ATV Accidents in Pennsylvania: Fault and Compensation
All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are three- or four-wheeled motorized vehicles that are used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Work on farms and ranches;
- Recreational use (for fun); and
- For rescue purposes on rough terrain.
Unfortunately, ATVs are also inherently dangerous when used for off-road riding and rugged terrain because these motorized vehicles can easily tip or roll over and can be difficult to control at high speeds, resulting in severe injuries. However, you may be able to obtain compensation for injuries in an ATV accident in Pennsylvania.
ATV Accidents in Pennsylvania
ATV crashes can cause serious injuries and fatalities due to the rider’s lack of protection combined with the fact that ATVs are usually driven at high speeds off the road. While auto accidents can be just as dangerous and deadly, the drivers and passengers are protected by airbags, reinforced steel cages, and seatbelts.
In ATV accidents, riders and passengers have minimal protection, not to mention that many choose to ride without a helmet or any other safety equipment. Not long ago, a 14-year-old girl died in an ATV crash in Pennsylvania. According to Lehigh Valley Live, the fatal accident occurred near the girl’s home in Penn Forest Township. The girl was the passenger of the ATV that rolled over after hitting a tree.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is no stranger to fatal ATV crashes. In fact, Pennsylvania has the second-largest number of reported ATV fatalities (702), according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Interestingly, children under the age of 16 account for at least 12% of all ATV-related deaths in the nation.
Causes of ATV Accidents
ATV crashes can be caused by one or a combination of the following factors:
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Lack of experience
- Lack of safety equipment
- ATV malfunction
- Defective parts or components
- Reckless or careless driving
- Riding with multiple passengers
Compensation in ATV Accidents in Pennsylvania
Determining what caused an ATV accident is key to establishing fault. After all, there may be one or several at-fault parties if an ATV crashes or overturns. For example, if the ATV itself was defective or any of its parts malfunctioned, the rider may be able to sue the manufacturer via a product liability claim. If the accident occurred on the private property of the ATV, you might pursue a claim under his homeowner’s insurance policy.
Often, ATV crashes occur when the rider is riding on a trail that was damaged or improperly maintained. If there were poorly designed or maintained slants or inherently dangerous hills or holes, which caused a crash, the injured rider might be able to sue the individual or entity that owns and maintains the trail.
Because there are several legal options when recovering damages after an ATV accident in Pennsylvania, it is critical to consult with a Scranton ATV accident attorney. If you were injured in a crash involving an ATV, and someone else’s negligence or recklessness contributed to the accident, a knowledgeable attorney will help prove the other party’s fault, evaluate your damages, and seek maximum compensation. Contact 570-344-1266 for a consultation.