With its proximity to expansive land, lake and sea, New York State is an ideal place for recreation on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and boats. But unfortunately, accidents do happen – for a variety of reasons, ranging from the negligence of a drunken operator to malfunction of equipment, that lead to serious personal injuries and wrongful death.
Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, helps victims of ATV and boating accidents obtain compensation for their injuries. We can help you, too.
Contact our Binghamton personal injury lawyer online today or call our Binghamton office at (607) 724-7700 for a free consultation.
New York ATV Accidents
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are motorized vehicles used for off-road riding. The use of ATVs for recreational purposes in New York has ballooned over the last decade, but they are also ideal in rescue efforts and for speedy, convenient transportation in off-road areas.
Early ATV models were designed with three low-pressure tires and had virtually no safety standards. However, increased reports of injuries and fatalities in ATV accidents led the U.S. Justice Department to file a lawsuit against ATV manufacturers, alleging they violated the Consumer Product Safety Act. The outcome was only partly positive. In 1987, the ATV manufacturers agreed to stop producing three-wheeled ATVs, but did not recall the 2.4 million defective ones that had already been sold. Unfortunately, that means that many of these potentially deadly ATVs are still being used today.
In the last 30 years, more than 9,600 ATV deaths were reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC statistics show that in 2009 alone, 376 fatalities and 131,900 injuries were reported nationwide. The agency also estimates that 33 percent of all the people involved in ATV accidents are children.
ATV accidents have a variety of causes. Some of the accidents are related to driver error or acts of overt negligence, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or violating New York laws that prohibit riding on highways. But other ATV crashes are caused by manufacturing defects or design problems in the ATV itself.
ATVs and Your Legal Rights Following an Accident
In legal terms, “manufacturing defects” are flaws in the production of an item that result in injuries or deaths. Some examples of manufacturer negligence might include a failure to warn consumers of a known hazard regarding their product. By contrast, “design defects” are errors in the product design that make the vehicle dangerous. Hundreds of thousands of ATVs have been recalled since 2000. You can learn about the most recent recalls here.
Rollover accidents are the most common type of ATV accident and the top cause of serious injury and death among drivers and passengers. ATV wrecks are different from car accidents in that ATVs have no structural support – such as a roof or airbag – to insulate victims from impact with a tree or other obstacle.
Victims of New York ATV accidents often suffer from head injuries, neck injuries, crush injuries, fractures and lacerations. In an effort to shield ATV users from some of the most catastrophic injuries, New York has a mandatory helmet law for ATV riders and passengers.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident and due to someone’s recklessness or malfunctioning equipment, call Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney. You may be able to recover monetary damages to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and property damage. You may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit if the crash was fatal.
Contact us online today or call our Binghamton office at (607) 724-7700 for a free consultation.
New York Boating Accidents
Boats are a popular pleasure vehicle, but many people do not realize they can be just as dangerous as a car, motorcycle, truck or ATV. There were 4,604 boat accidents nationwide in 2010, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s annual report. A total of 672 people died and 3,153 suffered injuries in those accidents. Of that number, 27 deaths and 140 injuries occurred in New York waters.
Most boat accidents occur in a collision with another vessel. The leading contributing factor in boating accidents is alcohol use. There were 22 alcohol-related deaths in New York boat accidents in 2010, a 100 percent increase from the previous year.
New York boat accidents are also caused by:
- Operator inattention;
- Improper lookout;
- Operator inexperience;
- Force of wave/wake;
- Hazardous waters;
- Mechanical failure;
- Failure to obey the “rules of the road”;
If you or a family member has been involved in a boat crash, it is very important to report it. Failure to do so is a crime. Most boat crashes must be reported to the state agency regulating boats or to the U.S. Coast Guard. In New York, you must file a report if the boat crash involved injuries that needed more than first aid, or if there was property damage that exceeded $500. It is also important to notify your insurance company when a boat accident occurs. This is a requirement if a state or federal report was made.
Beyond reporting, recreational watercraft accidents are governed by a number of city, county and state laws. Most boat operators have a legal obligation to operate their vessels responsibly. If they do not, there may be criminal charges as well as civil consequences. Boat owners may also be held liable for an accident even if someone else was driving the boat when the accident occurred.
Victims of boating accidents caused by negligence may be eligible to sue for compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Boat accidents can often cause concussions, cuts, bruises, broken bones and scrapes, not to mention more serious brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
Talking with a skilled boating accident attorney can help you understand your legal options if you’ve been hurt in a crash. A lawyer can also help you work with insurance companies who will want to give you the quickest settlement possible, often one that is much less than you deserve.
Contact a New York ATV / Boat Accident Lawyer Today
Being involved in an ATV or boating accident can cause significant physical, emotional and financial hardships for victims and their families. Our philosophy at Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, is to provide quality legal services while treating each client individually and with the utmost respect. Experience counts, and our Binghamton accident lawyer has three decades of legal experience to help you receive what you are entitled to in damages.
Call our 24-hour answering service at (607) 724-7700 or use our online consultation form for a case evaluation at no charge to you.