There are multiple different forms of negligence that can lead to ATV accidents. For instance, crashes may occur because of negligent behavior exhibited by ATV operators, rental companies, track owners, and vehicle manufacturers. Thankfully, at-fault parties may be sued for the accidents they cause.
The path to compensation in your ATV accident case can differ depending on various factors such as the cause of your crash and the severity of injuries you sustained. Our legal team can help navigate each step of the legal process. Further, we can help build your claim and negotiate for the full extent of damages you are owed.
After being hurt because of an ATV crash in Houston, seek help from our ATV accident and injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm by calling (817) 476-1797.
Evaluating Settlement Offers in a Houston ATV Accident Lawsuit
If you file an ATV accident lawsuit in Houston, then the defendant will probably try to settle your claim before going to trial. When you enter into a settlement agreement, the defendant will pay you a specific sum of damages and your case will be dismissed. There can be advantages to settling before trial. For instance, plaintiffs who reach settlement agreements may save on trial costs and obtain compensation more quickly.
Still, many defendants in ATV accident cases will attempt to settle their claims for less than their true value. If you are not presented with an acceptable settlement offer, then you must go to court to acquire the monetary damages you deserve. Our ATV accident and injury lawyers will evaluate any settlement offers presented in your case. That way, you can confidently determine whether settling early or going to trial is best for you.
Common Injuries Caused by ATV Accidents in Houston
ATV accidents are highly likely to result in serious harm. For instance, the following are all common types of injuries caused by ATV accidents in Houston:
Fractured and Broken Bones
ATV accidents can result in various types of bone fractures, including broken arms, legs, ribs, and collarbones. These injuries often occur when riders are thrown off their ATVs during collisions and rollovers. Medical treatments for broken bones typically involve immobilization with casts, splints, or braces to facilitate proper healing. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to stabilize the fractured bone using screws, plates, or pins.
Spinal Cord Damage
ATV accidents can result in spinal cord injuries. These are among the most devastating and life-changing consequences of such accidents.
When the spinal cord sustains damage, it can lead to partial or complete loss of sensation and motor function below the injury site. Treatments for spinal cord damage focus on stabilizing the spine to prevent further injury. This may involve wearing a brace or undergoing surgery to realign and fuse the vertebrae. Rehabilitation plays a crucial role in managing these injuries, aiming to improve functional abilities and adapting to any permanent disabilities.
Crashes involving ATVs can cause internal injuries such as organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries may result from direct impacts to the abdomen or chest during the accident. Internal injuries can be life-threatening and may require immediate medical attention. Diagnostic tests like CT scans or ultrasounds are used to identify the extent of the internal injuries. Treatment often involves surgical intervention to repair damaged organs or stop internal bleeding. In some cases, patients may require ongoing monitoring and medical care during the recovery process.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are also a significant concern for ATV accident victims. These injuries usually occur when riders suffer forceful blows to their heads.
Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain contusions and hemorrhages. Medical treatments for such injuries can involve neurological assessments and brain imaging. Depending on the severity of the injury at issue, treatment may include rest, medication, or even surgical intervention.
Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue injuries typically refer to damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries may result from sudden twists, falls, and impacts sustained during crashes. Soft tissue injuries can range from mild strains and sprains to more severe tears. Treatment for soft tissue damage typically includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Physical therapy may also be necessary to restore victims’ strength and flexibility in affected areas.
ATV accidents can result in burns, especially when fuel leaks and comes into contact with hot engine parts or exhaust. These burns may vary in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns, with the latter being the most severe and potentially life-threatening. Immediate first aid involves cooling the burn with water and covering it to prevent infection. Severe burns may require specialized treatment in burn centers, including wound care, skin grafts, and pain management.
Common Locations Where ATV Accidents Happen in Houston
There are certain locations where ATV accidents happen more frequently than others. The following are common locations where such accidents occur in Houston:
Off-Road Trails and Parks
Off-road trails and parks are popular locations for ATV enthusiasts seeking adventurous rides in natural and challenging terrains. These areas often offer varying landscapes, including hills, rocky paths, and mud-filled trails, providing excitement for riders.
However, harmful crashes can occur when trail and park owners act carelessly. For example, a trail rider may crash because they encountered a poorly marked hazardous area with rough and rocky terrain that was not properly maintained or fenced off. In that case, the victim may be able to sue the track owner for failing to properly mark the dangerous area.
Some ATV accidents occur on private property, such as farms, ranches, or undeveloped land. ATV riders may engage in recreational activities on private property without understanding the full extent of potential hazards.
ATV accident victims may sue private property owners if their crashes resulted from the owners’ failure to provide a safe environment. For example, this could include situations where a property owner knew or should have known about hazardous conditions on their property but failed to warn visitors. Additionally, if a property owner allowed inexperienced or underage individuals to operate ATVs without proper supervision, then the owner may be held liable for negligent entrustment.
Public Roads and Streets
Unfortunately, some ATV riders attempt to use public roads and streets, despite the fact that many ATVs are not designed or legal for use on these surfaces. Riding ATVs on public roads can be dangerous because of their limited visibility to other vehicles, lower speeds compared to cars, and lack of safety features like seatbelts.
Furthermore, many accidents happen on public roads and streets because ATV riders act carelessly. For instance, riders may cause accidents by exceeding speed limits or disobeying traffic signals. If you suffered an ATV accident caused by another rider’s negligence, then you may be able to sue them for the damages you incurred.
Campgrounds and Recreational Areas
ATVs are sometimes used for recreational purposes in campgrounds and recreational areas. While these locations may seem suitable for ATV riding, accidents can still occur as the result of factors like uneven terrain, crowded conditions, and interactions with other campers and vehicles. Similar to property owners, operators of campgrounds and recreational areas may be sued after ATV accidents that stem from their failure to maintain a safe environment for riders.
Suing for ATV Accidents in Texas
Any time you are injured in an accident that someone else caused because of their careless or reckless actions, you may be entitled to take them to court and sue for the damages you suffered. A personal injury lawsuit like this can also stem from a person’s negligent inaction as opposed to harmful actions.
When suing someone else for injury, you must prove four elements to get the compensation you need for the accident:
- The person who injured you had a duty to you based on the relationship that you shared. For instance, the person driving you around on an ATV may have a duty to drive safely and carefully to prevent injuring you.
- The person who injured you breached that duty. Typically, any failure to use the proper care or skill that the situation called for can be considered a breach.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages because of the injury.
The specific duty in your case depends on the situation. For instance, someone renting you a four-wheeler may have a duty to inspect it for safety and someone driving you around may have a duty to make sure you hold on safely and that they avoid any dangerous situations.
The damages you suffer typically stem from the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you face because of the accident. Medical expenses can be quite high, especially if you suffered severe injuries. Life-changing injuries like neck and spine injuries or traumatic brain injury can take years of high-level medical care and rehabilitation to treat. If your injuries caused you to miss work or lose future job opportunities and earning capacity, this can also be compensated. Lastly, you are typically entitled to damages to pay you back for your pain and suffering, separate from the medical expenses.
Plaintiffs in Houston Can Contact Our ATV Accident and Injury Lawyers for Support
Seek guidance from our ATV accident and injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm by calling (817) 476-1797.