Who Is Legally Responsible for Miami ATV Accidents?
There are many causes of ATV crashes, and it is essential to determine who is liable before pursuing legal action.
Often, the driver of another vehicle may be responsible if he or she is driving recklessly or negligently. The ATV driver is usually responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle. When he or she loses control of the vehicle, passengers or bystanders can suffer injury as a result.
In some cases, the passenger's actions may result in his or her own injury. Failing to remain seated while the ATV is in motion or to hang on through the ride may result in injuries.
In other cases, the ATV's manufacturer may be held accountable if something goes wrong and the vehicle causes serious injury or death. Product liability claims can be filed against manufacturers who released unreasonably dangerous products on the market and exposed their customers to injury risks. If the investigation following your ATV accident shows that the vehicle wasn't functioning properly due to a faulty part, filing a product liability claim provides another avenue of redress for you. All parties in the chain of manufacture and distribution are potentially reachable in cases of this kind.
The first ATVs on the U.S. market were three-wheelers. As these vehicles were involved in an unacceptably high rate of accidents, in 1987 the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that ATV manufacturers violated the Consumer Product Safety Act. Since this trial, three-wheel ATVs are no longer being produced, but they are still in use. If you have been involved in a crash with such a vehicle, you might have a valid product liability claim against negligent manufacturers.
Even if three-wheel ATVs are no longer produced and four-wheelers are more stable and safer, manufacturers still tend to push the limits of these vehicles. As they are becoming stronger and faster, the probability of a crash increases consistently.
Besides becoming more efficient, ATVs also often have defects, either in their design or their manufacturing. Significant numbers of ATV models have been recalled revealing the frequent occurrence of defective components.
ATV dealers can also find themselves as defendants in personal injury cases, due to the failure of providing classes or, at least, basic instructions on how these vehicles should be operated.
On rare occasions, government entities might also be liable, for the lack of proper legislation and regulations regarding ATVs.
If the victim of an ATV accident is a child, liability often extends to the person who was supervising the minor at the time of the crash. According to Miami law, to ride an ATV unsupervised, the operator must be at least 16 years old.
Regardless of the circumstances, establishing liability is never simple. Therefore, identifying the responsible party is imperative in order to pursue financial compensation. Brain damage, paralysis, and death may result from an ATV crash. If you have been in an ATV-related accident you may be entitled to medical costs, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.