West Palm Beach ATV Accident Attorney
Southern Florida is a great place for outdoor recreation. West Palm Beach offers residents sand, surf, and plenty of off-road locations for driving ATVs. ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, are enjoyed by countless Floridians each year. Throughout each season, ATV riders love to get outside on these vehicles. However, even the most experienced ATV driver can get hurt in an accident. ATVs can be dangerous, and often off-road courses are minimally regulated. This means that accidents can happen more frequently. If you were hurt in an ATV accident caused by someone else, you could be entitled to financial compensation. For more information, contact the West Palm Beach ATV accident attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP.
Florida Among Most Dangerous States for ATV Drivers
From 1982 to 2013, there were 529 reported ATV deaths in Florida, making it the sixth most lethal state in which to drive an ATV, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commision. Due to few regulations on usage, and even fewer in terms of who is allowed to operate an ATV, accidents occur quite frequently that are completely out of the hands of other, safe, drivers. These motor vehicles do not even qualify as motor vehicles and do not abide by the rules and regulations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Florida ATV Accidents on The Rise, Children Also Victims
ATV accidents have only been getting worse and more frequent over the past few years, according to WUFT News.There were 81 ATV crashes reported for the 21-month period between January 2012 and September 2013. Surprisingly, over 30 percent of the crash victims were children, some as young as two years old, showing incredibly lack of caution on the part of parents. Although Florida law requires that all children under the age of 16 wear a helmet, that law is not always followed, especially when a poor example is set by the children’s parents.
ATV fatalities have been on the rise when observing the following trend. In the 27 year period between 1982 and 2009, there were 16.8 fatalities per year in Florida. Just in the last few years, from 2010 to 2013, there have been 75 fatalities, meaning the fatality rate has increased to 18.75 deaths per year in the state of Florida. Serious injuries follow fatality trends, which is why there are more and more serious injuries caused by ATV accidents as well.
ATV riding can be extremely dangerous due to the high speed, complete lack of protection such as a rollcage, and the crushing weight of an ATV, which can be greater than 400 pounds. For those that operate their ATVs with caution, the reckless or careless behaviors of other ATV enthusiasts creates an unsafe environment even when all precautions are taken, such as wearing safety equipment and maintaining reasonable speed and control. Inexperienced users may approach reckless speeds without the knowledge or skill to respond appropriately when the come into close quarters with another ATV user in a crowded location. Alcohol use is another example of negligence on the behalf of an ATV driver. Even though ATVs are not used on highways and police-regulated roads, all ATV operators have a duty to act with care and not cause harm to others.
While ridership is growing (now at 10.5 million ATVs in use during 2009), even more people rode ATVs in the 1980s, according to WUTF, meaning that riding now is more dangerous per mile driven than it was in the 1980s. While ATVS were originally designed to be used as sport vehicles, they became used more and more as work vehicles on farms, ranches, and in other non-recreation settings. The 1980s were the beginning of this multi-purpose use for ATVs because they were and still are much cheaper than a full sized truck, take a fraction of the gas required to run a tractor, and do not require constant upkeep, as do horses.
Common ATV Accident Injuries
ATV riders love the freedom and speed that comes with driving these vehicles. For all the fun though, ATVs also pose particular threats to riders. These unruly vehicles weigh hundreds of pounds and do not offer the safety of seat belts for riders. Younger drivers are permitted to use ATVs because age restrictions are lower than that for highway-use vehicles. The inherent dangers in ATVs can lead to grave physical injuries in an accident. Some common ATV accident injuries can include:
- Broken bones;
- Torn ligaments;
- Dislocated joints;
- Strained muscles;
- Neck and spinal injuries;
- Facial injuries;
- Emotional injuries; and
- Internal injury damage.
Any of these injuries could require extensive medical treatment. Surgery, physical therapy, long-term medication and hospital stays can cause medical bills to skyrocket. One accident could lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars of medical expenses. In addition to medical bills, accident injuries could cause a victim to miss work and lose wages. The financial burdens resulting from an accident can be difficult to deal with on top of physical and emotional injuries. If someone else’s negligence or carelessness caused your accident, they may be liable for the damages.
Distracted or impaired ATV riders can cause accidents leading to injuries. Vehicle malfunctions can also cause such accidents. Dangerous products and manufacturer negligence can get people hurt. It can be difficult to determine the cause of an ATV accident. It is complicated to analyze an accident, and every case is different. An experienced West Palm Beach ATV accident attorney can help you sort out the responsible party. Then, you may be able to sue that person or company for the harm they caused you. Victims can seek financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and other types of damages.
West Palm Beach Injury Attorneys Help ATV Accident Victims
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we offer clients honest, affordable legal services. We are a distinguished personal injury firm in West Palm Beach. With years of experience, our West Palm Beach ATV accident attorneys know how to aggressively represent victims’ interests. We have helped many personal injury victims, and we can help you, too. Victims should not have to suffer in silence; let us help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call Pike & Lustig, LLP at 561-855-7585 to speak with one of our lawyers. We strive to help local accident victims move forward. Do not waste time; contact us today.