Motorcycles and off-road vehicles like ATVs and UTVs can be a whole lot of fun. They provide an experience that you are not going to find while riding in a car. Unfortunately, however, drivers and riders of these types of vehicles are much more susceptible to serious injuries than those in more enclosed vehicles like cars. If you have been injured in a motorcycle, ATV, or UTV accident, you need an attorney with specialized knowledge that knows the unique details necessary to get you the monetary compensation for your injuries you need and deserve. The dedicated attorneys at Hewitt & Salvatore have nearly 50 years combined legal experience with these kinds of cases. You can trust them to help you every step of the way.
Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
While they may be smaller and lighter than cars, motorcycles are entitled to the same legal rights on the road as other motor vehicles. That being said, motorcycles often suffer from inattentive drivers or other motorists who do not give them the space on the road they are entitled to. This leads to motorcycles being cut off, having cars merge directly into or closely in front of their lane of travel, and oftentimes, a motorcyclist will need to swerve to try and avoid an inattentive motorist. This can lead to the motorcycle skidding on the pavement or tipping over. The motorcyclist may find themselves thrown from the bike, sliding across the roadway, or being crushed by the weight of his or her motorcycle.
Motorcycle crashes can lead to severe injuries such as:
- Head injuries: Even when helmets are used, motorcyclists are susceptible to traumatic brain injuries and concussions in an accident. These range in severity but, in more serious cases, can prove fatal or lead to paralysis.
- Neck injuries: Cervical spine fractures and herniated discs in the neck are common results of motorcycle crashes. This can lead to a great deal of discomfort, pain, and radiating pain both temporary and permanent.
- Road rash: This is an injury that is particularly unique to motorcyclists. It occurs when the rider skids across the pavement causing the skin to rub against the rough road. The results can be painful and uncomfortable, oftentimes leading to skin infections and scarring.
- Bone fractures and breaks: A common result of bracing for impact or having the motorcycle land on a limb, broken bones can require expenses medical treatment and follow up care such as physical therapy.
Motorcycles lack the enclosed space and the safety features that comes with riding in a car. This makes them particularly vulnerable in the event of a crash.
ATV and UTV Accidents and Injuries
An ATV, or “all-terrain vehicle,” is an off-road, motorized vehicle that has three or four low-pressure tires. The ATV operator sits in a straddle seat and uses the handlebars to steer. A UTV, or “utility task vehicle,” is also an off-road vehicle, but has four or more low pressure tires. The seats are usually bench or bucket style. UTVs have automotive type controls, rollover bars, and seatbelts. The maximum speed for UTVS is often 30 mph or less. Both ATVs and UTVs have become popular for recreational purposes. Unfortunately, the fun has led to serious and fatal injuries. In fact, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) reported 335 fatalities in 2016 for “off-highway vehicles” such as ATVs and UTVs. This is a 10 percent increase from 2015.
ATV and UTV accidents can be caused by:
- Operating these “off-highway vehicles” on roadways;
- Adult-sized vehicles being operated by children;
- Allowing more people to ride than the vehicle was designed for;
- Drunk driving;
- Driving at high speeds.
To avoid these kinds of accidents, make sure you only operate these vehicles off-road. Driving on paved surfaces can render the vehicle difficult to handle. Also, never allow more people in the vehicle than it was designed to carry. This includes an adult who may want to carry a smaller child on their lap. This will compromise the handling and control of the vehicle. Wear helmets and safety gear and never operate the vehicle while intoxicated.
ATV and UTV accidents commonly involve neck and back injuries as well as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other head injuries. All of these injury types can be serious and leave lasting effects including constant pain, headaches, and discomfort; not to mention that TBIs can cause paralysis, loss of motor functions, and even a persistent vegetative state.
ATV and UTV cases can involve serious injuries. It can be complicated to find insurance coverage and other avenues of monetary recovery. Make sure you consult with reliable legal counsel to make sure all possible legal options are exhausted.
Protecting the Rights of the Injured
Serious accident and serious injuries require the most dedicated legal counsel. Look no further than the attorneys at Hewitt & Salvatore. We are here to serve our clients and fight for their legal rights. Contact us today.