Oklahoma City Lawyers Fighting for the Rights of Injured ATV Drivers, Passengers, and Pedestrians
Strong advocacy when an ATV or ROV accident causes your pain or the death of a loved one
ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) are built to be used away from the main roads. Today, most ATVs are four-wheel vehicles and not three-wheel. Many drivers, young and old alike, treat ATVs like toys when the reality is that they can easily cause death and serious injuries because they are difficult to control and can easily roll over. Drivers often are not properly trained on how to drive an ATV and often taken unnecessary risks. According to the Consumer Federation of America, 349 people died in ATV-related accidents in 2017, and 29% of them were aged 19 years or younger. Because CFA only tracks these numbers through news sources, it is entirely possible that those numbers are higher than reported.
At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City attorneys are experienced ATV accident attorneys. We are strong advocates for injury victims and families We put our 55 years of combined experience to work for our clients, creating options that work for them, and upholding and protecting their rights in a court of law when necessary.
Leading causes of ATV crashes and accidents in Oklahoma
Rider negligence is one of the leading causes of ATV-related crashes, but it’s not the only cause. NewsOk reports that newer models of ATVs and ROVs (recreational off-road vehicles) have a high risk of rollovers. Additional causes include:
- Letting a child operate an ATV who does not have the proper training
- Riding at unsafe speeds
- Riding recklessly
- Driving when the weather is bad
- Driving on trials that are too steep, too muddy, or on trails the riders should reasonably know are unsafe
- Children should have a valid driver’s license which means young children should not be driving an ATV
- Driving the ATV while intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted
Operators should understand that ATVs can easily roll over, causing the occupants to die, suffer traumatic brain injuries, damage to their spinal card, and other permanent or serious injuries. ATV and ROV operators and parents must obey the following state laws:
- Drivers and riders less than 18 years-old must wear a helmet. If children fail to follow this law, parents and owners of the ATV can be held responsible if the ATV was driven on public property.
- Anyone who operates an ATV on public lands must drive solo, without a passenger, unless the manufacturer specifically designed the ATV to carry passengers.
- ATVs should not be driver on public roads except to cross from one trail to another trail – and if the speed limit on that road is 35 mph or less. Crossings should only occur during daylight hours.
- Riding on highways and turnpikes is expressly forbidden by state law.
Making a claim for compensation after an ATV crash
In all ATV accidents cases, our lawyers work with the police and investigators to determine how the accident occurred. We work with your doctors to detail your surgeries, treatments, and all your aches and pains. We focus on the loss of function and enjoyment you will suffer for the rest of your life. In most ATV crash cases we one or more of the following types of claims:
- Personal injury caused by negligence. Any driver who fails to follow the ATV laws, the Oklahoma traffic laws, or just reasonable common safe practices should be held liable for the injuries they cause. If parents failed to monitor their child’s use of the ATV, they can be held responsible. The owners of the ATV are accountable if they permitted someone else to use their ATV and that person caused an accident.
- Wrongful death. If the ATV operator killed a love one, we file claims against all wrongdoers. In wrongful death cases in Oklahoma City, the relatives (normally, a spouse, children, or parents) are entitled to:
- The funeral expenses
- Their grief and suffering because a loved one died
- The loss of financial support and the loss of personal guidance the deceased would have given the family members.
- Product liability. If the ATV manufacturer failed to properly design or make the ATV, they can be held liable for injuries or death – regardless of fault. They can also be held liable if their operating instructions were improper. We file claims against distributors and retailers in addition to the manufacturers.
In Oklahoma, some workers use ATVs for farming and other jobs. We can help you file for workers’ compensation if you were injured during the course of your job duties.
Make the call to our Oklahoma City ATV lawyers today
At Cunningham & Mears, we hold ATV owners, parents, and drivers responsible when a joy ride turns deadly or causes serious or permanent physical injury. ATV drivers are required to drive safely and protect others around them even though they are operating their ATV away from the main road. ATV manufacturers must build quality non-defective products. To understand your rights and to speak with an approachable lawyer, please call 405-232-1212 or contact us to schedule an appointment.