Washington D.C. is a very urban environment. However, only a short distance away, many residents and visitors enjoy getting out and exploring on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-roading in their modified trucks or jeeps, or taking a dirt bike off road. While this is a popular form of recreation, it also carries a significant level of risk. Over the years, the number of ATV accidents have been on the rise, leaving individuals seriously injured and their families grieving.
Everyone understands the many risks and dangers involved with driving on the highway. Even with careful driving and all the latest safety features, another driver could crash head-on into your vehicle resulting in serious injury or death. Off-road enthusiasts are generally traveling at lower speeds, avoid the asphalt, and often even wear full-face helmets; however, a simple crash can still lead to devastating injuries.
Any vehicle injury accident can require emergency medical treatment, surgery, follow-up doctor visits, hospitalization, medication, and long-term care. Treatment for these serious injuries can result in expensive medical bills leaving the injured victim unable to pay their bills because they are unable to return to work. If you were injured in an ATV or off-road accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
What Causes Off-Roading Accidents?
There are a number of reasons ATV riders may end up in an accident. This can involve operator error, unsafe driving conditions, getting hit by another negligent driver, vehicle defect, or other issues. Some of these accidents may be attributed to the rider, including rider inexperience, speeding, taking turns too fast, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, many accidents involve things that are out of the rider's control.
Lots of ATV riders involved in an accident may blame themselves for their injuries. However, in some cases, the ATV manufacturer, property owner, or another negligent party may have some role in causing the accident. If they were responsible for causing injury to another they should be held responsible for the damage they've caused.
Some ATVs have known manufacturing or design defects. However, the ATV manufacturers do not always inform customers of the defect as soon as they are known. They may wait until the problem becomes more widespread or the government forces manufacturers to issue a recall. ATV maintenance problems may also lead to accidents. If an ATV is not properly maintained it can result in injuries to the rider, passengers, and bystanders.
Off-Road Accident Injuries
Many ATVs do not meet certain requirements to allow them to operate on public highways. This may be because they do not have the required safety equipment or are otherwise deemed unsafe. The only safety equipment many riders have is their helmet. A helmet can protect the rider from blunt head trauma, facial or jaw injury, eye injury, and some neck injuries. However, many riders refuse to wear helmets because they feel they do not need them or they simply forget to put one one.
Children can be more susceptible to serious or fatal injuries in an ATV accident, especially if they are also not wearing a helmet. Head injuries are the leading cause of fatal off-roading accidents. Most of these occur when the rider is not using a helmet. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, less than 10% of fatally injured ATV riders wore helmets.
A personal injury lawsuit will allow an injured ATV rider to seek compensation for their injuries from anyone who may have caused the accident. This could include another rider, the owner of the ATV, property owner, ATV manufacturer, parts manufacturer, or others.
If a family member is killed in an off-roading accident, the family may be in too much grief to know what to do next. However, in many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may allow the surviving family to be compensated for their losses and hold those responsible accountable for the pain and suffering they caused.
Off-Road and ATV Accident Attorneys in DC
If you or a loved one was injured in an ATV accident, you should talk to an experienced Washington D.C. personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. ATV or off-road accident claims can be complicated, involving multiple defendants and require expert testimony on the cause of the accident. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.