If an injury is caused by an ATV accident that involves the negligence of another, you may qualify for financial compensation.
All-terrain vehicles (ATV) have always been notoriously dangerous to operate. In the past few years, this notion has been supported by the increasing number of serious ATV accidents occurring in Oklahoma and across the country. For example, in 2002, there were around 114,000 personal injuries and 350 wrongful deaths reported in associated with ATVs, and in the past decade alone, the rate of personal injuries resulting from ATV accidents has increased nearly 50%, and the rate of fatalities has increased nearly 70%.
With the number of people injured or killed in ATV accidents increasing at an alarming rate, the question arises as to who is responsible? ATVs are much less regulated by federal and state governments then other means of transportation. In fact, only 10 states require riders to wear helmets and only 13 require that the operator possess a driver’s license. Another common concern is that the manufactures of ATVs may not be doing their part to curb the increase in accidents. ATVs continue to get faster and faster every year, yet the advances in safety features remain relatively stagnant.
Even with the inherent danger of operating an all-terrain vehicle, ATV sales continue to rise along with the number of injuries associated with these vehicles. If you have been injured in an ATV accident in Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in Oklahoma, contact our experienced lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center today.
Risks of ATV Accident Injuries
Some people think that ATV accidents and injuries are a thing of the past due to new and improved safety and design features. Unfortunately, ATV accidents continue to occur with alarming frequency in Oklahoma and in other states across the U.S. Several models of ATVs have been recalled recently due to faulty design, which increases the risk of dangerous ATV accidents, injuries and fatalities. One model of ATV was recalled because of a defective suspension system, which caused riders to lose steering control. Another ATV model was recalled recently because the rear wheels had the potential to lock up, also causing riders to lose control. Faulty products such as these may cause ATV riders to collide with trees, walls, other riders, farm equipment, or telephone poles, or the ATV may overturn, resulting in severe injuries.
Common Injuries from ATV Accidents
Whether caused by defective design or driver error, ATV accidents are extremely dangerous and have the potential to cause life-altering and even fatal injuries. In fact, about 75% of ATV accidents result in serious damage to the head or spinal cord. Other injuries commonly resulting from ATV accidents in Oklahoma include:[column first_set=”first”]
- Skull fracture
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crushed legs
- Wrist Injuries
- Broken bones
- Broken ribs
- Internal organ damage
- Severe back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
The dramatic rise in ATV accidents has finally drawn attention from government officials, who are beginning to take steps to reduce the frequency of these dangerous accidents. Unfortunately, the occurrence of ATV accidents continues to rise, and injuries and deaths continue to occur, especially in children and young people who ride ATVs recreationally.
ATV Accidents Involving Children
Too often, young children take a ride on an ATV for fun and end up suffering serious injuries as a result. In fact, a recent national report on ATV accidents showed a 150% increase in ATV accident-related injuries to children under the age of 18, between the years 1997 and 2006. In addition, hospitalizations for moderate to severe brain injuries caused by ATV accidents tripled during this time period. Most ATV accidents involving children occur on adult-sized ATVs which are too big for children to ride safely. Children are typically too light to adequately manipulate the ATV, and therefore have a significantly increased risk of sustaining injuries because they aren’t able to keep the vehicle stable and make it safe in turns and maneuvers. Whether children involved in ATV accidents are thrown from the vehicle or the vehicle rolls over on them, they are considerably more likely to suffer from life-threatening injuries.
Oklahoma ATV Safety Laws
In order to protect the safety of ATV riders in Oklahoma, state laws have been established regulating safety procedures to follow when riding an ATV, as well as when and in what areas ATV use is appropriate. According to Oklahoma state law, all ATV riders (passengers and operators) must wear a helmet when operating an ATV in certain designated riding areas, and all ATVs purchased on or after July 1, 2005 must be registered and titled. In Oklahoma, ATV use is prohibited on streets or highways (except to cross these roads), on unpaved roads, on U.S. Forest Service property, or for more than 300 feet to cross a railroad track during daylight hours.
Contact Our Skilled Attorneys Today
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 164 reported deaths in Oklahoma alone caused by ATV accidents between 1982 and 2009, 49 of which were children under the age of sixteen. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries caused by an ATV accident in Oklahoma, contact our reputable lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, the medical costs of treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. If you have lost a loved one in an ATV accident, our qualified attorneys can help you seek financial compensation for funeral costs, loss of future income, and other accident-related expenses. If your ATV accident injury was caused by a faulty product, you can hold the allegedly negligent manufacturing company accountable for your injuries. In addition, you can bring public attention to the potential hazards of the dangerous product, possibly preventing additional injury and death in the future.