Houston ATV Accident Lawyer
ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, are popular recreational and work vehicles in the state of Texas. Texas is a prime destination for ATVing, with sprawling hills, sand dunes, and wide-open country roads. Many farmers use ATVs to keep track of livestock and inspect farmland. Unfortunately, dozens of people suffer catastrophic and fatal injuries on ATVs in Texas every year. From 1982 to 2011, there were 612 reported ATV-related deaths in Texas. Thousands more had to visit emergency rooms for serious injuries. If you suffered a personal injury while ATVing in Texas, Brian White & Associates can help you understand your rights.
Common ATV Accident Injuries and Causes
The design and structure of ATVs pose major threats to occupants. Most ATVs are susceptible to flipping and rolling over, even when the driver operates the vehicle according to safety directions. Rollovers in ATVs can crush or pin down the occupants, leading to catastrophic injury and death. Many people do not realize that ATVs are not designed to carry people on the back. They lack the stability of other vehicles. Furthermore, drivers should not take ATVs on paved roads. All of these actions increase the risk of dangerous rollover accidents.
Children should never operate ATVs, as they lack the physical strength and cognitive abilities to avoid an accident. The risk of ATV injury to children is higher, especially the risk of head injury. A child or teenager involved in an ATV accident may suffer a traumatic brain injury and permanent physical or cognitive damage. Yet Texas law permits children under the age of 14 to operate an ATV with direct parent or guardian supervision. Despite state laws that regulate the use of ATVs, injuries and deaths occur every year.
Common causes of ATV accidents are driver incompetence, failure to abide by safety rules and regulations, unstable ATVs, flips and rollovers, vehicle manufacturing errors, and driving too fast for conditions. While many people enjoy taking ATVs off-roading, there is a safe and prudent way to do so. Always wear a helmet and appropriate gear, do not carry passengers on your ATV (unless the manufacturer designed it to do so), never drive an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and don’t let a young child drive an ATV. If you do suffer a catastrophic injury in an ATV accident, learn your rights.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving ATVs
Although many ATV accidents involve at least contributory negligence on the part of the ATV operator, it is possible to receive compensation for medical expenses and damages your injuries cause. If someone other than yourself caused the ATV accident, such as a negligent driver, you may be able to take the driver to court. In this case, you may be eligible for compensation if you can prove the driver owed you a duty of care, breached this duty, and that this breach caused your accident.
For example, you may have a case if the ATV driver assured you it was okay to be a passenger and then took you off-roading on dangerous terrain despite your hesitations. An accident and injuries in these circumstances may constitute negligence.
There is often more than one person responsible for an ATV accident. The driver may be partially at fault for failure to adhere to safety rules, but the ATV manufacturer may also be at fault for failing to include a clear safety manual. Equipment and component failures that cause an accident may also be the fault of the ATV manufacturer. If you believe someone else is at least partially at fault for your ATV accident in Texas, contact Brian White & Associates. He offers free consultations to discuss your case in detail at no obligation.