Articles Posted in ATV Accidents

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This time of year, many people will be heading outdoors and taking advantage of the many exciting activities available in the fall and winter in Massachusetts. Two of the more popular activities are snowmobiling and riding ATVs. While ATVs are often used in the summer, many people use them on snow as well, and this can certainly be exciting.

mhitxxOHowever, using an all terrain vehicle (ATV) or snowmobile can be very dangerous as well, and they have been the cause of a significant amount of personal injury, especially among children. While, from a factual standpoint, the cause of most of these accidents involves falling off an ATV or running into a low tree branch, there are variety of different legal theories of causation that can be used in a personal injury lawsuit; however, we are still generally dealing with a negligence case. Continue reading

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According to a recent report in the Boston Herald, one of the world’s leading Ebola experts was serious injured in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crash. Prior to her accident, she had just given a presentation on genetics research involving Ebola.

mIJhKSUFollowing her talk, she went with a tour group on an ATV tour through the mountains. She was a passenger on one of the ATVs being used for the tour. As they were riding in the tour, her ATV collided with a curb, and the driver lost control. It drove off a cliff and tumbled down its face. Fortunately, they crashed into trees that prevented her from falling to her death, but she was seriously injured. Continue reading

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In a recent ATV accident, a local woman was flown via MedFlight to Boston hospital after her ATV crashed in a rural area off Main Street in Cotuit. According to the Cape Cod Times, the accident happened as the driver was riding along power lines near Santuit-Newtown Road.
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Our Cotuit personal injury attorneysknow ATVs are common in the New England area. They’re fun and they’re cost effective. Unfortunately, they can also be very dangerous. Some of these vehicles can travel at speeds up to 60 mph and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Because a lot of ATV crashes involve high speeds and rollovers, many of these crashes result in serious damage — and even death.
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Dirt bikes may seem like a fun ride for your kids and both younger children and teens may be eager for the freedom and adventure that a dirt bike seems to bring. However, dirt bikes can also be extremely dangerous, especially if they are operated by inexperienced or under-aged drivers.

Our Watertown personal injury attorneys want to warn all parents of the potential risk of dirt bike accidents. Before allowing your child on a dirt bike as a driver or passenger, it is important to understand the dangers and to have a talk with your child about proper riding behavior and safety measures. 1115331_motorbike.jpg

Dirt Bike Accident Highlights the Dangers to Young Drivers
With their quickness and with the limited protection they provide in the event of an accident, dirt bikes are inherently dangerous by nature. Tragically, however, a recent accident in Massachusetts underscores just how risky dirt bikes can be. In this accident, reported by Boston 7 News WHDH, a 14-year-old boy was killed.

The deadly accident happened when the 14-year-old was out riding dirt bikes with his father and his 11-year-old brother. The victim collided with another off-road vehicle at around 2:00 P.M. on a Saturday afternoon. The vehicles collided head-on near a cranberry bog. The 40-year-old driver of the off-road vehicle said he was going to get help but unfortunately never returned. The father of the deceased victim tried to save his son’s life, but was unsuccessful.

Understanding Dirt Bike Risks and Dirt Bike Legal Liability
As this tragic accident shows, dirt bike accidents can happen any time and anywhere. This young man who was killed was with his father and brother and it is not clear yet whether the young dirt bike rider or the older man who hit him was criminally negligent or unreasonably careless in any way. The only conclusive facts thus far in the accident are that the dirt bike and other off-road vehicle collided and that death and injury resulted.

If the driver involved in the dirt bike accident who hit the young victim is found to have been negligent, then it is possible that the family members of the deceased could file a civil lawsuit. The success of a lawsuit will depend upon whether the 40-year-old was unreasonably careless in a way that led to the young victim’s death. The property owner where the accident occurred may also face liability.

Of course, no amount of money will ever bring back the loss of a child. To help avoid this type of tragedy, parents should think carefully before giving a dirt bike to a young teen, especially one who is not yet old enough to legally drive. If your child does use a dirt bike, it is important to have clear rules regarding speed and regarding when and where the bike can be ridden. Crowded or well-populated roads should be avoided, as should busy times when there are more likely to be vehicles both on the roads and off-roading. By making clear rules with your child, monitoring dirt bike behavior and supervising, you can reduce the risk of a dirt bike accident.

Of course, the best way to avoid this type of accident may be to prevent your child from driving a dirt bike until he or she is legally able to drive and has proven he or she can safely operate a dirt bike. Even then, however, your child is always at risk of falling victim to an accident caused by someone else being negligent. Defective equipment may also contribute to an accident or exacerbate injuries.
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In a recent ATV accident, a 10-year-old girl was seriously injured after the 9-year-old driver rolled the vehicle.

According to New England authorities, the young boy drove the ATV into a rock, causing it to flip over onto the both of them. The Boston Globe reports that it happened in Danville. Luckily, the boy wasn’t injured and was able to climb from underneath the ATV and run and get help for the young passenger who was still trapped underneath. Two men were able to flip the ATV over and call 9-1-1. The young passenger was transported to Boston Children’s Hospital. Thankfully, both riders were wearing their helmets when the accident happened.
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It’s during this time of year that we need to focus some attention on ATV and snowmobile safety. The temps are getting cool out there and kids will soon be off for Thanksgiving and Holiday break. During this time, they’ll be outside playing — many of them on ATVs and snowmobiles. Our Boston personal injury attorneys are asking parents and guardians to make sure that our youngsters do so safely and responsibly.

In 2009, there were close to 800 people killed in ATV accidents across the nation. An additional 132,000 people were injured in these incidents. Children under the age of 16 accounted for about 20 percent of all of the fatalities and a quarter of all of the injuries in these crashes. Parents are asked to make sure that their children complete safety training courses before heading out. It’s also important that these young riders are equipped with the proper protective gear. This includes a helmet, long sleeves, long pants and sturdy shoes. Goggles are also recommended to keep debris out of their eyes.

Young riders should avoid riding with a passenger. ATVs are usually designed to carry one person at a time. Passengers make these vehicles more difficult to control, too! Lastly, remember to keep these vehicles off of paved roads. They’re designed to be kept on grass, dirt and other natural terrain.

We also need to focus on snowmobile safety during this time of year. As the ground turns white and kids are let out of school, you better believe that they’re going to be heading out — on snowmobiles.

Each year, there are dozens of people who are killed in snowmobile accidents. Most of these accidents involve male riders and most of the accidents involve a snowmobile and a fixed object. Speed is one of the most common factors noted in these accidents. Just like driving a motor vehicle, alcohol is a serious factor, too!

When driving a snowmobile, it’s important to adjust your driving habits to the current conditions. Most snowmobile accidents are completely preventable!

Make sure that you wear the right helmet while riding, that you keep your snowmobile in good-working order and that your headlights and taillights are always working properly. Consider completing a snowmobile safety course while you’re at it. Although not required by the state of Massachusetts, it’s very beneficial in keeping you safe out there!
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During a recent New England ATV accident, a 2-year-old girl was injured. According to the Boston Globe, a 25-year-old father rode with his 2-year-old daughter in front of him and wound up slamming into a tree.
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Accident reports indicate that the throttle on the ATV got stuck and forced the ATV to speed out of control. The father and his daughter were thrown directly into a tree. Reportedly, the little girl was not wearing a helmet when the collision occurred. She was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries sustained to her face. The father was also transported to the hospital and treated for leg injuries. Officials are still investigating the accident.

Our Boston personal injury lawyers understand that ATVs can be dangerous for riders of all ages. There should never be a reason to strap a 2-year-old to your ATV. According to ATVSafety.gov, there were nearly 320 reported deaths for ATV accidents in the U.S. in 2010 alone. In addition, there were another 120,000 people injured in these incidents. During this time, nearly 60 of these fatalities were of those who were under the age of 16. Of this young age group, nearly 28,500 of them were young riders. Young people accounted for about a quarter of all riders who were injured in these kinds of accidents and nearly 20 percent of those who were killed.

So why are these vehicles so dangerous? Well, they pack a lot of speed and power and when they’re on uneven or steep terrain or when they’re operated improperly, accidents can result. Some of the very first ATVs were merely seven horsepower. These days, they can come as high as 500 horsepower.

Most of the accidents and injuries that involve ATVs are in fact high-energy trauma. Still, there are thousands of injuries that officials believe are never reported.

Of those who are required to get medical treatment following an ATV accident, the most common injuries are musculoskeletal, fractures and spinal cord injuries (SCI). As a matter of fact, there was a near 250 percent increase in the number of ATV accidents among young riders in recent years. What’s even worse is that there was a more than 475 percent increase in the number of spinal cord injuries resulting from these accidents.

What it all comes down to is that young riders don’t have the motor control, the body mass or the strength to handle these powerful vehicles. The younger the rider the more likely an accident and injury. If you have any young riders in your family, make sure they’re on an ATV that’s specifically designed for their age and their size. Always provide them with supervision and the proper safety gear. And make them complete a rider safety course.
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You may not be able to bask in the sun during the winter season, but that doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had. Many residents turn to snowmobiles and other winter activities to stay active and to have some fun in the frigid winter weather. With these fun activities comes a heap of responsibilities. Snowmobile riders are asked to be cautious and to take the proper safety precautions to avoid a potentially fatal snowmobile accident in Massachusetts, just like the recent snowmobile accident that happened in the White Mountain National Forest.

The recent snowmobile accident in New Hampshire took the life of a 51-year-old Massachusetts man.
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The North Billerica resident was involved in a snowmobile accident at roughly 10:00 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle while making a turn and slammed into a bunch of trees. He was the last rider ion a group of four. The snowmobile riders ahead of him noticed the man’s headlights shining all over the place and the crew stopped to help. Reportedly, the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials attempted to resuscitate the man, but his injuries were far too severe, according to the Boston Globe. The accident is still being investigated, but officials report no foul play is suspected.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys enjoy the outdoors, too. But there are a few safety precautions that both you and I should follow to help to prevent winter accidents, including snowmobiling accidents. Nowadays, snowmobiling is a winter sport that is enjoyed by more than 2 million people in the U.S. Still, these vehicles can weigh in excess of 600 pounds and can travel at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. Every year, roughly 200 people die and another 14,000 people are injured on snowmobiles. Some of the causes of these accidents can include driver inexperience, alcohol and excess speed. Injuries sustained from these types of accidents can be life altering. These injuries are often extremity fractures but can also involve organ systems. Just like car accidents, snowmobile accidents can result in multisystem trauma — head injuries are the leading cause of death.

Snowmobile Safety Tips:

-Complete a snowmobile safety course.

-Always ride with the highest degree of caution, especially when traveling across frozen waterways.

-Limit nighttime travel.

-If you don’t know, don’t go.

-Always ride with a buddy. Never travel alone.

-Never drink and ride. Alcohol hinders your ability to react and your judgment.

-Slow it down. Fast speeds increase stopping distances and leave less room for mistakes. Slower speed equals more control.

-Never exceed 40 miles per hour when traveling at night. Speeds above 40 mph cause operators to override their headlamps.

-When riding in a group, always follow safely. Allow at least 2 or 3 seconds of space between you and another snowmobile.

-Respect private property. Stay on marked trails.
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A recent all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident left a 23- and a 24-year-old in the hospital. Both men involved in the ATV accident were from Massachusetts. The accident happened when their ATV struck an embankment on Greenwood Brook Road in Maine and flipped over, according to the Morning Sentinel.

Unfortunately, young and inexperienced riders are more likely to be involved in an ATV accident in Massachusetts and elsewhere through the summer and fall months.

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Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand how serious these types of accidents can be. In this particular accident, one of the Massachusetts riders was trapped underneath the ATV as it flipped. The rider was transported by Northstar EMS to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. We’re thankful that both riders were wearing their helmets at the time of the accident otherwise injuries could surely have been fatal.

According to AVTSafety.gov, there were more than 615 reported deaths resulting from ATV accidents in 2008. Officials believe that number to be much higher as they predict that not all accidents were reported. Officials believe that number to be much closer to 800 than 600. There were also more than 135,000 injuries reported as a result of accidents involving ATVs.

“As nurses who initiate immediate care to patients admitted for ATV injuries, the sorrow and pain of parents and family members of ATV victims is heart wrenching. If stronger regulation of ATV safety would save the life of one young child, it would be worth it all” said Linda Altizer, RN, from the National Organization of Orthopedic Nurse‘s Board of Directors.

Follow these safety tips to help prevent injuries resulting from an ATV accident:

-Enroll in a safety course. Many hands-on courses are offered and can teach drivers about a number of situations a rider can expect to encounter. Drivers who complete a safety course are less likely to be involved in an accident.

-Make sure you’re wearing your gear. Riders are urged to wear a helmet when riding. The more gear your wear, including gloves, a jacket, goggles, proper pants and above-the-ankle shoes can significantly reduce your risk of being injured.

-Don’t ride with passengers. More than one rider on an ATV greatly increases your risk of being involved in an accident. Most ATVs are made to only carry one person anyway. Drivers must be able to shift their weight in any direction at any time, passengers make this much more difficult.

-Don’t drive on paved roads. Because of the design of ATV, most of them are difficult to handle on paved roadways. A great number of fatalities occur in this area. Collisions with cars oftentimes turn deadly.

-Don’t allow children to drive. Children represent a third of all ATV-related deaths. Most of these fatalities occur when a child is driving an adult ATV. Riders under the age of 16 are twice as likely to be injured as those in any other age group on an ATV.
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New rules aimed at preventing children from being injured in Massachusetts ATV accidents are drawing praise from parents and safety advocates, the Boston Globe reported.

As we reported in June on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, lawmakers passed the new rules 141-12. The governor is soon expected to sign it into law. Among other things, it will increase the minimum age for riding an ATV to 14, from 10. It is named for Sean Kearney, an 8-year-old Waltham boy who died after a 500 pound ATV flipped over and pinned him face down in the sand.

Katie Kearney said “this bill will be one of the toughest in the nation.”

In 2004, and 2005, nearly 1,000 children were injured in Massachusetts ATV accidents. During the past 20 years, more than 2,500 children under the age of 16 have died in ATV accidents nationwide, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The new rules will also restrict the size of an ATV riders ages 14 to 16 are permitted to ride and will require riders in that age range to be supervised by someone over the age of 18. Riders under the age of 18 will also be required to take vehicle safety and responsibility courses before riding all recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, dirt bikes and snowmobiles.

Ken Anderson, president of the Massachusetts ATV Association, said the pending new law is unfair, considering “that the majority of injuries occurred in circumstances that were already in violation of existing statute, regulation, and common-sense best practices.”
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