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ATV Accidents

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are common in rural Georgia, used for farming and for recreational purposes. Improper use of these vehicles, such as fitting two people on a single-rider or underage drivers, can result in deadly accidents. Vehicle defects and dangerous designs can also contribute to these crashes.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 14,129 reports of ATV-related fatalities between 1982 and 2015. Accidents in the state of Georgia accounted for 417 of these deaths. ATVing is more dangerous than many people realize. If you find yourself in the aftermath of a recreational vehicle accident in Atlanta, the lawyers at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP want to hear from you.

About ATV Accidents

ATVs may seem relatively harmless. After all, they are “recreational” vehicles, and they’re a popular way to relax and have fun in Georgia. Unfortunately, the enjoyable time of operating an ATV can make people forget the high risk of injury on these vehicles. Every year, hundreds of operators visit the emergency room because of injuries relating to ATV crashes. Many of these victims are children too young to lawfully be operating the vehicle at the time. To determine fault for an ATV crash, one must first identify the cause:

  1. Operator negligence or incompetence. ATV accidents often stem from mistakes the operator makes, such as going too fast for conditions or being unprepared to drive such a vehicle safely. If you suffered an injury because of a negligent operator, you may be able to bring a claim against the individual – or the company if you were part of an ATV tour. If you were the operator at the time, your eligibility for recovery is limited.
  2. Product defect. Sometimes ATV crashes happen because of an issue with the vehicle itself. Product defects come in three forms: dangerous product design, manufacturing mistakes, and failure to provide adequate instructions or warnings. If an ATV instruction manual made no mention of the vehicle’s propensity to flip while on asphalt, for example, an injured operator may have grounds to sue the manufacturer after an accident.
  3. Hazard in the road or path. Dangerous premises can also lead to injurious or deadly ATV accidents. Potholes, hidden bodies of water, loose animals, or debris in the road can all cause an ATV operator major problems. The owner of the property may be liable for these accidents if he/she had a duty to maintain the area and failed to do so according to accepted standards of care.

These three common causes of ATV accidents all hold opportunities for legal suits. An ATV accident victim may be able to recover on the basis of negligence, carelessness, or gross disregard for the safety of others. Even if the injured party was partially at fault for the incident, Georgia’s modified comparative fault system may make him/her eligible for partial compensation. Speak to an attorney before you rule out the idea of filing a claim. The lawyers at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP of Atlanta have handled ATV accident cases in the past, and can help you with the legal process of damage recovery. Contact us for an in-person or over-the-phone case evaluation.