In the Ozarks, ATVs are a popular means of commuting for many people. Because of the unique topography, these all-terrain vehicles provide both a means to get around and have fun at the same time. And while ATVs are great, they can be dangerous –even more so than regular vehicles.
All-terrain vehicles typically have high centers of gravity, huge tires, powerful engines, and weird designs that are not quite focused on safety. This is why ATVs are often involved in rollover accidents in and around the lake of Ozarks in Missouri. And when they do, it can easily lead to serious injuries and even death.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an ATV crash, Dickman Law’s Lake of the Ozarks ATV accident attorneys can help you get adequate compensation.
Who is Liable in a Lake of Ozarks ATV Accident?
ATV collisions don’t just happen. People make mistakes that lead to collisions, occupant ejection, and vehicle overturns. In fact, 90 percent of all ATV accident deaths occur because the operators ignored or refused to observe established safety practices outlined in the machine’s manual.
Unfortunately, those mistakes can lead to severe or catastrophic injuries and death in some instances. People who make the following mistakes while riding or operating an ATV in the Ozarks can be held liable for the injuries that they cause:
- People who ride the machine recklessly
- Young, underage, and inexperienced drivers can cause accidents
- Excessive speeding, particularly on paved roads – ATVs aren’t built to speed on paved or smooth roads, even if they can travel at up to 80 mph
- Riding the ATV in particularly dangerous terrain
- People performing excessive hard turns, dangerous maneuvers, and stunts – these vehicles aren’t built for those kinds of activities
- Inattention when riding the ATV can lead to multiple ATV pileups
- Negligence while riding the vehicle
- Being drunk or under the influence of medications or illicit substances while riding the ATV
- Parents of minors riding the ATVs–particularly if the parents are aware that their child is riding
- Minors riding the ATVs without adult supervision
- Property owners or managers not putting up “dangerous conditions” warnings on their properties–For instance, a slick or slippery surface can cause these ATVs to flip over
- People riding without wearing adequate protection kits, including helmets
- Individuals who blatantly flout local and state laws
- Manufacturers not recalling defective ATV units. Yahama recently recalled its Kodiak ATVs because the vehicle had a higher risk of crashing and causing injuries.
Anyone who participates in one or more of these activities, or blatantly fails to take other people’s safety into consideration while operating an ATV can be held liable for the wrecks, injuries, and damages that other people sustain because of the ATV driver’s carelessness.
Also, off-road property and land owners who are negligent in their care and protection of people on their property may be held liable for injuries sustained from ATV crashes on their property.
For example, if the property owner was aware of a hazardous condition on their property, the onus lies on them to investigate, remove the hazard or provide warning signs that will prevent the ATV rider or other guests from going near that area.
If you’ve been involved in an ATV accident in the Ozarks, but aren’t sure if you have a case, our Lake of Ozarks personal injury attorneys can review your case and advise you accordingly.
For a free legal consultation with a atv accidents lawyer serving Lake of the Ozarks, call 573-744-4878
Missouri Laws on ATV Use
ATVs are a popular and favorite form of transportation in the Lake of Ozarks and other parts of Missouri. Therefore, the state has specific laws guiding the use of these vehicles. These state ordinances include:
- Riders younger than 18 years of age must wear helmets whenever they’re on an ATV.
- All ATV owners must register their ATVs and get the necessary documents.
- You can only register an ATV if you’re older than 16 years old.
- Riders who are younger than 16 years must only do so with their parents’ supervision or operate the vehicle within their parents’ property limits.
- All ATVs must be operated in a manner that ensures the safety of other road users.
- No rider must operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other illicit substances.
- ATVs must not be used in rivers and streams.
- ATVs may not be ridden on Missouri highways except when the riders are on official government assignment or are using it for agricultural activities.
- ATVs should not be ridden in off-road spaces between 8 pm and 7 am.
It is important for ATV owners to adhere to these laws as they are designed for the safety of riders and other road users. For example, research shows that 20 percent of ATV-related fatalities involved minors 15 years or less.
Sadly, most of these deaths could have been prevented if the parents and guardians had prevented the kids from operating these machines or had played a supervisory role while the kids were riding the machines.
Lake of the Ozarks ATV Accident Lawyer Near Me 573-744-4878
How Much Money Can You Get From a Lake of the Ozarks ATV Accident Lawsuit?
The circumstances surrounding every ATV crash–there are roughly 90,000 ATV accidents in the US every year– and the resulting injuries are often unique. So, there’s really no set amount that we can specify until our Lake of the Ozarks ATV collision lawyers have taken a look at your case.
However, Dickman Law personal injury attorneys are committed to helping you get satisfactory compensation if you have been involved in an ATV wreck. Some of the damages you can recover in a Lake of the Ozarks ATV crash case include:
- Loss of income
- Medical costs including past and future expenses
- Reduced capacity to earn an income
- Property damage
- Cost of rehabilitative treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Mental anguish and anxiety
- Emotional distress
But to qualify for this compensation, Missouri requires you to file the legal action within 5 years of the accident and the ensuing injury. If you don’t do it on time and the statute of limitations–the deadline for filing the claim–elapses, your claim will likely be denied. So, you need to move quickly if you want to get the money that’s due to you.
Contact a Lake of the Ozarks ATV Accident Law Firm
If you or a loved one was injured in an ATV wreck in the Ozarks, Dickman Law personal injury attorneys can help you determine if you have the right to file a personal injury claim. And this is not just limited to other road users or bystanders. The ATV operator or occupants may be able to pursue damages too.
There are many reasons why ATV crashes occur. Our job is to determine what caused yours and advise you accordingly. For example, some ATV crashes are caused by manufacturer defects. So, even if you as the rider had adhered to safety protocols, you could have suffered a blown tire or stiff steering that led to the wreck.
Let our Lake of the Ozarks ATV accident lawyers help you pursue and recover the damages you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation or call our office line for more information.