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ATV and Snowmobile Accidents

Posted on in Personal Injury

UTV fatalities, wrongful death, Wisconsin injury attorneyWisconsin has a large amount of open land, perfect for riding ATVs on, and with winter approaching, it will soon become time for people to start breaking out their snowmobiles as well. While these vehicles can be fun for experienced, responsible riders, they also pose a danger. According to statistics compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, dozens of people each year die related to ATV and snowmobile accidents. It is important to understand that these vehicles are very different from cars, which means that the causes of ATV and snowmobile accidents, injuries, and litigation surrounding injuries is different from an ordinary traffic accident.

Causes of Accidents

Riders tend to take ATVs and snowmobiles off of open roads and into fields, woods or other rough terrain. This can lead to types of accidents that do not occur often with more mundane vehicles. For instance, 45 percent of ATV and UTV fatalities last year occurred when a vehicle rolled over on top of its rider. While rollovers do happen with cars, they are not nearly so common or so deadly. The combination of less experienced riders, more treacherous terrain, and fewer safety precautions like roofs and roll bars make rollovers more dangerous in these sorts of vehicles.

Another major cause of ATV and snowmobile accidents is one that they share with cars: alcohol. Forty-one percent of deadly accidents last year occurred when the operator of the ATV had alcohol in his or her system. Just like with cars, alcohol can slow a person's reaction time, affect his or her coordination, and impair his or her judgment. The rougher terrain and less-safe vehicles only serve to exacerbate these effects.

Differences from Car Accidents

Importantly, there are unique aspects to personal injury lawsuits related to ATVs and snowmobiles accidents that differ from regular car crashes. One major party who may be responsible for injuries associated with an ATV or snowmobile is the vehicle's designer or manufacturer. The law allows injured victims to hold companies responsible if they design products that are unsafe, produce products with unsafe manufacturing flaws, or fail to warn the product's users about how to safely operate the product. These standards are different for different types of products, so it is important for victims to select a personal injury lawyer who can understand the unique design, manufacturing, and operational challenges that are a part of ATVs and snowmobiles, which ordinary cars may not face. Even when the cause of the accident was operator error rather than a flaw with the product, the differences between riding an ATV or snowmobile and driving a car can make an important difference in the case's outcome.

If you have recently been injured in an accident on an ATV or snowmobile, contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury lawyer today. Our firm is here to help you fight for the full, fair compensation that you deserve.

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