All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are primarily off-road vehicles for recreational use – not meant to be driven on paved roads or highways. ATVs can be fun to drive, but along with the thrill comes risks and a plausible need for a Las Vegas accident lawyer. As reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 93,700 emergency room visits resulted from ATV accidents in a recent year, approximately 26 percent of which involved children under the age of 16. Nevada law permits the recovery of damages for a person injured in an ATV accident by another party.
Nevada ATV Accident Resources:
- What type of damages can I recover after a Nevada ATV accident?
- When should I contact a Nevada ATV accident lawyer?
- Nevada Laws Concerning All-Terrain and Off-Road Vehicles
- Why are ATV accidents more dangerous than other accidents?
- What are some common causes of ATV accidents?
- What are the most common injuries associated with ATV accidents?
What Damages Can I Recover After an ATV Accident In Las Vegas?
Under Nevada law, all drivers, no matter the vehicle, are subjected to obeying all driving-related laws. If the driver fails to do so or is deemed negligent or reckless in their behavior, they will be liable for the accident at hand. The injured party can then file a suit claiming compensatory or punitive damages.
You and your ATV accident attorney will first need to determine what your compensatory damages are. Your compensatory damages are usually the sum of:
- Out-of-pocket monetary losses, including medical bills and lost wages.
- Costs you will bear in the future because of your injuries, including future medical bills and lost earnings
- “Non-economic” damages, including disfigurement or pain and suffering
You may also be entitled to punitive damages if the accident resulted from an intentional act such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Defective or damaged parts
- A driver who acted in conscious disregard of the safety of others
There is no set rule on how much you can recover for the damage caused, however, as long as the driver is at least 50% to blame for the accident that occurred, you are able to recover something according to Nevada state law. Lawsuits for ATV accidents must be filed within two (2) years of the date of the accident per Nevada’s statute of limitations. An experienced Las Vegas ATV accident attorney can help you build your case and file the correct suit in order to collect your damages.
Why Hire Our Las Vegas ATV Accident Lawyers
Each Las Vegas ATV accident attorney at J. Cogburn Law will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your ATV accident to determine what caused the accident and who should be held liable for your injuries and damages. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, we will do whatever it takes to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Our experienced ATV accident lawyers in Las Vegas, NV can negotiate skillfully on your behalf or take your case to trial if necessary.
What are the Nevada Laws Concerning ATVs and Off-Road Vehicles?
In the state of Nevada, ATV riders are governed by several laws and regulations. Most ATVs are designated off-highway vehicles and are not permitted to be driven on public roads or highways. However, there are certain cases where the city and county governments have designated specific areas in which you are permitted to operate an ATV on public streets in order to access off-road areas.
In these cases, the operator must:
- have a certificate of operation
- wear a helmet and eye protection while on the road
- meet normal vehicle safety requirements, including mirrors and lights.
Additionally, the operator must follow specific road rules like:
- When crossing the highway, you must come to a complete stop before crossing.
- When you are loading or unloading the ATV, you must do so as close as possible to the place of operation.
- When on a designated highway trail connections, you must not drive the off-road vehicle on the highway for more than 2 miles.
- When in an emergency, you are permitted to use the off-road vehicle on the roadways only if it is impossible to use another vehicle or an officer of the law directs you to do so.
All off-highway vehicles must be registered with the state, per Nevada Revised Statutes §490.090. If you are unsure whether your vehicle is designated for off-road use, check the owner’s manual or the label attached to the frame of the vehicle. Only two-wheeled motorcycles may be converted to on-road use.
Why are ATVs Riskier Than Normal Vehicles?
Every year, hundreds of people die and thousands need emergency medical care because of ATV accidents. ATVs pose an even higher threat to children than adults. The following are some of the most common reasons for increased risk with all-terrain vehicles:
- There is no age requirement in many states (including Nevada) to operate an ATV.
- Some ATVs can weigh more than 750 lbs. and travel up to 75 mph.
- Most ATVs are not enclosed.
- ATVs are difficult to control and are known to overturn easily.
- Riding with a passenger may overload an ATV and make it difficult to control.
- Children may lack the skills necessary to fully operate and control the ATV.
What are the Common Causes of ATV Accidents in Las Vegas?
ATVs are used as both work and recreational vehicles and are extremely useful and fun modes of transportation when used correctly. Because riders are not enclosed, it is imperative that the driver use the utmost amount of care when operating the vehicle. Aside from the increased risks for accidents mention above, other factors are often associated with ATV accidents are:
- Negligence. The most common cause for Nevada ATV accidence is negligence among those operating the vehicle. This includes inexperienced drivers, excessive speeds, and showing off. ATVs can travel at high speeds, and without proper experience or attention, they can easily turn fatal if flipped or rolled due to poor driving and control.
- Driving Under the Influence: ATVs are considered recreational vehicles and are often associated with desert vacations and camping trips. When un-monitored operators are left to their own devices, ATVs are often operated after a drink or two. Alcohol or drugs impair a driver’s judgment and abilities to control the ATV properly, putting the driver at risk for a potentially fatal accident.
- Defective vehicles or parts: Just as with any other vehicle, poorly designed or defective parts can put ATV riders at a huge risk. It’s important to continuously check on which vehicle maker currently has recalled out for their products at ATVSafety.gov.
What are the Injuries Associated with ATV Accidents?
ATVs are associated with both serious and fatal injuries. Especially due to the openness of the cab of the vehicle, many serious injuries can arise from a non-fatal ATV accident, such as:
- Broken or Fractured Bones
- Crushed or Amputated Limbs
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Head, Neck, and Brain Injuries
- Wrongful Death
ATV related injuries can have lifelong consequences for those injured. Years of medical care and physical therapy will be the result of any of the aforementioned injuries. In addition to physical well being, ATV accidents can take a toll on mental and emotional health as well. An experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer from J. Cogburn Law will be ready to fight for the compensation you deserve after your ATV accident.