All-terrain vehicles, better known as ATVs or four-wheelers, are hugely popular in Florida. With our hundreds of miles of sandy beaches, winding trails, and off-road courses, Florida boasts some of the highest numbers of recreational vehicles in the nation. Unfortunately, the sheer number of ATVs in use has caused an extremely high rate of injuries, with numerous people of all ages suffering ATV rollovers and collisions each year.
Browning Law Firm is committed to fighting for victims who have suffered ATV accidents due to someone else's negligence. As a former Florida State Trooper, our founding attorney Coy H. Browning knows how to determine who is responsible for your injuries, negotiate a fair settlement for the accident, and fight all the way to court to ensure that you receive all that you are owed. If you were injured in an ATV accident on the Emerald Coast or across the Florida Panhandle, contact us today by calling (850) 344-1736 for a FREE review of your case.
Why ATV Accidents Are So Common on the Florida Coast
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's 2016 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries, an estimated 596 people have lost their lives in Florida ATV accidents in the past 30 years. In 2016 alone, over 100,000 people were treated in emergency rooms nationwide after suffering ATV accidents, a quarter of which were children younger than 16 years old.
While the majority of injuries in ATV accidents involve broken bones and head and neck injuries, many riders have suffered traumatic brain injuries, crush injuries that require amputation of a limb, internal bleeding and organ damage, or spinal cord damage that results in permanent paralysis.
Common negligent actions that can lead to ATV accidents include:
- ATV rental negligence. Rental companies that provide riders with the use of an off-highway vehicle for a fun day out do not require any training or previous experience to rent or ride. Allowing teenaged riders to drive ATVs that are too large for the rider to control is a major cause of rollovers, causing victims to be thrown off the vehicle and suffer severe or fatal injuries.
- Residential accidents. Child ATV accidents typically begin with the negligence of a neighbor, friend, or another property owner. A child may jump on a neighbor's unattended ATV, lose control, and get seriously injured or killed in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, a property owner who is not paying attention may strike or even run over a child playing nearby.
- Inexperienced riders. A rider who has no ATV experience and little safety training before hopping behind the controls of a four-wheeler is overwhelmingly likely to hurt himself. Any person who allows an inexperienced or underage person to operate an ATV may be held liable when injuries occur.
- Reckless operation. If you were injured while riding as a passenger on an off-road vehicle, we can determine if the driver's actions could be considered negligent or reckless. Common forms of operator negligence include unsafe driving, drinking and riding, distractions, and carrying passengers on a single-rider ATV.
- Manufacturer defects. Despite the high rate of injuries involving four-wheelers, manufacturers continue to make ATVs bigger and faster. Manufacturers of all-terrain vehicles have a duty to ensure that the vehicle's design is reasonably safe for riders and that all components used to build the ATV are in good working order. If dangerous product defects cause an accident, the manufacturer or seller of the ATV may be liable for injury costs.
- Dangerous trails. Quads can quickly flip over if they suddenly strike spilled gravel, holes, steep inclines, fallen trees, mud puddles, or other hazardous conditions. The owners of off-road parks or private and public ATV trails may be held responsible for injuries if the terrain was unreasonably dangerous or poorly maintained.
Contact Browning Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
Browning Law Firm stands ready to assist injury victims in Navarre, Crestview, Baker, or anywhere in Northwest Florida—and we do not collect payment until we have secured a recovery for you. If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident, contact us today for a free review of your case.