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St. Louis ATV Accident Lawyer
Untrained Drivers, Reckless Actions, and Dangerous Product Design Are Just Some Hazards of ATVs
Missouri State Highway Patrol reports there were 242 ATV accidents in 2011, a figure which accounts for 0.1% of all traffic collisions statewide. Of those accidents, 194 resulted in some form of personal injury and 8 were fatal. All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs as they are commonly known, are responsible for a staggering number of injuries and deaths in the United States. Accidents involving these recreational vehicles increased by 150% between 1997 and 2006, with an estimated 907 deaths in the last year tracked.
Over the past two decades, 6,000 people have lost their lives in ATV accidents, and between 130,00 and 150,000 people require hospitalization for their injuries every single year. Nearly 1 in 3 are children, who may sustain serious injuries in one accident that will affect them for the rest of their lives. If you or your family has been affected by a negligent ATV driver or a malfunctioning vehicle, we want to help you recover compensation.
Reach out to our St. Louis team at (800) 391-4318 to learn if you are eligible to sue a negligent ATV driver or manufacturer.
What Causes ATV Accidents?
Like any vehicle, ATVs can travel at high speeds, and inexperienced or intoxicated drivers might lose control. Even drivers who are well-trained and doing everything right can get into accidents because of outside factors. The University of Wisconsin identified the most common causes of ATV accidents:
- Collision with another vehicle
- Lack of driver experience
- Losing control of the ATV
- Collision with a fixed obstacle
Because ATVs are often purchased for fun rather than utility, drivers may not realize how dangerous they are. However, many ATVs weigh over 500 pounds, and they can travel up to 80 mph. They do not have seatbelt, airbags, or a solid frame to protect occupants in case of a collision—yet drivers and riders often forego helmets or other safety equipment. Some parents give control of these vehicles to a child too young to drive. With so many factors contributing, it’s easy to see why so many Americans are injured in ATV accidents each year.
Consumers assume vehicles all must pass stringent safety tests before they can be sold. While this is true for cars, ATVs are not as heavily regulated. In fact, companies have successfully lobbied against safety measures, like a bill that would require manufacturers to reduce the risk of rollover.
When people are injured by a vehicle failure like this, they may be able to hold the designer or manufacturer liable. It is no secret these dangers exist—but ATV sellers have chosen to ignore them for the sake of more sales. This is unethical on their part, and if you suffer an injury in an ATV accident due to a design factor, it is vital to seek compensation for the costs you’ve been forced to face.
Serious Injuries From ATV Accidents
High-speed accidents are more likely to cause serious injuries—especially when the victims are not enclosed in a vehicle. When ATV drivers and passengers are thrown over the handlebars, crushed in a rollover, or simply collide with another object at high-speed, they may suffer injuries to the:
Broken bones from ATV accidents are often more complex injuries than those from other high-energy accidents; bones may suffer multiple fractures and/or protrude through the skin.
All of these injuries are dangerous, but the highest cause of death or disability after an ATV accident is traumatic brain injury. While helmets reduce the risk, ATV riders are still more likely to sustain these injuries than are dirt bike riders. Part of the increased risk may be linked to ATVs’ tendency toward rollovers.
When looking to recover compensation after an ATV accident, many injury victims do not know where to start. Insurance is not required for ATVs in Missouri. However, this does not mean you are without help. Our attorneys can help you review your legal options, so you have a clear view of what to do next. Having someone to fight for you after an accident can go a long way.
We invite you to contact Meyerkord & Kurth for help after a serious ATV accident. We are experienced and knowledgeable—call us at (800) 391-4318 to get started.
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