What to do After an Accident in an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)
Off-road vehicles, including all-terrain (ATV) and Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV), are popular in Colorado, because of the state’s geographic diversity with mountains, deserts, and canyons. Although these vehicles provide and alternative way to discover Colorado’s landscape, many people sustain serious injuries each year.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries, 650 ATV fatalities and 99,600 ATV injuries were reported in the United States.
Common Causes of Off-Road Vehicle and All-Terrain Vehicle Accidents
Off-road and all-terrain vehicle accidents are common for three reasons:
· The design of the vehicle: The open design without doors or substantial hard covering increases the chances of injury or death should the vehicle collide with another vehicle, object, or person.
· Road Conditions: Off-road and all-terrain vehicles are designed and intended to be driven off-road or on unpaved surfaces. Generally, these vehicles are driven in mountainous terrains, which increase the changes of accidents.
· Increased popularity and use of the vehicle: Off-road and all-terrain vehicles have increased in popularity exponentially since 1970. As a result of increased use, a rise in accidents has occurred.
In addition to the natural or intuitive reasons for these accidents, ATV accidents are also caused by an individual’s negligence, including:
· Drinking and driving
· Distracted driving
· Reckless driving
· Poor training or lack of training
· Mechanical failure
Common Injuries of Off-Road Vehicle and All-Terrain Vehicle Accidents
Any motor vehicle poses a risk of injury; however, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons refers to injuries sustained in ATV accidents as “part of the terrain”. Common injuries sustained in of-road vehicles and all-terrain vehicles include:
· Head injuries/Skull Fractures
· Brain injuries/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
· Spinal Injury
· Broken Limbs
· Broken Ribs
· Internal Injuries
Children are the most likely to sustain injuries in an ATV accident. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons does not recommend children under the age of 16 operate an off-road vehicle.
What to do After an Accident with an ATV
1. Stay Calm: Like any vehicle accident, an accident with an off-road vehicle can be frightening. Do not panic. Ensure you are in a safe location and assess any injuries.
2. Call for Help: Contact local law enforcement and emergency personnel immediately. Even if you “think” you are fine, allow professionals to adequately access the situation.
3. Report the Accident: Off-Highway Vehicle Accidents resulting in property damage of $1,500 or more or injuries requiring hospitalization or death must be reported in 48 hours to law enforcement using the OHV/Snowmobile Accident Reporting Form. The form must be mailed or faxed to:
Colorado State Parks, OHV Program Manager
13787 S. Highway 85, Littleton, CO 80125
Fax: (303) 470–0782
Phone: (303) 791–1954
4. Contact an ATV Personal Injury Attorney: If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another while operating an off-road vehicle, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.
Under Colorado law most personal injury cause of actions must be brought within the two-year statute of limitations (SOL).
Contact the Law Office of Jennifer Donaldson for a confidential review of your case following an accident in an off-road or all-terrain vehicle. For over twenty-five years Jennifer Donaldson has proudly represented the interests of those injured due to the negligence or careless of others.
Located in Denver, the Law Office of Jennifer Donaldson represents individuals throughout the state of Colorado, including Denver, Lakewood, Boulder, Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Aurora, Englewood, Littleton, Commerce City, and the surrounding areas.
Contact the Law Office of Jennifer Donaldson today at [[$phone]] for a free consultation about your ATV accident in Colorado.