All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are motorized vehicles that are operated outdoors for both recreational and work activities. Commonly used ATVs include dirt bikes, 3-wheelers, and 4-wheelers. ATVs are fun and exciting to operate, but they can also be extremely dangerous. ATVs can travel at speeds of up to 60 mph and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Since most ATV accidents involve high speeds and rollovers, many of these accidents result in serious damage or even death. Further, ATV accidents are not uncommon. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 150,000 people each year visit an emergency room for an ATV related injury. In addition, ATVs were responsible for 750 deaths in 2006 and 805 in 2005. These numbers only include reported deaths, and some experts estimate that the number of ATV deaths in those years could be much closer to 1,000 people.
One of the most common injuries sustained while using an ATV is a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when an ATV driver or passenger hits his heard in a crash or rollover. These injuries include concussions, neck injuries, spinal injuries, and even sometimes chest injuries. While symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can be as mild as lightheadedness, dizziness, ringing in the ears, fatigue, or even temporary blurred vision, often times the symptoms are much more severe. More severe symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include persistent nausea, continuous headaches, convulsions, seizures, and loss of memory.
While many of those injured in ATV accidents are adults, children sustaining ATV injuries is a growing occurrence. The Kid’s Inpatient Database calculated a 240 percent increase in the number of children visiting hospitals and emergency rooms for ATV injuries between the years of 1997 and 2006. In that same period of time, the number of spine injuries in children due to ATV accidents increased 476 percent.
In order to stay safe on an ATV, experts recommend that operators and passengers wear helmets as well as proper footwear and other protective gear. It is also important to make sure that the driver understands how to properly operate the vehicle. Experts warn that ATVs don’t have the same stability as a typical motor vehicle, and are not meant to be driven on paved roads. Even though ATVs are meant to be taken off road, there are some limitations to the terrain that one may be driven on and it’s important that the driver of the ATV is aware of these limitations.
Many ATVs have been recalled by their manufacturer because of defects in the ATVs. Manufactures and sellers are required to follow certain laws that govern the safety requirements for ATVs, but in some cases they fail to meet these requirements. You may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the ATV if you are the victim of an accident involving an ATV. Also, if an accident involving an ATV is the fault of another person, you may also be able to recover damages from that individual because of his or her negligence.ATV Accident Attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP
If you are the victim of an ATV accident, contact our Boston, Massachusetts ATV accident attorneys who will pursue all avenues of recovery so that you or your loved ones can get the care that you need. To schedule your free consultation with an experienced Boston, Massachusetts ATV accident lawyer at Altman & Altman LLP, call 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 (toll free) or contact us online.
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