Nashville ATV Accident Attorneys
ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, can be an amazingly fun way to explore scenic places in Tennessee that many people never get the opportunity to see. While offering a sense of adventure and a unique way to explore the backcountry, they can also be extremely dangerous.
ATV’s are heavy motorized vehicles that are built tough to withstand rugged terrain and chores around farms and ranches and can reach speeds of up to 65 mph. When one of these machines rolls over onto a person or is involved in a crash, the consequences can be severe. Life-threatening injuries are not uncommon in ATV accidents, and even minor collisions can cause serious injuries that can have long-term implications.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. At Bill Easterly & Associates, we recognize the significant challenges that ATV riders face following a serious collision. As you try to recover physically from the accident, forces outside of your control can make it difficult to focus on recovery. Medical bills may be pouring in, and you may be missing paychecks as you take time to heal.
Our Nashville personal injury attorneys can help victims just like you overcome the unique challenges that an ATV accident can present. We’ll fight persistently and effectively for the full financial reward you need.
If you’d like to find out more about what your legal options are for recovering damages following an ATV accident, call our office at (615) 244-2222 today. We can schedule you for a free case evaluation to help you figure out what your next steps should be.
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
Whether you are using an ATV as a working machine around a farm or ranch or using it as a vehicle to explore the backcountry, there is no doubt that accidents can happen. While ATVs with four wheels tend to be fairly solid, depending on the terrain, ATVs can flip and roll, causing serious injuries to riders.
These machines also have an unfortunate reputation as being seen as more of a toy than a vehicle, which can lead to reckless driving behavior, especially by younger individuals. From 1982 through 2017, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded 3,315 ATV-related fatalities in children under the age of 16. That is 22 percent of the total number of ATV-related fatalities for that time frame.
The following tend to be some of the most common causes of ATV accidents:
- Reckless driving
- Untrained or inexperienced driver
- Driving with a passenger on a single-rider ATV
- Child operating an ATV designed for adult use
- Intoxicated or drunk driving
- Driving an ATV on pavement or roads meant for traffic
- Defective parts
Common Injuries Associated With ATV Accidents
ATV accidents can lead to serious and even fatal injuries. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission found that between 1982 and 2014, there have been a total of 551 ATV-related deaths in Tennessee. That makes Tennessee one of the top ten states for ATV deaths in the nation.
While many people survive being involved in an ATV accident, they can suddenly find themselves facing injuries that can immediately impact their daily lives and result in complications for years down the road. In 2017, there were an estimated 93,800 emergency room visits related to an ATV accident. Some 26 percent of those ER visits were by children younger than 16 years of age.
Even what seems like a minor injury can turn into something much more serious because many ATV accidents tend to happen in remote and rural locations. Extending the amount of time it takes to get to a medical facility can greatly impact the extent of an injury and cause lasting issues. Some of the most common types of injuries associated with ATV accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Torso injuries
- Extremity injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
Who Is Liable for an ATV Accident?
One of the biggest questions people ask when they’re involved in an ATV accident is who can they turn to for help? Although ATVs are motorized vehicles, an individual’s car insurance policy rarely covers ATV-related accidents. Some companies provide ATV insurance. If a rider has opted to enroll in an ATV insurance policy, then filing a claim with that company may be the best course of action. However, in many cases, an individual does not have a specific ATV insurance policy, especially if they only operate the vehicle periodically or seasonally.
If an accident occurs on your own property and you do not have an ATV insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim with your homeowners insurance. However, all policies are different, and you will want to review your own policy to determine if your particular insurance coverage will cover a claim. An experienced attorney can also help you review the circumstances of your accident and review your policy to see if you qualify for compensation through homeowners insurance.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may also be able to hold a negligent individual accountable for compensation by filing a lawsuit against them. If someone other than the victim was to blame, then the negligent party responsible for causing the collision could be held financially responsible. However, a victim must prove that the negligent party had a duty to the victim, they breached that duty, that the breach caused an accident, and that the accident caused an injury which resulted in damages.
If an ATV accident was the result of equipment failure, such as a defective part, then the ATV or part manufacturer may be held responsible through a product liability claim. These types of suits seek to hold manufacturers responsible for their negligence. ATV manufacturers and parts manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe for consumers. If there is a defect in the design of the ATV or a manufacturing defect that impacts a part, then the company responsible for the defect may be liable for damages as a result.
Numerous factors can impact the outcome of an ATV accident case. Contacting an experienced lawyer is the best way to establish who is liable for your accident. A skilled attorney can review the circumstances of your case and investigate the cause of the accident. Following the facts, an attorney will be able to determine what your best legal option is for recovering compensation. Whether it is negotiating with an insurance company on your behalf or taking a negligent party to court, the legal team at Bill Easterly & Associates will help you recover the compensation you need to rebuild your life after an ATV accident.
Tennessee ATV Laws and Regulations
The state of Tennessee does have laws and regulations in place that are meant to help make ATVs a fun and safe activity. Just like with motorcycles, all ATV riders must wear a protective helmet that meets safety guidelines and appropriate safety gear such as protective eyewear. However, unlike motorcycles, ATVs are not permitted on most state highways unless they are crossing the road.
ATVs are all-terrain vehicles and are not meant to be operated on paved roads. They are also not designed to be used as street vehicles. Even though it is illegal to operate an ATV on most major state roads, the vehicles must still have an identification sticker or plate attached to it, which means it must be registered with the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles. ATV’s are also not allowed in Tennessee state parks.
While the state does not mandate that drivers need a special license to operate an ATV, it is recommended that all drivers take a basic safety course. These courses go over the basics of safety and the operation of the vehicle itself. Many accidents happen because a driver is simply inexperienced and untrained. Enrolling in an educational course may help lower your chances of being involved in a serious ATV accident.
Contact an Experienced ATV Accident Attorney for Help
Being involved in an ATV accident can turn into a rocky situation. You may be both physically and financially limited by the circumstances of your accident. At Bill Easterly & Associates, we understand what kind of position you are in, and we also know what it takes to get you the help you need. Our seasoned attorneys will thoroughly review the circumstances of your crash and lay out all of your legal options for recovering compensation. We can help you file an insurance claim and negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement. We also have the ability to take a negligent party to court in order to recover the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious ATV accident, contact Bill Easterly & Associates for a free case evaluation. You may not have to pay for your accident out of your own pocket. Call us today at (615) 244-2222 to schedule your free evaluation and find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.