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ATV accidents may result from negligence

Lot of people in the Charleston area and throughout West Virginia enjoy riding on all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, in order to take in the sights and sounds of the mountains, woods and trails of this state.

Unfortunately, ATVs are also dangerous. As open-air vehicles, they do not offer the same protections passenger cars do, and they are also prone to flipping or rolling over. Sadly, these accidents can be fatal. Even when they are not fatal, ATV accidents can still leave a victim with a serious and lifelong injury.

There are things that ATV riders can do to keep themselves safe, and, of course, riders should do what they can to keep themselves safe. However, not all ATV accidents are necessarily the fault of driver of the vehicle. For example, sometimes the ATV itself may be improperly designed or manufactured. ATV manufacturers are, in fact, required to follow certain specifications when making their vehicles.

In other cases, the landowner could be responsible for the accident. For instance, a trail or road may not be adequately maintained or fit for ATVs. In other cases, a private trail may not have adequate warnings or signage to ensure the safety of ATV drivers.

One must also remember that, even in the absence of strict traffic laws, such as when ATV drivers are riding on trails, the principles of negligence still apply. Basically, drivers of ATVs have an obligation to look out for one another and take reasonable steps to keep other drivers safe. If they fail in this obligation, they may be held accountable for their negligence.

The scenarios mentioned in this blog are intended simply to illustrate under what circumstances the victim of an ATV accident may be able to hold another person accountable for their injuries.

Specific facts about an ATV accident should be discussed with an experienced West Virginia wrongful death attorney so that the attorney can help a victim's family evaluate their options. If it seems like a good idea for a victim's family to proceed with a claim, then an attorney can also help with that process.

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