If you or someone in your family is dealing with the fallout from an ATV accident, you need support from a lawyer. An off-road vehicle accident may leave a surviving victim with substantial injuries and associated costs in the present and future.
An ATV accident attorney can help you to pursue compensation for your injuries. If a defective part on an ATV left you with medical bills and pain, Sevenish Law can step in to assist you with filing an injury claim.
Are ATVs Street Legal in Indianapolis?
Any off-road vehicle operated on public property must be registered with the BMV. An exception is when an off-road vehicle is registered in another state and operated by a resident from that jurisdiction.
ATVs or UTVs can be operated on the right of way adjacent to an Indiana public highway, so long as there is sufficient room to do so without endangering property or life. The only exception to this is that ATVs and UTVs cannot be driven on a limited access highway.
A general rule of thumb throughout Indiana is that it’s illegal to operate UTVs or other off-road vehicles on any public road unless there is a specific county or city ordinance that allows you to ride there.
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
ATV accidents can be catastrophic in nature. While some surviving victims may be able to walk away from the accident with minor cuts and scrapes, it’s far more likely that someone deals with substantial injuries.
Losing control of the ATV makes it hard for an accident victim to protect themselves. Unlike cars, which come with plenty of technology and safety gear to help minimize accident injuries, an ATV exposes any driver or passenger in a crash.
There have been over 14,600 deaths in ATV accidents from 1982 to 2016. Indiana was home to 243 ATV-related deaths during that same period. ATV accidents can occur for many different reasons.
In some cases, another driver may be at fault for causing the accident, or a third party may be responsible for the injury or crash itself. This includes situations in which a vehicle has defective parts, or when a trail for ATVs is not properly maintained.
The most common causes of Indianapolis ATV accidents include:
- Carrying more than one person
- Unsafe conditions
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Loss of control
- Drowsy drivers
In any circumstance in which you can show that another party caused your ATV injury, you may be able to recover compensation from that at fault party.
When an accident was caused by someone not operating the ATV, the ATV rider may be the one dealing with injuries post-accident. In those circumstances, their medical bills and other costs may be covered by the at fault party.
In order to recover compensation for your damages, you must be able to show who caused the accident that led to your injury. A thorough investigation may be required in order to determine exactly what went wrong and caused the accident.
Avoiding Accidents and Injuries on an ATV
Many ATV riders can take proactive steps to minimize the possibility of getting hurt in an accident. These precautionary steps keep the ATV ride fun and safe.
Some of the most common safety tips, including:
- Not allowing passengers on an ATV with a driver
- Avoiding use of ATVs on paved roads
- Never allowing a child under age 16 to ride on or drive an adult ATV
- Going through a comprehensive safety training course for ATV operation
- Always wearing safety gear
Wearing a helmet is vital for protecting yourself from life-threatening head injuries. A 2017 law requires all riders under age 18 to wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet while riding an ATV. This also applies to all adults who have younger passengers to ride without a helmet to drive or ride.
Even when you follow all safety tips to operate an ATV, a defective part on the vehicle may cause a sudden accident. If that happens, the designer or manufacturer may be found liable in court.
Liability for an ATV Accident
Research from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that ATV accidents happen much more frequently than people expect.
These accidents can cause problems such as skull fractures, spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injuries, open head wounds, severe back or neck injuries, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, disfigurement, scarring, and broken or dislocated bones.
Dealers and manufacturers of ATVs may be held responsible for injuries caused by defective or dangerous devices. If you can show that a part on the vehicle was defective or that you did not receive appropriate warning about something, this information may form the foundation of a defective product lawsuit.
Contact Our Indianapolis ATV Accident Lawyer to Start Your Injury Claim
If you or someone in your family is dealing with the consequences of an ATV accident, it is imperative that you get legal advice immediately. The support of a knowledgeable attorney can help you to answer many of the most important questions and to ensure that you take all appropriate action steps to protect your legal rights following an ATV accident.
Sevenish Law Firm has the resources and experience to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the causes of your ATV crash. If you need help determining your rights, hire a skilled Indianapolis ATV accident lawyer now — our assistance is just a call or click away.