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ATV riders should heed safety tips and understand legal remedies

It is now the season for hunters to be out hunting in West Virginia. West Virginia University's Extension Service is encouraging hunters who use ATV vehicles to do so safely. Education and training is being offered in cooperation with the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles and the American Safety Institute. Approximately 40 West Virginians die each year in ATV-related accidents which, according to one expert, is a statistic that is slow to decline.

The majority of ATV fatalities are the result of head trauma. Because of this, helmets are one of the best safety measures that can be taken by ATV riders. Riders under 18 are required by law to wear helmets. It is also important to remember that ATV's are not intended to be ridden on paved surfaces and that most ATV accidents take place on paved surfaces. ATVs are intended to be ridden only on dirt and gravel surfaces. Manufacturer labels on ATVs also advise that single-rider ATVs should not carry passengers.

In addition to fatalities, serious injuries such as head, brain, spinal cord and back injuries can result from an ATV accident. Some of the most serious non-fatal injuries that can be suffered in an ATV accident include a traumatic brain injury. Life changing medical, professional and personal problems can result from an ATV injury which can be costly to treat. Those injured in an ATV crash that resulted from the carelessness of another party may wish to pursue a personal injury claim to receive compensation for possible extensive and expensive treatments for the injury.

Those injured in a recreational vehicle accident may be able to recover damages for the injuries suffered. A trained personal injury attorney can advise an ATV accident victim of possible options to consider to aid with recovery.

Source:, "Local Officials Provide Tips, Facts for WV Buck Firearms Season," Nov. 22, 2013

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