Arizona’s natural beauty often inspires outdoor enthusiasts to explore the wilderness with recreational vehicles—UTVs (utility terrain vehicle), ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), quads, four-wheelers, and side-by-sides. These allow drivers to race along dry washes and muddy back roads. Unfortunately, off-roading comes with unique risks, and UTV accidents can have devastating injuries. Over 15,000 people lost their lives between 1982 and 2018 to terrain vehicle-related accidents, with over 3,000 being children ages 16 and under. Injuries are trending upward as more people use recreational vehicles. In 2018 alone, 81,800 injuries linked to off-road vehicles were reported, 26 percent involving children.
One main culprit? Rollovers. Four-wheelers must have a low center of gravity to prevent rolling. However, manufacturers like to emphasize more clearance underneath the vehicle for traversing rocky terrain. More clearance means a higher center of gravity, leaving some vehicles prone to tipping. Such accidents cause broken or crushed bones, brain injuries, and even death.
Rollovers aren’t the only potential source of injury from manufacturer oversight. Polaris ATVs are at the center of several lawsuits due to the vehicles catching fire. Yamaha Rhinos faced hundreds of claims of horrible injuries from design flaws that led to tipping, even on flat ground at low speeds. The accidents caused crushed limbs and head injuries.
Even with safety features, recreational vehicle accidents can occur from other factors. Just like driving on the road, off-road vehicles are dangerous when driven by someone distracted or under the influence. You may have been injured by another driver who was negligent in the operation of their ATV. Premises or business liability can also play a role in accidents; poorly maintained private property can cause crashes, and UTV rental businesses are likewise responsible for some accidents that happen to customers in their care.
Because four-wheeler injuries are often debilitating, a personal injury suit can be the only way to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, changes in lifestyle, and lost income. Furthermore, UTV personal injury lawsuits draw attention to liability risks like design flaws and premises maintenance. The more victims step forward about unsafe situations, the more companies and individuals are held accountable to alter designs, install safety features, or operate vehicles with care. The UTV personal injury lawyers at Perez Law Group, PLLC both obtain damages for existing victims and prevent more victims from suffering the same injuries.
We want you to feel safe to enjoy off-roading. Use UTVs with lower clearance and centers of gravity, check for protective measures like seatbelts and roll cages, wear your own safety gear such as helmets, and only allow qualified drivers behind the wheel. We hope no one gets injured and we never get a call about a UTV accident, but if we do, we’ll fight for your right to compensation.