By Pendergast Law on June 1, 2017
All-terrain vehicles, commonly referred to as ATVs, are popular throughout the State of Washington. They are used for recreational purposes like hunting and off-roading, and also for work-related tasks in farming and construction. While these machines are fun and very useful, they can also be dangerous, causing serious injury and death.
Recently, an 11-year-old girl from Graham, Washington, was killed while riding on an ATV at Cowlitz Timber Trails campground in Salkum. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 130,000 injuries were caused by ATV accidents in the year 2012, resulting in the death of more than 140 children and 550 adults. In Washington State alone, there were 27 ATV-related fatalities between 2013 and 2015.Part of what makes ATVs so dangerous is the fact that they’re loosely regulated. Riders don’t need training or a license, and there’s no age requirement for riding off-road. Another fact that contributes to the danger of ATVs is that very few have roofs or roll bars — and they do have a tendency to roll over. While not as heavy as an automobile, the average ATV weighs 350 to 400 pounds, which is still heavy enough to crush a person.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an ATV Injury or Death?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and injury, many potentially liable parties may be involved. In some cases, there can be more than one party responsible for an injury. Potentially liable parties (defendants) may include:
- The driver of the ATV.
- The owner of the ATV.
- The ATV rental company.
- The manufacturer and/or designer of the ATV.
- The manufacturer and/or designer of a part for the ATV.
- The distributor or retailer of the ATV.
- The designer, manufacturer, or seller of safety equipment (helmet, gloves, etc.) that the injured person was wearing.
- The owner of the property where the injury occurred.
The problem is that all these possible defendants will have their insurance companies on their side while you, the ATV-accident plaintiff, are a lone individual. This is absolutely why a person injured in a Seattle ATV ccident needs a seasoned attorney on his or her side. Seattle’s Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., has been successfully representing Washington injury victims for 40 years. Call 888-539-9211 for a free consultation.