Archive for the ‘ATV Accidents’ Category

Avoiding Serious Injury in Mississippi ATV Accidents

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been over 6,000 deaths in the last 20 years resulting from injuries sustained while on an ATV.  In a typical year, over 125,500 riders of ATV’s are involved in accidents that necessitate visits to the emergency room.  Children and teenagers are disproportionately represented amongst those injured in ATV accidents with approximately 38,600 of those injured under the age of 16.

The fact that there are so many ATV accidents is not really a surprise given how many people use ATV’s in different settings.  They are used by those of all ages for work and play.  The speed at which they can be driven and the way they can be maneuvered often entices riders to engage in risky procedures that can pose a high risk of injury to the rider.  ATVs may be used a wide variety of settings including:

  • Recreational riding
  • Ranch and farm work
  • Accessing non-auto areas
  • Hauling cargo

There are certain safety measures that can help reduce the risk of suffering serious injuries in an ATV accident regardless of whether the ATV is being use for productivity or recreation:

Protective safety gear should be used.

The use of a helmet is imperative when riding an ATV, and eye protection also should be worn at all times.  The use of proper boots and gloves also reduce the likelihood of injury to your hands and feet if you are involved in an ATV accident.

Ride the right size ATV for you.

There are many different makes and models of ATVs on the market for people spanning a wide range of ages, heights and weights.  The guidelines below provide a general suggestion of appropriate size based on age.

Ages six to twelve under 70 cc engine

Over age twelve to age 16 70-90 cc engine

Age 16 and older engines may exceed 90 cc’s.

Always inspect your ATV before you ride it.

Routine maintenance should be performed on ATV’s because they take so much abuse when they are ridden. You should make sure that your brakes, light switches, and gears are operating correctly.  Proper tire pressure also should be maintained.  All parts of the vehicle should be inspected for cracks, breakage, or strange noises.

Participate in a training class.

A rider should never operate an ATV without taking some training, and even the most experienced rider can learn to driver an ATV safer by taking a refresher course. It is easy for experienced riders to develop bad habits or get complacent about the potential risks posed by ATV’s.

Be Smart About Your Riding Habits

You should never operate an ATV when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Drugs and alcohol slow your ability to react, and reaction time is critical when you are riding an ATV.  The CPSC conducted a study that found that 30 percent of all fatal ATV accidents involve intoxicated operators.  Distracted driving of an ATC is almost as dangerous so you should never use a cell phone while operating an ATV in Mississippi.  You should also avoid riding with people on the back of the ATV.

ATV’s can be a great source of fun and enjoyment as well as a great tool of productivity on a farm or other workplace setting.  Even if you are extremely careful, you can still be seriously injured or a loved one can suffer wrongful death in an ATV accident.  If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident, you may have a right to seek compensation for your loss including medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and future loss of earnings.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Mississippi ATV Accident Safety Record Needs Improvement

Monday, June 20th, 2011

It is no secret that ATV’s are dangerous, and we were reminded just last week again how dangerous they can be when Joe Montana, one of the most prolific NFL quarterbacks of all time, was injured while riding his around his ranch in Calistoga, CA.  The accident was not serious so he ended up only having to get a few stitches above his eye, but it does serve as a reminder as to how just a simple ride around the ranch on one of these vehicles can turn into a trip to the hospital.

There is no doubt that ATVs are used by thousands of people every year safely and without incident.  However, 700 people are killed every year while riding ATVs, and another 135,000 are injured according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).  A third of the people that are killed are under the age of 16 years old. Mississippi actually comes in 13th in the nation for the highest number of fatalities caused by ATV accidents though it is only 31st when ranked by population.

The most common type of serious injuries suffered in ATV accidents is head injuries.  Some people that ride ATVs have an elevated level of confidence in the safety and stability of ATVs so that they do not think it is necessary to wear a helmet while riding.  The risk associated with this choice is akin to a person driving a motor vehicle and deciding that it is not necessary to wear a seat belt.  However, many ATVs like cars can reach speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour.  If a rider hits an object going 70 miles an hour, the rider is likely to be ejected from the vehicle and thrown a substantial distance.

During the years 2006 through 2008 about 140 injuries were treated annually in the ER due to Mississippi ATV accidents. Only 19 percent of those injured wore a helmet – a mere 26 out of 140 ATV riders treated in Mississippi emergency rooms annually during that period.  More than half of these riders was under the age of 16.  It is especially tragic when a young child with the child’s whole life in front of him or her sustains brain damage from one of these accidents and is unable to live independently.

An experienced Mississippi ATV accident understands the inherent design defects associated with ATVs.  A Mississippi ATV accident lawyer will conduct a careful investigation of the contributing factors to a client’s ATV accident and identify potential parties who may be liable for the ATC accident.  The most common causes of ATV accidents that result in injury to the passengers are negligence of the operator or ATV product defects.  If either of these is the case, then a passenger may be entitled to compensation for their injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.  If the inherent defective design of an ATV makes it prone to rolling over, the driver of the ATV may have the basis for a product defect lawsuit against the ATV manufacturer or retailer.

Our Mississippi ATV attorneys have the expertise and knowledge of the laws in the state related to the safe manufacturer and operation of ATVs.  Our law firm is also familiar with the most common design and manufacturing issues with ATVs as well as prior ATV and ATV component recalls.  We carefully investigate our client’s ATV accidents to find witnesses who can testify regarding the circumstances of the accident and obtain any accident reports or medical reports that are associated with the accident.

The insurance companies for the responsible parties may go to drastic extremes to avoid paying your claim and even blame your for the Mississippi ATV accident.  If the insurance company refuses to fully compensate you, unreasonably delays the settlement of your claim or denies your claim entirely, then an experienced ATV injury lawyer can negotiate with them with the goal of either negotiating a settlement or pursuing your claim in litigation.

There are people in the state of Mississippi including State Rep. Dannie Reed, R-Ackerman, that are standing up and taking action to encourage more safety education and more ATV rider training in the state.  There are currently no ATV safety regulations in the state.   Maybe that is why the state’s injury rate from ATV accidents is three times the rate of the rest of the country.

If you or anyone you love has been injured or killed in an ATV accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Mississippi personal injury law firm has been handling personal injury cases since 1933.

Barrett Law Office PLLC is committed to help injury victims recover the compensation they need to rebuild their lives so call us today at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.