ATVs, also known as all-terrain vehicles, are used for a number of purposes, including for working on farms. However, most people ride them for fun. While many thrill-seekers enjoy riding ATVs, these motorized vehicles can be very dangerous. In fact, since most riders use ATVs for riding on rugged terrain and off-road areas, these vehicles tend to tip and roll over, especially when driven at high speeds. So, is the rider the only at-fault party in ATV accidents? Or can other parties be held liable?
Dangers of ATV Accidents in Kentucky
Collisions involving ATVs can result in severe injuries, including brain trauma, paralysis, and back injuries, for two reasons:
- ATVs are often driven at high speeds; and
- Unlike in car accidents, where occupants are protected by airbags and seatbelts, ATV riders have minimal protection to shield them from serious injuries.
In fact, many ATV riders choose not to wear a helmet and other protective equipment, which can significantly aggravate the injury. This was evident from a recent ATV collision in Barren County, Kentucky. As reported by Lex 18 News, a man was in critical condition following a single-ATV accident on Bridgeport Keltner Road. An 18-year-old rider was arrested and charged with DUI, while his passenger had to be airlifted to a hospital. The accident, which occurred just after midnight, happened when the rider dropped off the shoulder of the roadway, lost control of the ATV, hit a tree, and then overturned several times. Interestingly, the rider himself was not injured. Neither the rider nor the passenger was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Causes of ATV Collisions
ATV accidents are not an uncommon occurrence in Kentucky. According to a state-by-state report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Kentucky has the fifth-highest number of deaths arising from ATV collisions (after Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and California). Causes of ATV accidents vary from one collision to another, but the most common are:
- Driving too fast for terrain or weather conditions
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Lack of experience
- Inadequate instructions or training
- Defective or faulty ATV
- Reckless driving
- Riding with a passenger on an ATV designed to hold only one person
- Riding with two or more passengers on an ATV designed to hold only one passenger
Liability for Kentucky ATV Accident
ATV riders, their passengers, or other persons can be eligible for compensation for their injuries as a result of an ATV collision as long as they can establish someone else’s fault. Examples of liability for ATV accidents are:
- The ATV rider engaged in negligent, reckless or careless behavior while operating the motorized vehicle;
- The owner of the property failed to maintain their trails for ATV riding properly;
- The ATV rental company failed to provide adequate instructions; or
- The manufacturer of the ATV failed to recall motorized vehicles with a manufacturing or design defect.
In some cases, there may be multiple at-fault parties in an ATV accident. It is important to consult with a Lexington personal injury lawyer to establish fault and determine liability in your accident. Contact Roberts Law Office to schedule a consultation. Call at (859) 231-0202.