All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are three or four-wheeled motorized used for off-road riding. They have gained enormous popularity in the last decade. In many ways, these vehicles are ideal for recreation, rescue efforts, and quick, easy transportation in off-road areas. However, in the last 20 years, more than 6,000 fatalities have occurred from injuries associated with ATVs, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The group estimates that at least 30 percent of all the people involved in ATV accidents are children.
When ATVs first entered the market in the 1970s, they were three-wheelers, and there were virtually no safety standards. The vehicles were involved in so many rollovers and injuries that the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that ATVs and their manufacturers violated the Consumer Product Safety Act. In 1987, the ATV manufacturers agreed to stop producing three-wheeled ATVs, but did not recall the 2.4 million defective ones that had been already sold. Many of these extremely dangerous ATVs remain in use today.
Some ATV accidents are caused by manufacturing defects in the ATV itself. In legal terms, “manufacturing defects” are flaws in the manufacturing process that result in injuries. “Failure to warn” describes a situation in which a manufacturer knows of a hazard regarding the product and does not warn consumers about it. “Design defects” are errors in the product design that make the vehicle dangerous. Hundreds of thousands of ATVs have been recalled since 2000.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident and it was due to someone’s negligence or a mechanical defect, you may be able to be compensated for your loss. Some things can never be replaced, but through the legal process you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, loss of earning and future loss of earnings. In the extremely unfortunate event that a death has occurred as a result of the accident, you can file a wrongful death suit.