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ATVs can be dangerous and result in accidents and injury

Recreational vehicle accidents, which are unfortunately all-too common, can result in different types of serious damages to victims.

The recent death of a neighboring 9-year old Virginia boy has brought the dangers of ATVs in the wrong hands to public attention. It is believed that the fatal rollover accident resulted when the boy lost control of the ATV he was riding. One neighboring Virginia dealer noted that ATVs are being used in large numbers for recreational purposes, referencing the Hatfield-McCoy ATV trail in West Virginia which is nationally recognized (in addition, farmers and hunters continue to ride these vehicles for work-related and hunting purposes). The dealer also noted that children from age 6 to 16 must only ride ATVs specially designed for them that have special safety features. Recent data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded 11,688 deaths related to ATV crashes from 1982 to 2011. Twenty-five percent of those deaths were children under the age of 16. Many manufacturers both incentivize dealers and pay riders to take a one-day safety course to learn how to properly operate and ride an ATV.

ATVs can quickly result in a serious crash and serious injuries. Because ATV accidents that are not fatal commonly result in traumatic brain injuries and other debilitating injuries to the head, spinal cord and back, long-term care for chronic conditions following an ATV accident can be costly. Following an accident that has resulted in such injuries, it may be necessary to evaluate if compensation for damages, such as current and future medical treatment, rehabilitation and other expenses, will be needed. Depending on the nature of the accident and the victim, an injured party may also need to evaluate if lost wages or other types of out-of-pocket expenses will need to be compensated.

In addition to economic damages, an injured party or loved ones of the victim may wish to recover pain and suffering damages related to the accident. If a negligent party is responsible for the accident, such as the driver of the ATV or another ATV or vehicle, this can be done through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. There may be different parties against whom damages can be sought. There are state and federal laws that both ATV manufacturers and sellers of ATVs must follow and observe. Government rules and regulations govern the design and manufacture of ATVs.

It is important that those injured in a recreational vehicle accident understand that compensation for the various types of damages that can be suffered are available. Victims do not have to needlessly suffer in addition to the original harm done to them.

Source:, "Take heed of ATV safety rules, dealer says," Kevin Castle, April 6, 2013.

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