Active and outdoorsy Portlanders love to head out on the weekends for recreational fun that may include dirt bikes, ATVs and other motorized toys. Despite taking every safety precaution, accidents on these types of free-wheeling rides happen with alarming frequency. In 2014, there were close to 100,000 ATV-related injuries that required a trip to the emergency room, and one out of every four of those were for kids 16 and under.
Many of the injuries were for head and brain trauma, facial injuries, broken bones, spinal injuries, neck injuries, paralysis and other related injuries. Unfortunately, close to 400 people died while riding during the same period as well.
ATV accidents are complicated because the key to determining if a case can be made for damages, is the determination of who is responsible for the accident. That can be a difficult task. If you rented an ATV that was poorly maintained, then the owner of the ATV could be held liable. If you went out riding on ATV trails that were damaged by things such as large holes, poorly designed hills and slants, or other defects, then the trail owner could be held liable. In other cases, the ATV itself may be poorly manufactured, in which case you might have justifiable cause to sue the ATV manufacturer.
As you can see, unraveling responsibility and who might be negligent is not an easy task. It will require the services of an experienced attorney who knows how to approach the case properly.
Because serious injuries such as paralysis, brain or spinal injuries are commonplace in ATV cases, after assigning liability, another difficulty can be trying to reach a settlement with an amount that will be adequate to provide the high standard of care required over an extended period of time, if that is what you need. Negotiations can be lengthy and involve large sums of money, well into millions of dollars. An attorney who can do the research for you must also be a skilled negotiator and trial lawyer to allow you to fully realize what you are entitled to.
Dawson Law Group serves Portland and surrounding Oregon communities.