SUV & ATV Accidents
Both sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are popular choices for everyday transportation and recreation. However, these types of vehicles carry additional risks for drivers, passengers and surrounding vehicles.
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Many drivers have a false sense of security when it comes to SUVs since they sit up higher than other vehicles on the road. However, since SUVs are top-heavy with a high center of gravity, they have a much higher risk of rollover. Although newer SUVs are required to have additional features to prevent a rollover, they still occur. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, on average, 9,000 fatal rollover accidents occur each year in the United States.
According the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 100,000 ATV-related injuries requiring emergency care in 2012. Around 25 percent of these incidents involved children under the age of 16. Florida in fact has one of the largest fatality rates in the country with 432 ATV related deaths reported between 1982 and 2010.
Common injuries in SUV and ATV accidents
Victims of SUV or ATV accidents can suffer a wide range of injuries requiring hospitalization, surgery and long-term care. Examples include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractured or broken bones
- Broken neck and back
Due to the nature of these vehicles, fatalities are much more common than accidents involving other types of vehicles.
Injuries and fatalities caused by product defects
Many injuries or fatalities in SUV/ATV accidents can be attributed to faulty design or defective components.
SUVs for example are prone to rollover, and older SUV models do not come equipped with basic roll bars. If a rollover does occur, the roof will take the brunt of the collision. Without reinforcement, the vehicle is badly damaged and occupants suffer catastrophic injuries and even death in some cases.
Although safety standards have been strengthened over the years, many SUV models still have inadequate reinforcements and features to prevent a rollover.
Due to their design, ATVs present unique risks to drivers, passengers and anyone around the vehicle while it is in use. If an accident occurs, it’s highly likely the driver and any passengers will be thrown from the ATV and be badly injured. This is the prime reason why many states, including Florida, require minors to wear helmets while riding an ATV.
SUV/ATV accidents caused by negligence
Like other types of car accidents, an SUV or ATV accident can be caused by negligence.
An SUV driver for example may be hit from the side while going through an intersection. The impact of the collision could lead to a rollover.
Poorly maintained trails with large holes for example could cause an ATV to flip and throw the driver, and possibly crush them depending on where the ATV lands.
Obtaining compensation for injury and damages
If you or a loved one is in an SUV or ATV accident, you may have grounds for a claim if the accident was caused by a product defect or negligence. If it’s determined the majority of fault lies with another party, you may be able to file a defective product or personal injury claim for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses, including travel and long-term treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
If an accident occurs, even on private property, you need to contact the authorities and file a report as soon as possible.
Attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. in Gainesville passionately represent injured victims of SUV and ATV accidents.
Attorneys Marc Warner, Michael Sechrest and associates possess extensive experience at identifying the cause of an accident and pursuing damages if it’s determined another party is at fault. Unlike other firms, attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. are equipped to handle both personal injury and product liability claims.
Gainesville Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in an SUV or ATV accident, we urge you to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your case. Various time limits (i.e. statute of limitations) apply depending on the type of claim, which is why it’s vital you speak with an attorney as soon as you are able.
Contact us anytime day or night to begin the process of determining who is at fault for your injuries and damages and the best course of action for obtaining compensation.