North Carolina ATV Accident Lawyer

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All-terrain vehicles are a great, practical way to get across land without roads. They are very useful for getting between trees in forests and for traversing trails in the wilderness, and they are also a lot of fun.

A atv accident lawyer in his North Carolina law office.

These small vehicles are built in all different sizes and are used by every age group, even toddlers. They are easy to operate, and some of them are very powerful and can even pull trailers.

People who enjoy these little machines often forget just how dangerous they can be. People put themselves at a high risk of an accident by doing things like the following:

  • Pushing them to their limits
  • Going over rough terrain
  • Speeding around corners
  • Riding on the road
  • Carrying too many passengers
  • Riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Racing

North Carolina’s beautiful landscape allows people to ride their ATVs all year round through vast areas with scenic trails. Unfortunately, these all-terrain vehicles are not equipped with many safety features, such as:

  • Seatbelts
  • Airbags
  • Crumple Zones

The recreational trails are often only wide enough for one vehicle to pass through at a time, which can present a problem when someone else is coming from the opposite direction. It is easy to see how a fun ride can turn deadly if these vehicles are not operated properly, with special attention given to safety.

Full-sized ATVs have warnings on them that state no one under 16 years of age can operate the vehicle. Out of 100,000 ATV accidents that resulted in injuries serious enough to require hospital care, 25% of the injured victims were under 16 years old.

Where Can I Find an Experienced North Carolina ATV Accident Attorney?

If you or your family member have been injured in an ATV accident, look no further than Tatum & Atkinson for your experienced legal representation.

We understand the physical and financial consequences of all-terrain vehicle accidents and how traumatizing the entire experience can be, from the accident itself to a potentially long and painful recovery. It is particularly difficult for parents who gave their children permission to ride the vehicle and were then injured.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in an ATV accident, the North Carolina ATV accident lawyers at Tatum & Atkinson can help you. Call us today at (800) LAW-0804 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and rights in North Carolina.

What Are Common Causes of ATV Accidents?

There are many causes of all-terrain vehicle accidents. Some of the more common causes we see include the following:

  • Driving an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Driving an ATV while intoxicated is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than driving a car while drunk. Consumption of alcohol lowers your ability to operate any vehicle. Alcohol slows your reaction times and reduces your decision-making abilities.
  • Negligence: Disregarding safety while operating any vehicle is dangerous enough to turn deadly. These vehicles should be handled with the same amount of diligence that is given to driving a car or a truck, perhaps even more due to the lack of safety features. As fun as ATVs are, playing around can cause deadly accidents to you, your passengers, and any bystanders.
  • Underage Drivers: There are small ATVs designed for children that are not fast or powerful. Children under 16 years old should not drive a full-sized ATV. This young age group is at the highest risk for severe injuries and death from an accident. According to Off-road Education, children under 16 accounted for 40% of ATV accidents and fatalities in the United States.
  • Driving on the Road: It is illegal to ride ATVs on the roads in North Carolina unless you are only crossing the road. ATVs are not cars and should not attempt to share the road with them.
  • Using Excessive Speed: Speeding can cause ATVs to flip multiple times while going around a corner. It also gives drivers less time to react to any obstacles they may come across.
  • Driving With Passengers: Not all ATVs are designed to carry more than one person. Passengers cause the vehicle to be more likely to flip over because they cause a change in the center of gravity for the vehicle.
  • Barbed Wire Fences: Wire fencing is very difficult to see while riding an ATV. High speeds in unfamiliar areas have led to decapitations and other serious injuries.
  • Rollovers: Having an ATV rollover on top of you can quickly cause severe injuries and death. This type of accident is very common, especially on uneven terrain and with high speeds, young or inexperienced drivers, and negligent driving.
  • Collisions With Other Vehicles: ATVs should avoid roads to prevent collisions with cars and trucks. They should be equipped with headlights and taillights for higher visibility and use extra caution when rounding a corner or going over a hill and are unable to see the trail ahead. Other ATVs may be coming from the opposite direction. Always have an escape plan in areas of low visibility.
  • Hunting Season: Hunters make mistakes and sometimes miss their intended targets. Known hunting areas should be avoided, and reflective, high-visibility clothing should be worn to minimize the risk of being mistaken for an animal.
  • Lack of Safety Equipment: ATV riders should wear helmets and safety glasses. Wearing safety equipment can mean the difference between life and death.

What Are Common Injuries Suffered by ATV Accident Survivors?

Depending on the factors surrounding the accident, injuries can range from very mild to death. The type of ATV involved, where it was driven, and how it was driven all affect the outcome of an accident.

Without the protection of actually being inside a vehicle surrounded by a strong structure and held back by seatbelts and airbags, common injuries from ATV accidents include:

Some of these injuries are life-changing, and some lead to death. If you or your loved one have been injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident, consult with an ATV accident attorney to learn how you may be able to seek compensation for your damages.

What Compensation Can I Seek for My Damages?

The compensation awarded to the plaintiff is meant to cover any damages that were suffered as a result of the accident caused by the defendant. The plaintiff should be returned to the same financial status as before the accident and their injuries.

The plaintiff is also entitled to receive compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Common examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Earning Capacity
  • Property Damage

Medical Expenses

When you are injured in an ATV accident, you must get medical attention.

Medical bills in the United States are very expensive and add up quickly. They are often the most costly part of the accident.

Your medical bills include hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, therapy, medication, specialized equipment and care, and more.

Lost Wages

Most people are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. Losing your income is stressful, especially when bills are accumulating.

Having to use vacation days during recovery, using up disability or sick time and receiving a reduced paycheck, or losing your income altogether is a financial damage that you should be compensated for. These lost earnings will be included in your claim.

Lost Earning Capacity

Suppose the ATV accident has left you unable to continue your work, or you need to take on a role with a lower salary. In that case, you can also claim this loss as economic damage.

For example, if you were an artist and the accident left you with limited fine motor skills in your hands, you would no longer be able to continue in your profession. Your future earning potential will be used to calculate your lost earning capacity.

Property Damage

Your vehicle, home, personal belongings, and anything else you own is your property. Any damage to these items from the accident will have to be recovered through payment for repair, replacement, or the reduction of their value.

You may also need to be compensated for special equipment and having to make modifications to your home and vehicle because you have been left with a disability. For example, according to Lifeway Mobility, having a wheelchair ramp installed on your home can cost anywhere between $1,000 and over $10,000, depending on the materials used and the design of your home.

This price estimate is only for getting inside your own house, but much more might have to be done inside your home as well.

What Non-Economic Damages Can I Claim in a Personal Injury Case?

According to Forbes Advisor, non-economic damages compensate you for intangible losses due to your injuries from your ATV accident. These losses may include the following:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Diminished Quality of Life or Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Loss of Companionship or Consortium
  • Permanent Disabilities, Impairments, or Disfigurements

Pain and Suffering

Serious injuries cause excruciating pain. You deserve to be compensated for your discomfort that was caused by the accident. Pain is usually short-term and fades as your injuries heal.

Unfortunately, sometimes, it becomes chronic and can last for years or even be permanent.

Emotional Distress

ATV accidents are usually traumatic. Many victims find themselves feeling fearful after an accident. Serious injury, entrapment, and fatalities escalate emotional trauma.

Some people develop anxiety, depression, phobias, decreased mental capacity, difficulty concentrating, or post-traumatic stress disorder, among other mental anguish-related issues, because of the accident itself or from their subsequent injuries and disabilities.

Diminished Quality of Life or Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Long-term and permanent injuries are a harsh reality for many surviving ATV accident victims. Suddenly, becoming unable to do something you love can lead to severe depression.

Loss of autonomy is humiliating and makes people feel like a burden to their families. Even losing the ability to work or earn the same income level as before the accident and then watching your family struggle can be heartbreaking.

These losses can change your personality and outlook on life, and you should be compensated for that.

Loss of Companionship or Consortium

The accident may leave you with injuries or disabilities that change your relationships with your loved ones. For example, how can you hug your family members if you have become paralyzed or when your arms have been amputated?

Perhaps your spouse and children once saw you as strong and dependable, but now you can barely move and are constantly irritable because of your chronic pain. You can seek compensation for losing the dynamic of these relationships.

Permanent Disabilities, Impairments, or Disfigurements

Permanent injuries quite literally change your life forever. They change the way you live, your relationships, and how others see you.

People may stare at your scars or look at you with pity when they see your disability, leading to frustration, humiliation, and depression. Compensation for any permanent damage is usually substantial.

Call a North Carolina ATV Accident Law Firm Today

Our ATV accident lawyers at Tatum & Atkinson are professional and experienced in aggressively fighting for the rights of ATV accident victims. We thoroughly investigate the accident as well as the surrounding circumstances to identify every party that shares fault and responsibility for compensating the victim.

We also interview witnesses to ensure no details have been overlooked or brushed aside. Our team diligently studies the evidence and consults with experts to make sure that you are being treated fairly and get appropriate compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Call us as soon as possible after your accident so we can get started before witnesses forget details or evidence begins to disappear. Having our ATV accident attorneys handle your case gives you peace of mind while you recover and will ensure you get a settlement that meets your needs and restores your losses.

Call (800) LAW-0804 for your free consultation. We do not charge you anything until you get paid, so there is absolutely no risk for you.

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