atv accident

ATV Accident Attorney

Riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is an exhilarating way to explore and experience Hawaii. But operating an ATV comes with risks. With little to protect riders from the impact of a crash, an ATV accident can leave victims with severe injuries.

If you were seriously hurt in an ATV accident in Waipahu, you could be eligible for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and much more. At Recovery Law Center, our ATV accident lawyers can identify who is at fault for the crash and pursue maximum compensation for you.

Our compassionate legal team has represented clients in personal injury cases for over 25 years. When you work with us, you get a law firm interested not only in your financial recovery, but also in your personal and emotional one. Healing is a journey, and we want to support you in every way we can. Call or contact us today for a free consultation with an ATV accident lawyer.

What is an ATV or Off-Road Vehicle?

An ATV is a type of off-road vehicle (ORV). ATVs are motorized and typically have four wheels, straddled by drivers, and steered with handlebars. They are usually designed for a single driver or driver and one passenger. Some manufacturers produce youth models, which are smaller and slower than typical ATVs. These vehicles are designed to drive over rocky terrain or off standard roadways.

Other ORVs include utility terrain vehicles (UTV) and side-by-side vehicles.

What are Hawaii’s ATV Laws and Insurance Requirements?

Hawaii law mandates that ATVs are primarily for off-road use. It is generally illegal to operate an ATV on a public road in Hawaii unless:

  • The ATV is used as farm equipment.
  • It is driven during daylight hours.
  • A licensed driver operates it and wears a helmet.
  • The ATV is only used on streets of no more than two lanes with a posted speed limit of no more than 35 miles per hour.
  • It is used between two agricultural properties.
  • The ATV is operated in a county with a population of less than 500,000.

ATV use is prohibited on public beaches and shores.

While there is no minimum age requirement for operating an ATV on private property, Hawaii law requires anyone operating an ATV on public property to be at least 16 and have a valid driver’s license. An ATV operator must wear a helmet while riding on public roads, but no other safety equipment is required in Hawaii. Operating an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal.

Types of ATV Accidents and Injuries

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 100,000 injuries involving off-road vehicles are treated in American emergency departments yearly. In one recent year, there were 2,211 deaths associated with off-road vehicle accidents, and ATV accidents accounted for three-quarters of these fatalities.

Some of the most common types of ATV accidents include:

  • Rollover accidents
  • Accidents involving stationary objects, such as trees
  • Collisions with motor vehicles
  • Crashes with other ATVs

Most ATV accidents result from operator error. Other causes include driving an ATV on a paved road, engaging in stunts, alcohol use, and operator inexperience. The controls on youth ATVs are designed with small hands in mind, so disaster can also strike when a youth operates an ATV designed for an adult.

Because ATV riders lack protections such as frames, seat belts, and airbags, they are at risk of serious injury in an accident, especially if thrown from the vehicle or pinned beneath it. Examples of injuries associated with ATV accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injury and concussion
  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, and paralysis
  • Internal injuries and bleeding
  • Facial injuries
  • Road rash or other abrasion injuries
  • Ligament, muscle, and tendon damage

Accident victims and their families often incur expensive medical bills after an ATV wreck, especially if the accident results in catastrophic injuries. A successful personal injury claim can help you recoup your losses if you’ve been hurt.

Who Can be Sued After an ATV Accident?

The party you can sue for compensation after an ATV accident is anyone whose actions directly caused the accident and your subsequent injuries. These parties may include:

  • The ATV driver, if you were a passenger
  • Other ATV riders
  • Other motorists or road users
  • The vehicle manufacturer
  • Private property owners
  • A business, if you rented the ATV

Here are examples of how each party might be responsible for an ATV crash:

  • Driver liability: Many ATV accidents are caused by unsafe behavior by the driver. Performing stunts or tricks, driving while impaired, speeding, or unsafely operating an ATV in another way could make the driver liable for a crash.
  • Passenger liability: Suppose a passenger got rowdy and grabbed the handlebars from the driver, causing a rollover accident. The passenger could be held liable for their role in causing the crash.
  • Motorist liability: If another driver hit the ATV while it was operating lawfully, the motorist could owe compensation to the injured rider(s).
  • Manufacturer liability:  If the ATV malfunctioned or had a defect that caused the accident, the company that designed, manufactured, or sold the ATV could bear financial responsibility for a rider’s injuries.
  • Property owner liability: A private landowner could be responsible if they failed to warn a driver about known hazards on the property they were permitted to drive on.
  • Rental company liability: A rental company might be liable if it failed to maintain its ATVs, rented an ATV to someone who could not legally operate it, or otherwise created an unsafe riding experience.

Filing an ATV accident claim typically means seeking compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. In some cases, more than one party could be liable. An ATV accident attorney can investigate your case so you pursue compensation from every possible source.

What Types of Compensation are Available if I Get Hurt in an ATV Accident?

If you are injured in an ATV accident in Hawaii, and someone else is to blame, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and the other harm you have suffered. This could include losses like:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Objective losses, such as pain and suffering, can be challenging to quantify. However, an experienced ATV accident lawyer can determine the total value of your losses to help you seek maximum compensation. Keep in mind that Hawaii law caps compensation for personal losses at $375,000 in most cases.

Call an Experienced Waipahu Attorney Now for a Free Consultation

If you were injured in an ATV accident in Hawaii, the experienced ATV accident attorneys at Recovery Law Center can fight for the financial compensation you need and deserve. Our lawyers will independently investigate the accident, determine who is liable, and work aggressively to obtain full and fair compensation for you.

There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by scheduling a free consultation. Call or contact us today.