Philadelphia might be an urban environment where it is difficult to find a place to ride your off-road or all-terrain vehicle (ATV). However, more rural areas are just a few miles from the city's limits. There, plenty of trails and open areas are ripe for exploring on the back of an ATV.
However, before you get out and rev up your ATV, it is important to know that many people get hurt every year on off-road trails. Practicing safe driving habits and making sure you use protective gear will help ensure that you do not get hurt. If you do get hurt while on your ATV, the personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian can fight for your cause in court and get you the compensation that you need to make a full recovery.
ATV and Off-Roading Accidents - Background
ATV and off-road vehicles are made to go through difficult and unpaved terrain. Just because no one else is driving on these secluded paths, however, does not mean that accidents never happen. The difficult terrain can make it difficult to keep control of your vehicle, which can result in a serious accident and severe injuries.
In fact, ATV accidents are relatively common in the state of Pennsylvania. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 459 people in Pennsylvania were killed in ATV or off-road vehicle accidents between 1982 and 2007. This was more than the fatality total in 47 other states in the U.S. Only Texas and California had more.
Not all ATV or off-road accidents are fatal, though. Many more result in serious injuries that can be life-changing. In 2012 alone, an estimated 100,000 people were hurt in ATV accident badly enough that they needed to visit an emergency room for treatment. About a quarter of these injuries happened to children under the age of 16.
Causes of ATV and Off-Road Accidents
Most accidents involving an ATV or off-road vehicle are single-vehicle crashes. These are frequently the result of environmental hazards, like a rough trail or mud, but can also happen after a driver error or a vehicle malfunction. Many of the worst of these single-vehicle crashes happen if the driver is operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Vehicle defects are just one of the causes of these accidents. When an ATV or off-road vehicle is improperly maintained, poorly designed, or improperly manufactured, the chances that something can go wrong increase dramatically. This can make it impossible to control the vehicle and can result in a serious accident that leaves you hurt.
However, many of the most serious ATV or off-road accidents actually happen on public and paved roads. Other vehicles on these roads are rarely looking for ATVs, and have difficulty seeing them or estimating their distance. These issues can result in a serious accident that leaves ATV riders vulnerable and often seriously hurt.
ATV or Off-Road Accident Injuries
ATV or off-road vehicle accidents can lead to serious or even fatal injuries.
In single-vehicle accidents, the most severe injuries frequently happen if the ATV or off-road vehicle flips over in a rollover accident. These vehicles are frequently more than 600 pounds, and if these crashes happen in secluded areas, it can be difficult to notify emergency personnel of the situation, guide them to the crash site, and make it to the hospital. Unfortunately, ATVs often have a narrow base and a high center of gravity, making them especially susceptible to a dangerous rollover accident. Even if the driver does not end up beneath a flipped ATV, they can suffer serious head or neck injuries if they get thrown from the vehicle in the crash.
Multiple-vehicle accidents are often even more severe. ATVs and other off-road vehicles offer little in the way of protection against other vehicles, leaving riders vulnerable. This makes using protective gear like helmets all the more important for ATV riders.
ATV and Off-Road Accident Attorneys in Philadelphia
Plenty of people enjoy using ATVs or other off-road vehicles to enjoy the outdoors, relax, and have fun. Unfortunately, these trips can take a turn for the worst, leaving you with a serious injury after an accident.
If you have been hurt in an ATV or off-road accident, the attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help you get the compensation that you need. By legally representing you both in and out of court, we can ensure that the people or organizations most responsible for your injuries pay you what they owe to make you whole, again. Contact our law office online or at (800) 529-6162.