Recently, a young boy sustained “non-life threatening injuries” after an ATV and a pickup truck collided in West Bexar County, though his younger sister escaped injury. The children were riding an ATV in the 5500 block of Pioneer Estates (near Highway 90) when their vehicle was struck by a pickup near the intersection. While riding ATVs is an enjoyable hobby loved by countless Texans, it can still be hazardous, especially since many drivers do not pay attention to the road, and it is important that you understand your options if you are injured.
ATVs Should Not Be on Public Roads
Riding ATVs is a common hobby in Texas, though you may not ride them on public roads. An Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) license is required, and ATVs should only be ridden in approved areas. However, sometimes the law is broken, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas registered the third-highest number of fatalities in recently available data sets. It is also worth noting that recent research shows that public roads are infinitely more dangerous for ATV riders than off-road venues; more than 60 percent of all ATV fatalities occur on public roads.
While sometimes ATV riders do not keep to proper off-road venues, drivers on public roads are also ill-equipped to handle riders who do show up on public roads. It is common for drivers to not notice smaller crafts like ATVs and motorcycles, especially when turning or changing lanes, and this lack of awareness definitely helps in boosting the number of injuries and fatalities for ATV riders. In many of these cases, there may be fault on both sides – which should not deter you from seeking compensation for any injuries you have suffered.
Like any other vehicle crash, most of these types of cases are brought under a legal theory of negligence. In order to show that a defendant has been negligent, you must establish that they owed a duty to exercise reasonable care toward the other motorists on the road and that they failed to exercise that care (breached the duty). You must also show that the breach of duty was due to the defendant’s actions, with no other superseding cause.
It is worth noting that even if you are found to be partially culpable, it still may be worth filing suit to try and recover compensation. Texas law allows a plaintiff who has been found less than 50 percent culpable for their own injuries to still bring suit for compensation – the tradeoff is that any award will be reduced by the percentage of fault. So if you are deemed to have been 20 percent at fault for your injuries, any award you receive will be reduced by 20 percent.
Call an Auto Accident Lawyer Today
ATV accidents are somewhat rare, but when they do happen, they can be fatal; the children on the ATV at Pioneer Homes were decidedly lucky. If you have been injured in an accident with an off-road vehicle, the skilled New Braunfels auto accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm may be able to help you. Contact our offices today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.