What should I do if I am involved in an ATV accident?
Have you been injured in a Louisiana ATV accident? Is your child suffering with injuries sustained in an ATV crash? If so, you may have the right to receive compensation for your losses under Louisiana’s personal injury laws. If you have a valid claim, you may receive reimbursement for your medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. In addition to your out-of-pocket expenses, you may also be entitled to receive compensation for your emotional suffering, mental anguish, permanent scarring, disability, and loss of companionship.
It may be difficult to think straight right after an ATV accident. You are in physical pain or you are worrying about a family member who is injured. However, the steps you take after an ATV accident can help your attorney prepare a strong case against the negligent party who caused your ATV accident. Therefore, if you or a loved one is injured in an ATV accident, you should:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Your health is your number one priority. Even if you do not believe your injuries are severe, you need to be examined by a medical professional. The aches and pains you feel in the coming days could be an indication of a more serious condition.
- Do not dispose of the ATV. Preserve the vehicle in the exact condition it was in at the time of the accident. Your attorney may need to have it examined for any defects that may have contributed to the accident.
- Get as much information as possible. If you are not the owner of the ATV, get the owner’s name and contact information. Ask for the contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident. Take pictures of the scene, preserve all clothing and shoes you were wearing at the time of the crash, and keep copies of everything you receive related to the accident.
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone. It is in your best interest to consult an ATV accident attorney before you speak with an insurance company, attorney, or other individual about the accident. Anything you say may be used later in the case to reduce the amount you are entitled to receive.
- Never sign any releases or provide statements for the insurance company. The insurance company is not protecting your best interest. All insurance companies seek to pay the least amount possible for your claim. Do not provide a recorded or written statement and do not sign any releases until you have consulted with an attorney.
- Act quickly. You only have a limited time to file a lawsuit for your ATV accident under Louisiana’s statute of limitations. If you fail to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute, you may be barred from recovering compensation for your losses. Call the Law Offices of Matt & Allen now for a free consultation.
Was your ATV accident caused by defective design or manufacturing?
Steps should be taken to prevent an ATV accident whenever possible. Young people should undergo training, wear helmets, ride lighter and slower ATVs, and be monitored by an experienced adult. However, many ATV accidents are unpreventable and may be out of the supervising adult’s hands. Accidents may be the result of defective design or manufacturing. For example, the center of gravity may be off, the wheels and tires may be unstable, or the owner may not have been warned that certain aftermarket modifications increase the risk of accident. There are many ATV defects that can contribute to accidents and injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at Law Offices of Matt & Allen have the experience and resources to determine whether ATV accidents were caused by defective design and to take on an ATV manufacturer that places a dangerous ATV in the stream of commerce.
ATV Safety Tips
It is our desire that you and your family enjoy your ATV safely. Our attorneys are here to help you in the event of an accident; however, we would prefer to help you to prevent one from the start. Before operating your ATV, review the following safety tips with each driver.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and owner’s manual carefully. Do not operate the ATV in violation of the instructions and warnings.
- Wear protective riding gear including helmet, gloves, goggles, boots, long plants, and long-sleeved shirts.
- An ATV is not a toy; children should not be permitted to operate an ATV without adult supervision.
- An ATV with an engine size of 90cc or greater should not be operated by anyone under the age of 16. ATVs with an engine size between 70cc and 90cc should not be operated by anyone under the age of 12 years.
- Enroll in an ATV safety course.
- Inspect the vehicle before each use to ensure all components are working properly.
- Never detach or disable any safety features.
- Do not operate ATVs on highways, streets, or other paved roads.
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
Rollovers of ATVs are common causes of severe injury, including amputations, spinal injuries, and even death. Many riders’ first instinct when a rollover begins to occur is to put his or her foot down to try to stabilize or brace the ATV; however, they are generally no match for a 1,000-pound vehicle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOP) have adopted policies discouraging children under the age of 16 from driving ATVs. Many experts believe that one reason for the rising death and injury rate is that ATVs are becoming heavier, stronger, and much faster. As a practical matter, many ATVs have the performance characteristics of automobiles but lack the safety protection for their occupants. Since children have not handled vehicles of this magnitude, the results can be especially disastrous.
Contact Our Experienced Louisiana ATV Accident Attorneys
When you are suffering from injuries sustained in an ATV accident, you need a Lafayette personal injury attorney who understands Louisiana product liability laws in addition to Louisiana personal injury laws. The ATV accident lawyers of Law Offices of Matt & Allen have extensive experience handling this type of personal injury case. We have the skills, knowledge, and resources you need to protect your right to receive compensation for your losses.
Contact our office by using our convenient online form or by calling 337-237-1000 to schedule a free case evaluation. If we do not recover for you, you do not pay our fee!