Bountiful is a suburb of Salt Lake City with a population of 43,568. Bountiful is in Davis County and is one of the best places to live in Utah. Living in Bountiful offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Bountiful there are a lot of parks. Many families and young professionals live in Bountiful and residents tend to be conservative. The public schools in Bountiful are highly rated.
Can You Sue For An ATV Accident Injury Or Wrongful Death In Bountiful Utah?
Although all-terrain vehicles, also known as ATVs, are often used for fun outings and are popular sport vehicles, they can be quite dangerous and may lead to serious injuries in the event of an accident. Like any personal injury claim, the viability of a case depends on the facts surrounding the accident that caused the injury. Some of the more significant injuries that can result from these types of wrecks include:
• Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
• Broken bones
• Lacerations and bruises
If you were injured in an ATV accident, or if your family member passed away, you may be able to file either a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim to fight for the compensation you and your family need.
Different Kinds of Damages in ATV Accidents
Injuries from ATV accidents can be severe because, like bicycles or motorcycles, there is hardly any external protection for riders of these vehicles. Just as in a car accident, someone who is at fault for your injuries in an ATV crash can be held responsible for compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages as a result of your injury, the loss of your ability to return to a similar level of employment, and the costs of repairing or replacing any damaged property. Additionally, you can sue for non-economic damages such as your pain and suffering and, in some wrongful death situations, the loss of consortium you experience from being deprived of your spouse. Finally, there are some ATV accidents that may lead to extra compensation known as exemplary damages. Utah Practice and Remedies Code §41.008 allows for this extra compensation in cases in which the at-fault person exhibited extremely negligent behavior. For example, even though an ATV is very different from a car or truck, it is still illegal to operate such a vehicle while intoxicated. If you are injured in an ATV accident in which the driver was drunk driving, the court may decide to punish the at-fault driver for their willful disregard for your safety and the safety of others.
Possible Defendants in ATV Accident Cases
• Drivers: The driver of the at-fault vehicle, be it the ATV you were riding on, another ATV, or a totally different kind of vehicles like a car or truck, can be at fault for your injuries if they are the primary cause of the accident. If they were distracted by texting and driving, for example, they would be held liable. Since the passage of House Bill 62, texting and driving is illegal throughout Texas.
• Manufacturers and Designers: If the ATV accident in which you were injured is the result of a faulty product, the manufacturer or designer of that product can be held liable for your injury. In order for this to be the case, typically you must show the following three facts to be true:
The product was defective.
The defect caused your accident and subsequent injuries.
The ATV was not significantly altered since its sale.
• The Property Owner: In certain cases, the owner of the property where your accident occurred can be held responsible for your injury. Maybe you or your loved one operated the ATV in a reasonably safe manner and encountered some dangerous part of the property of which you were not made aware. As long as you were on the property legally, you may be entitled to compensation.
Compassionate Care from Your ATV Accident Injury Lawyers
A lawyer can never say definitively whether someone does or does not have a good lawsuit without knowing all of the specific facts involved in your individual situation. But generally, the answer to this question is yes. Off-road vehicles and ATVs are very different than cars in many respects. They do not (for the most part) have doors, windows, airbags, regular steering wheels or pedal brakes . . . nor do they operate normally on the roadways running in and around. Thus, they are not treated exactly like cars when it comes to personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits in the courts. However, with all of this said, there are also many similarities. Primarily, the accidents that happen on off-road vehicles or ATVs are caused by some of the same factors as those in regular cars or trucks: driver error, driving while intoxicated, mechanical errors, and much more. Thus, there are some wrecks in these vehicles that can be treated the same legally. The best way to know what type of case you are dealing with, and what legal rights you may have as a result in a court of law, is to speak with an experienced attorney who has dealt with similar cases before. There is very rarely a substitute for knowledge, expertise, and real-world experience. If you or a family member has been injured or even killed in an accident involving an off-road vehicle or ATV and you think that the accident was not your fault, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can guide you along the way of deciding whether you have a case, and if applicable, helping you to file and prosecute it. Most good attorneys will offer you a free, no-obligation consultation in their office as a way for you to decide if they are the right one to handle your case. If you choose to go forward, you will likely have to pay nothing unless you win your case. So really, there is very little risk at all for you to take action.
Settlements, Compensation and Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
While all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are safely used and enjoyed by thousands of Americans each year, they also can be extremely dangerous. Recreational ATV accidents claim more than 700 lives annually and injure another 135,000, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). About one-third of fatalities and injuries each year are to children under 16 years old. In the workplace, ATV accidents claim the lives of about 11 people a year and injure another 163, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). ATV accidents can result in a traumatic brain injury. The most common of these is a closed head injury. ATV accidents can occur for a variety reasons; many are due to negligence on the part of one of the drivers.
Victims harmed because of ATV negligence are entitled to compensation to finance their medical expenses, and to address their pain and suffering. An ATV accident is legally defined as any situation with an ATV that results in property damage, injury and or/death. These accidents are usually caused by the negligence of one of the drivers. Victims of ATV accidents cannot obtain compensation without first proving negligence to an insurance company or court. To prove negligence, victims must show that the ATV accident:
• Caused harm
• Was caused by another party’s carelessness
• Is the fault of that party, who is therefore responsible for compensation
In cases where more than one party is at fault, liability is distributed based on the estimated percentage of fault. In legal terms, this concept is known as comparative negligence.
Compensation can be awarded in order to cover a variety of expenses, including:
• Lost Income
• Lost Prospects
• Medical Expenses
• Physical & Psychological Pain
• Property Repairs
These values are determined by insurance companies and juries, which normally use predetermined formulas. Some states have no-fault insurance laws, which are intended to minimize claims from less significant accidents, as well as encourage prompt compensation for medical expenses and lost income. However, these laws can sometimes prevent victims from receiving other types of compensation. For this reason, many people in no-fault insurance states seek the services of personal injury attorneys. If you have been the victim of an ATV accident, a personal injury attorney can provide you with examples of settlements and court awards related to ATV accidents.
Factors Contributing to ATV Accidents
Many factors contribute to ATV accidents. Most fall into two categories: operator behavior and equipment failure.
• Operator Behavior: Operator behaviors, including those listed below, lead to many ATV accidents.
• Driving without proper training: ATV safety education certificates and a valid driver’s license are required by very few states and then only on ATV-designated public roads. This means that many ATV operators do not have formal training. Lack of training can lead to serious mistakes, especially while crossing rough terrain, climbing steep slopes or traveling on paved roads (ATV tires are not designed for pavement). These mistakes can lead to a collision with another motor vehicle, collisions with stationary objects or other non-motorized objects or a non-collision accident, such as a rollover. If you have been involved in an accident caused by an untrained or inexperienced ATV operator, you may be entitled to compensation.
• Hauling a passenger(s) or load against manufacturer’s recommendations: Many ATVs are not meant to carry a load or additional passengers. Adding a passenger or load increases the vehicle’s weight and hinders the vehicle’s maneuverability, increasing the likelihood of a rollover. Though all ATVs are manufactured with published weight limits, an untrained or inexperienced operator may not realize the dangers associated with an overload.
• Allowing children to operate adult-size ATVs: Most serious ATV accidents involving children happen while they are operating adult-size ATVs. Adult-size ATVs have engine sizes and speed limits that require more strength, ability and experience than most children possess. The ATV industry recommends:
• Engines under 70 cubic centimeters (cc) for children 6 to 12 years of age
• Engines 90 cc and under for children 12 to 16 years of age
• Engines over 90 cc only for ATV operators age 16 and older
ATVs designed for children can be adjusted for maximum speed limits. The following speed limits are recommended by ATV manufacturers:
• Fifteen miles per hour for children ages 6 through 11
• Thirty miles per hour for children over age 12
In addition, the ATV industry recommends that a child be supervised by a responsible adult while operating an ATV. This also is the law in many states. If your child has been injured as a result of operating someone else’s adult-size ATV or operating someone else’s ATV without adult supervision and without your permission, a personal injury attorney can help you determine if your child is eligible for compensation.
• Driving on public roads: ATVs are rarely allowed to operate on public roads because of the possibility of a collision with a motor vehicle. Where ATVs are permitted, ATV equipment requirements may be imposed, including:
Headlights & taillights
Government negligence can be present when an ATV accident happens on a public road. For example, if a road sign warning of an intersection or other hazard is missing, obscured by foliage or faded for an extended length of time, a government entity may be liable. There are specific rules and time limits for filing an ATV accident claim against a government entity. For more information, contact an ATV accident attorney.
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications: In most states, operating an ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense and, therefore, prosecuted in a criminal court. However, a civil suit against the alleged drunk driver can be filed and compensation obtained, regardless of the verdict in the criminal case. In some cases, the accused will retain an attorney to fight DUI charges to protect his or her legal rights
Other dangerous behaviors: Driving on paved roads, driving over terrain that is too rough and /or steep and traveling too fast for the terrain are also common contributing factors leading to ATV accidents.
ATV Equipment Failure
Some ATV accidents and resulting injuries are caused by equipment failure. Common equipment failures leading to an ATV accident and injury involve the following:
A defective helmet also would constitute a design failure. A flaw might be present in the chinstrap, the outer shell of the helmet or the cushioning liner and padding inside the helmet. Helmets that do not meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards should not be worn. Equipment failure often is due to negligence on the part of someone involved in the manufacture or maintenance of an ATV. Victims of defective equipment or poor workmanship are eligible to file personal injury claims and earn compensation. Many well-known class action lawsuits are filed against manufacturers of products with design flaws. Victims can also pursue legal action against technicians or service shops when faulty repairs lead to equipment failure. If you suspect equipment failure or an ATV manufacturing defect contributed to an ATV accident in which you or a loved one were involved, be sure the ATV is preserved so that it can be used as evidence in a trial, if necessary. You should also consider contacting a personal injury attorney to determine your legal rights.
When You Might Need a Personal Injury Attorney
While some ATV accident claims are handled through insurance companies, many victims choose to seek out the services of a personal injury attorney, who can help them reach a settlement with those responsible or file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their suffering. Auto accident attorneys with experience handling ATV accident lawsuits can thoroughly evaluate your case and help file claims against negligent drivers, manufacturers or technicians.
The assistance of an attorney may be necessary if:
The insurance company refuses to fully compensate you for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, psychological pain and/or lost prospects. This situation is most common in no-fault insurance states.
You are experiencing prolonged delays in settling the claim.
Your claim is denied by an insurance company or a government entity.
The negligent party is not insured.
Bountiful Utah ATV Accident Attorney Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been in an ATV Accident in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506