Massachusetts ATV Accident Attorney
All-terrain vehicles have been a popular form of recreation in the United States for cruising around off the beaten path and exploring scenery. Despite declining sales in 2021, ATVs were very popular at the height of lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic. You can certainly expect to encounter them as you enjoy summer days in Massachusetts. Popular areas for ATV riding in the state include Beartown State Forest, Pittsfield State Forest, and Cape Cod National Seashore, among other scenic spots.
An ATV accident that resulted from the negligence of another person can cause very serious physical injuries or death to yourself or a loved one. There are strict safety protocols and local laws that should be followed when driving an ATV. When an operator does not take into account the safety of themselves and others in their area, they may be held liable for injuries that occur as a result.
After immediately seeking the medical care you require following an accident, call DiBella Law Offices, P.C. at (978) 327-5140 so that we can look further into the circumstances surrounding your harm and consider your legal options. At a time when you may be stressed about your future, we may be able to help.
Request Your Free Police Report
DiBella Law Offices, P.C., is glad to assist you with getting your crash report at no cost. Visit our police report request page and fill out our form. We will take care of the rest.
ATVs are designed by manufacturers specifically for operating off of major roads. They often have specialized tires that are low-pressure or tires that don’t require inflation at all. These recreational vehicles have a seat for the main operator and handlebars for steering. There are also different types of ATVs, some of which are designed for single riders (Type I) and those with the capacity to carry one passenger in addition to the main operator (Type II). In addition to these features, there are safety factors to be aware of regarding the age and size of the person who can safely ride an ATV.
Operating an ATV can be deadly if one fails to take proper precautions to not endanger others. According to the latest data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been at least 2,258 deaths from off-highway vehicle (OHV) accidents from 2015-2017. Of those OHV-related deaths, 1,697 of them happened when an all-terrain vehicle was involved. An ATV is just one type of off-highway vehicle among others, like recreational off-highway vehicles and utility terrain vehicles. But among these different types of vehicles, it was ATVs that saw the highest proportion of deaths.
Some of the most common ATV-related accidents include:
- Collisions with other vehicles
- Crashes into objects like trees
- Being thrown from a vehicle
- Accidents that result from speeding
- Rolling over
- Various accidents caused by inexperienced or underage drivers
The state of Massachusetts has laid out specific laws regarding the use of recreational vehicles such as ATVs. These include:
- Age restrictions for operating an ATV that require the completion of a related safety course for those under the age of 18.
- Adult supervision requirements in various circumstances for those under 18, as well as limits on the size of the ATV vehicle that can be operated by these individuals.
- Prohibited operation of vehicles – such as operating when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, in areas such as highways or other restricted places, and more.
- Safety equipment requirements that include the wearing of a helmet, adequate brakes, a muffler system, and appropriate working headlights and reflectors.
After being involved in an accident that results in the death or injury of another person, owners and operators are required to notify law enforcement authorities within 48 hours. The same applies if the accident resulted in property damage of more than $50. The documented information in the report filed can be an important part of your personal injury case.
According to an estimate from the CPSC, there have been 524,600 visits to the emergency room related to accidents involving off-highway vehicles in between 2015-2019. While individuals across all age groups have been affected by injuries, it was found that young people under the age of 16 accounted for a higher proportion of injuries. If you are involved in an ATV accident, some of the most common injuries you may have to deal with can include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- A concussion that may be permanent
- Neck injuries
- Damage to the spinal cord
- Broken bones
After an ATV accident in Massachusetts, you should seek immediate medical care for your injuries. You may have both life-threatening and long-term damage that you will need to take care of as soon as possible. You’re also going want to do what you can to secure evidence from the site of your crash. If another ATV driver was negligent, evidence such as photos and video may be available. It will be helpful to document the type of terrain of the area, any signs, and any physical evidence such as the condition of the ATVs involved. If there is a defect in the ATV involved in your accident that harmed you, you may be able to hold accountable those involved in making or maintaining the vehicle. On top of this, you can’t forget to gather eyewitness accounts from your ATV accident.
A Massachusetts auto accident lawyer who knows how to gather evidence that makes your case stronger will stand alongside you during this difficult time of recovery. You don’t have to be alone and deal with the costs of what you’ve suffered. The compensation you could be entitled to may include payment for medical bills you will accrue both now and in the years to come, the duration of your missed time from work, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and maybe more.
Our founding member, Christopher DiBella, has been selected as a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 - Civil Plaintiff for 2021 and 2022. Our attorneys can examine your case in a free consultation, so that we may see how our team might be able to help you. Call DiBella Law Offices, P.C. at (978) 327-5140 today.