Liability in Maine All-Terrain Vehicle Accidents

In an attempt to enhance safety and reduce accidents, the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) gathers data and provides statistics regarding Maine motor vehicle crashes. Most recently, the DOT reported that Maine experiences one fatal crash every 60 hours, and one personal injury crash ever 56 minutes. There have been over 30,000 traffic accidents, and many of these involve all-terrain vehicles (ATV).

ATVs are motorized off-road vehicles typically used for recreational purposes. There are many risks associated with these vehicles because of their design and limited restrictions on their operation. Although Maine prohibits children under ten years old from operating an ATV, they do permit children and teenagers over ten and under 16 years old to operate them if they complete a training course. Moreover, while typical driving under the influence statutes applies to ATV drivers, many times, riders engage in this unsafe behavior because there are not many law enforcement officials patrolling the areas where these vehicles are usually driven.

There are several leading causes of severe and fatal ATV accidents in Maine. For example, accidents may arise when a driver uses an ATV on a paved surface, as these vehicles are designed for off-road use and not pavement. Further, most ATVs are single-rider vehicles, and an additional passenger can throw off the vehicle’s balance. Also, many times, accidents result because drivers lack training and supervision. Drivers who unsafely operate an ATV can cause substantial injuries to themselves, bystanders, and other drivers.

Recently, a Maine man fatally injured a woman when he was driving his ATV under the influence of alcohol. According to a local news report, the man was only 19-years-old at the time of the crash when he was drinking and operating the ATV. The victim was a passenger in the backseat of the ATV when the driver attempted a stunt and ended up flipping the ATV onto its roof. The woman was not wearing a helmet or seat belt and she died on impact. The family of the woman produced evidence that the man did not express any remorse and continued to drink and operate his ATV illegally while he was out on bail. The man faces up to five years in prison and hefty fines. Additionally, the man may face a civil personal injury or wrongful death claim by the woman’s family.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a Maine ATV Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maine off-road accident, you should contact the dedicated injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. Our dedicated Maine personal injury attorneys are skilled at handling various types of car and off-road vehicle accident lawsuits. While many law firms assign clients to one attorney, our law firm works as a team to ensure that our clients have access to our combined knowledge and experience. We have obtained substantial compensation for our clients in all types of injury claims, including payments for medical bills, burial expenses, pain and suffering, and other similar losses. Contact our law firm at 800-804-2004 for a free consultation with an attorney on our team.