California is 25 percent desert, which for those who did not grow up in the area may seem like a travesty, but for those who grew up in the dirt and rock is actually an opportunity. The Mojave Desert, which is the desert in which the great city of Los Angeles lies, is a literal playground for dirt-bike riders and off-roaders across the state. With trails that wind through the ranges, pinnacles, and valleys, and through parts below sea level to peaks 7,500 feet above, the mid-Californian desert is one full of geological amusements that one cannot glimpse anywhere else or from any other mode of transportation save ATV or dirt bike (or, if you want to go old school, horseback). That being said, because off-roaders do travel from across the state and even the country to witness firsthand the ecological wonders of the Mojave and surrounding deserts, it is not uncommon for California Civil Courts to hear ATV injury claims.
Accidents involving all-terrain vehicles often result in serious injury or even death. These life-altering and life-threatening accidents are often the result of driver errors. However, every so often, they are also the result of mechanical failures or even flaws in the design of the vehicle. At the El Dabe Ritter Law Firm, our Los Angeles ATV accident lawyers are equally concerned about the cause of an accident as we are concerned about the damages. ATV accidents can result in costly medical bills, the ongoing need for physical therapy and rehabilitation, lost wages, and much more. Our goal is to help accident victims and their families prove liability and ensure that the responsible party is held financially accountable for harms caused. If you or a loved one was injured in an ATV accident caused by another person’s negligence, contact our Los Angeles firm today to learn more about your recovery options.
Common Causes of ATV Accidents
The desert is one of the few areas left in the nation that remains unregulated. Because of this, many ATV drivers feel safe operating in unsafe manners. From speeding to driving without appropriate safety harnesses, and from performing risky maneuvers to failing to pay attention to one’s surroundings, it is not uncommon to see ATVs operated with reckless abandon out on the open terrain. Unfortunately, however, “open” the desert may seem, it is an increasingly popular destination, with operators sitting at almost every curve and over almost every ridge. When drivers are not careful, they risk causing costly and often irreparable harm. Some common causes of ATV accidents include the following:
- Head-on collisions;
- Rear-end collisions;
- Riding double on an ATV that is not designed to carry a passenger;
- Riding without adult supervision;
- Inexperienced operators;
- Performing dangerous stunts and maneuvers;
- Lack of proper safety equipment;
- Operating in unfamiliar areas; and
- Failure to observe state laws or ordinances.
Though many ATV operators are young, it is the ATV owner’s responsibility to ensure that a young operator is properly trained and equipped to handle the vehicle before allowing him or her to ride unattended. Parents or owners who allow inexperienced operators to ride without supervision may be held liable for accidents and subsequent damages caused by the young driver.
Common ATV Injuries
Many families assume that ATVs are safe because of how easy they are to ride. While it is true that operating ATVs is fairly simple, ATVs still pose just as big of a safety risk as their two and three-wheeled counterparts. However, because of their perceived harmlessness, riders tend to take fewer precautions before hitting the trails on an ATV. This lack of protection often leads to unnecessarily serious injuries, such as the following:
- Broken Bones: ATV riders who are not careful, or who are the victim of another driver’s negligence, may get thrown off their rigs. This can result in them getting run over by their own or another ATV.
- Concussions: Unfortunately, many ATV riders neglect to wear helmets. The lack of helmets leads to an unnecessary number of concussions within the circuit each year. Concussions can lead to long-term effects such as memory problems, trouble concentrating, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to light and noise, irritability, and other personality changes.
- Internal Organ Injuries: It is not uncommon for ATV drivers to be thrown off their rigs on impact and to be run over or toppled by an oncoming quad, thereby causing serious internal injuries.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: When riders perform maneuvers beyond their skill levels, they can interfere with other drivers’ operations and tricks. When this happens, the other driver may land at a bad angle and sustain neck or back injuries.
Damages in ATV Accidents
At the El Dabe Ritter Law Firm, our Los Angeles ATV accident attorneys understand the devastating impact that an ATV accident can have on a victim and his or her life and family. Our team works tirelessly to help victims recover the compensation they need to recover from the incident in financial comfort and move forward with their lives. Whether this means negotiating with an insurance company for the compensation a victim rightfully deserves or fighting for a settlement from the liable party, our team is willing to expend the efforts and resources to ensure that justice is obtained. Though we cannot help victims recover their health, we can help them recover damages for the following:
- Their pain and suffering;
- Lost wages (past and future);
- Medical expenses (past and future);
- Impairment of earning capacity;
- Home nursing services;
- Rehabilitative services;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of consortium (in the case of a wrongful death).
Contact Our Los Angeles Legal Firm Today
If you or a loved one was injured in an ATV accident in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, you may be entitled to compensation. However, know that your case comes down the matter of negligence. Not only must you be able to prove that another party caused your accident, but that the accident was the result of a blatant disregard for yours and others’ safety. Our team can help prove negligence and negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf. If we cannot reach an agreement with the other party, we are willing to defend your case at trial. To get on your path to recovery, contact our Los Angeles law firm today.