyers will open an investigation into your case, and will work hard to determine exactly what went wrong and who is to blame. In Alabama, liability is based on the breach of the duty of care, and if you can prove that your accident and injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence of another party, you can hold that party liable for your damages. We can help you to bring forth a claim against another individual, such as another rider who was operating their ATV while intoxicated, or against the manufacturer of an ATV, or ATV part, with a defect that caused the accident.
Understanding the Time Limit for Filing Your Alabama ATV Accident Claim
If you are injured in an ATV accident in Alabama and would like to seek compensation for the value of losses that you have suffered, it is important that you meet with an attorney and initiate the claims process quickly. In Alabama, you only have two years from the date of your injury to bring forth a claim; if you wait longer than two years’ time to file your suit, you will be barred from seeking damages at all.
Contact Our Dothan, Alabama Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
A day that starts at as fun and adventurous can end in serious injury when negligence and ATVs are involved. If you are the victim of another person’s negligence and you are injured in an ATV accident, or if you lose a family member in an ATV crash, our compassionate lawyers are here to support you. We will work hard for you and your family, and never charge you unless your case is won. For a free consultation, please call our law firm directly at (334) 702-1744.