Fresno ATV Accident Lawyer

ATV turned on its side on a forest trail after an accident.All Terrain Vehicles, more commonly known as ATVs, are a popular and entertaining form of transportation. Over the last few decades, ATVs have become increasingly used by people of a wide range of ages — from children to adults — as they provide a unique and rugged experience when embracing outdoor activities.

Unfortunately, while enjoyed by the whole family for many types of activities, ATVs can also be extremely dangerous. They cause hundreds of thousands of injuries in the U.S. annually and frequently result in deaths. Because they lack the safety features of road-going vehicles, ATVs are undeniably dangerous. ATV accidents can disrupt one’s lifestyle and ability to work, creating costly medical bills and other unexpected expenses.

At Singh Ahluwalia Law Firm, our Fresno ATV accident attorneys have years of combined experience obtaining compensation for those involved in an ATV accident. We will provide you with a free, confidential, and no-obligation case review to discuss your strategies available for pursuing an injury claim. When you are ready for someone to listen, we are here. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your appointment today.

How a Fresno ATV Accident Attorney Can Help

Dealing with an ATV accident, especially a case that involves a loved one or child, can be mentally and emotionally draining. Consequently, it is beneficial to seek legal counsel and find an attorney with knowledge and experience handling ATV accident cases. As these cases may involve serious injuries, minors, fatalities, and situations taking place well off the beaten path, the capabilities of an attorney to investigate the accident scene as well as prior case rulings can be indispensable.

Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with one of our experienced Fresno personal injury lawyers today

Understanding That Not All ATVs Are The Same

ATVs are great for exploring trails and other undeveloped areas. They are often used when hunting, camping, or even working. Over the last few decades, there has been an influx of demand for ATVs, including models designed for utility, sport, and youth.

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are also called Four-Wheelers, Quads, Quad Bikes, and Light Utility Vehicles (LUVs). They come in different models that aim to serve different purposes, with each model designed to have its own benefits and disadvantages:

  • Utility ATVs are targeted at riders who use them for work-related purposes. These ATVs run at a lower speed and are heavier than a sport version. They have a versatile suspension to handle different terrains as needed, can tow trailers or heavy loads, and have an automatic transmission to make driving easier.
  • Sport ATVs are used recreationally. Unlike utility ATVs, these vehicles are lightweight with faster speeds. They can be maneuvered easier by the driver and are sometimes designed for competition. Instead of an automatic transmission, they are equipped with a manual one that will allow drivers to increase speed in a shorter window.
  • Lastly, Youth ATVs are meant to train inexperienced young drivers, like children or teenagers. These vehicles are smaller, simpler to operate, and run much slower than a sports model.

Identifying the Possible Causes of ATV Accidents

ATV Accident attorneys are also familiar with the potential causes of ATV accidents.

Most ATV accident cases involve one or more of the following three main causes: driver error, dangerous ATV design, or negligent property maintenance.

When the ATV driver is at fault for the accident, it is generally because of these causes:

  • Inexperienced or negligent drivers
  • Carrying more than one person in a single-capacity vehicle
  • Speeding and reckless driving, especially with passengers onboard or in dangerous weather conditions
  • Distractions and distracted driving
  • Impacts with other vehicles or stationary objects, like trees and other structures
  • Operating an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Lack of protective gear for the driver or their companion

If the driver did not make an error but that of the terrain or ATV itself, a third party may be liable for causing the accident. Usually, these are issues that are tied to:

  • Rollovers that eject passengers or pin them under the ATV
  • Defective or broken ATV parts installed in the ATV by the manufacturer or ATV owner
  • Low pressure in tires or a blowout of a tire
  • Dangerous terrain or conditions, including poorly maintained trails, lack of maintenance of obstructions, and more
  • Permitting driving on improper surfaces for the ATV, such as pavement or roadways, and other improper terrains that cause a loss of control of the vehicle
  • Defective design or manufacturing of the ATV

Determining Liability In An ATV Accident

Many parties could be seen as at-fault when an all-terrain vehicle flips, collides with a fixed object or otherwise causes injury. Some potential at-fault parties include the following:

The ATV Owner (Including Rental Companies and Resorts)

ATV owners are responsible for ensuring the safe operation of their vehicles per California law. Vehicle owners are responsible for ensuring that every rider understands the laws and safety precautions they should uphold to reduce their risk of injury. This responsibility is critical when minors can access ATVs or other offroad-style vehicles. Supervision is required for minors under 14.

While operators and passengers sign liability waivers in most instances, these documents do not free commercial operations from their expected duties of care. Extreme and reckless disregard for safety and patterns of negligent actions can be sufficient to establish liability in many such cases.

The Land Owner (Non-Trespassing)

Landowners are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of those invited to or given permission to access their property. Any trails should be well-maintained, or else they should be clearly marked for hazards like loose leaves, washouts, sinkholes, and other obstacles. Sections of the property unfit for riding, such as those near steep drop-offs, should be cordoned off and/or have signs that indicate that entry is unsafe.

Those trespassing on property do not have the same protections. California law (Vehicle Code 5075.4) states that “no adjoining property owner is liable for any actions of any type resulting from or caused by trail users trespassing on adjoining property.”

A Negligent Motor Vehicle Operator

In cases where a passenger is injured by the negligent actions of an offroad vehicle operator, the operator may be held liable for the resulting damages. Similarly, if the operator of another motor vehicle causes an ATV accident on a roadway or at another location, the negligent driver may be held liable for any resulting costs of injuries and other related losses.

Manufacturer or Retailers Defective Vehicles

ATVs, UTVs, and other vehicles are the frequent subject of recalls. Just recently, Honda recalled all of its 2022 model years TRX90X ATVs because “the vehicle’s throttle cable can get stuck, posing crash and injury hazards.”

The party introducing the defect is considered liable for the harm they caused under California law. Unsafe designs, manufacturing defects, faulty parts, and failure to warn constitute situations that could mean a vehicle manufacturer is liable for any resulting injuries or deaths.

Similarly, when a business that distributes or sells these vehicles introduces a defect, it could be liable for injury damages. For example, a retailer could have failed to properly store a vehicle, or they neglected to perform a safety inspection after the vehicle was provided for demo rides.

What to Do After an ATV Accident

Accidents happen quickly and require injured parties (and their families) to be proactive in finding the medical help they need. Similarly, they should actively seek out legal help to ensure that they have a high chance of being compensated appropriately for any injuries or deaths.

After an accident, the best next step is to call 911, report the incident, and ensure that all medical needs are immediately addressed. Document the incident, and get a copy of the police report. Also, know that at any time, you can contact your legal team to help you begin investigating the accident and filing a claim for all damages suffered.

Common Types of ATV Injuries Seen in Fresno

ATV vehicles are typically not equipped with rollover bars or cages that would otherwise help protect the driver or passengers. As a result, drivers and passengers can be ejected or pinned down by the ATV if it were to roll over.

There are an average of 700 ATV-related deaths annually in the U.S. and an average of 100,000 injuries.

These are the common injuries that victims could face during an ATV accident:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) — A traumatic brain injury victim must see a doctor immediately. Medical professionals will perform an evaluation that will help determine the severity of your injury. While symptoms can appear mild, it is impossible to identify traumatic brain injuries without the consultation of a medical professional.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries — Spinal cord injuries are among the most severe potential injuries you can face during an ATV accident, potentially leading to vertebrae fractures, paralysis, and other medical complications. Victims can battle chronic pain, hernias, nerve damage, and other injuries. Pain can present months after the accident occurs.
  • Concussions — A concussion is a severe head injury that carries serious effects. Concussions result from a bump or blow to the head, causing the brain to move rapidly back and forth inside the skull. The movement itself can cause a bounce within the skill that can damage brain cells and cause changes to the chemical balance within the brain.
  • Broken Bones and Fractures — Human bones carry some form of flexibility, but when too much force is applied, it can cause a fracture or a complete break. Broken bones are common in ATV accidents, as it is possible for the vehicle to fully or partially pin the victim if it were to flip over.
  • Burns or Lacerations — Burns and lacerations are among the most common ATV injuries. These are caused by hot surfaces, like the engine or exhaust, or pieces of broken plastic or metal that can become a shard that penetrates the skin.
  • Other Internal Injuries — Ruptures and tears can cause internal bleeding and damage other internal organs. These injuries are not always immediately detectable and can appear weeks after an ATV accident.

Regardless of the kind of injury that one faces during an ATV accident, it is essential that one seeks medical attention as soon as possible and contact their legal team.

Damages That Can Be Sought When Hiring an ATV Accident Attorney

Hiring an ATV accident lawyer can help you identify which parties were responsible for the accident you or a loved one endured. They can then help you determine the full value of your claim.

The losses experienced by the victim — called “damages” — are separated into two main categories: economic (or “special”) damages and non-economic (or “general”) damages.

Economic damages encompass all costs considered reasonable and necessary to make the victim whole again after their crash. Examples include:

  • Emergency medical transport and treatment
  • The costs of surgery, medication, diagnostics, and care
  • Transportation or parking costs to get to medical appointments
  • The costs of prescribed over-the-counter medications or medical devices
  • Lost wages and other income (including loss of sick days)
  • Any out-of-pockets directly connected to injury care or the accident
  • Repair/replacement of damaged or lost property
  • Costs for mental health counseling related to PTSD

Non-economic damages don’t have a concrete dollar amount, but they inflict a high cost on injury victims. They include things like:

  • Mental anguish
  • Personal pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of ability to participate in family bonding activities
  • Loss of companionship of a deceased loved one

An ATV accident attorney will provide clients with comprehensive case management from start to finish, accompanied by a vigorous investigation and legal research to determine all liable parties.

Once the investigation is complete, your attorney will calculate any damages, including future medical costs and loss of wages, and provide sound legal counsel. The experienced Fresno injury lawyers at Singh Ahluwalia provide fearless representation and negotiation, whether in an informal setting, at an arbitration hearing, or in court.

Statute of Limitations for ATV Accidents

ATV accidents fall under California’s personal injury statutes in most cases, along with strict liability laws for defective products in others. In California, the Statute of Limitations is two years to make a case after an injury event.

Singh Ahluwalia Law Firm—Your Fresno ATV Accident Attorney

The attorneys at Singh Ahluwalia will make every effort to investigate your injuries, document your costs, and seek full and fair compensation from all liable parties. We have helped hundreds of families achieve their goals here in America. Whether that is to obtain citizenship or to avoid the high costs of an injury inflicted by another’s negligence, we are here to help those feeling scared and vulnerable. We protect your legal rights while doing everything we can to ensure that you can recover financially.

Let your local Fresno ATV accident attorneys at Singh Ahluwalia Law Firm help you during this difficult time. We are compassionate for injury victims and others suffering from negligence or an unfair system. Rest assured that we will fight for your legal rights to seek compensation. We are unafraid to stand up to insurers and others who wish to deny you the ability to recover fully.

At Singh Ahluwalia Law Firm, our ATV accident lawyers have years of combined experience fighting and finding justice to get the compensation you deserve. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office. We are here to help.