ATVs are a popular way to explore and enjoy Florida’s natural beauty. In Orlando, ATV tours have become a big hit with visitors and residents alike, allowing them to explore the area and giving them a chance to enjoy nature up close while being a part of a self-drive ATV adventure. ATVs are often considered toys and a great way to get around, but unfortunately, they can also lead to debilitating injuries, astronomical medical expenses, and long-term life-altering effects on the victim and their family.
At the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, we know how much people love riding ATVs and what a thrilling experience it can be. We also understand how dangerous and deadly this activity can be, leaving families broken and with many questions and concerns about what happened, who was at fault, and what legal options they can pursue. If you have been injured in an Orlando ATV accident, our Orlando ATV accident lawyers are here and ready to fight for the compensation, answers, and justice you deserve.
Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney: Who We Are
The Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney law firm was founded to protect victims and their rights following disastrous motor vehicle accidents and truck crashes. Our firm’s goal is to provide our clients the help they need, the attention they deserve, and to go after the justice they want.
We understand that as a victim of an automobile crash, you need help getting your vehicle back on the road and your damage claim moving along. You also need assistance dealing with insurance companies that may be trying to deny your claim or offer you a lower settlement than you deserve. Our attorneys are here and ready to take on your case, fight zealously on your behalf, and help you get your life back to normal.
Since our firm’s founding, we have won millions of dollars in trial verdicts and settlement awards for our clients. While we cannot guarantee a particular financial outcome in any future case, our past successes demonstrate our commitment to doing the best we can for our clients.
Some of the most recent awards we have collected include:
- $3.2 million for a wrongful death auto accident;
- $1.25 million for another wrongful death auto accident;
- $1.97 million for motor vehicle accident and school negligence;
- $600,000 for an automobile accident;
- $275,000 for a motorcycle accident;
What Is an ATV?
ATVs, or All-Terrain Vehicles, are classified in Florida as motorized off-highway vehicles weigh as much as 1,200 pounds in dry weight, are 50 inches or less in width, and travel on three or more tires. These vehicles are designed to be used by a single operator with or without a passenger onboard.
Additionally, according to Florida regulations, an ATV can:
- Operate only during the day; and
- Operate only on public unpaved roads if there is a posted speed limit of less than 35 miles per hour.
ATV Accident Statistics
As described above, despite the appeal of ATVs, riding them can be extremely dangerous:
- ATV collisions harm more than 135,000 people every year and kill more than 700 individuals.
- ATV deaths have increased ninefold since 1982.
- Almost 1/3 of all the individuals killed in ATV crashes are under the age of 16.
- From 2015 through 2019, there were more than 524,600 emergency room visits to treat injuries related to ATV accidents. Most of these individuals were treated and released, but 15 percent were hospitalized.
- The most common diagnoses following an ATV collision were abrasions and fractures, with the affected body parts including arms, head, neck, legs, and torso.
Injuries Resulting From ATV Collisions
Unfortunately, ATV accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries that are often quite serious.
Some of the most common injuries in ATV collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Head and neck injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Deep lacerations;
- Fractured bones;
- Contusions; and
Generally, these injuries happen when the ATV rolls over, hits a stationary object, or collides with another vehicle, and throws a rider or the driver off the ATV or into another vehicle.
Who Is Responsible for an Orlando ATV Crash?
To figure out if you have a viable claim following your ATV accident, you first need to determine who was responsible for the accident.
Some of the accountable parties include:
- The ATV manufacturer or designer if the vehicle was defective or it malfunctioned, resulting in an accident;
- A property owner if the land where you were riding contained a dangerous condition that led to the ATV accident;
- Another negligent or reckless ATV operator;
- An ATV tour company; and/or
- If you were a passenger on the ATV, the ATV driver may be at fault for unsafe or reckless driving.
If you were injured in an ATV collision, call an experienced ATV accident lawyer as soon as possible. When you contact the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, our skilled lawyers can promptly get to work figuring out what caused your ATV crash and who was responsible for the injuries you sustained.
The Deadline for Filing a Claim Following an Orlando ATV Crash
Like other states, Florida has a statute of limitations law, which sets a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against the individual or business that may be at fault for your injuries. If you do not file within this time, you can be barred from pursuing compensation for the harm you endured.
If you have been injured in an ATV accident in Orlando, you generally have four years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances of the crash, this deadline can grow or shrink. That is why it is vital to contact Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney as quickly as possible. Our lawyers can promptly review your case, figure out how much time you have to file, and ensure everything is completed accurately and on time.
Damages Following an Orlando ATV Accident
Depending on the circumstances of your Orlando ATV crash, you may be entitled to seek certain damages following your accident, including economic, non-economic, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Economic Damages: These damages are reimbursement for verifiable losses resulting from the accident.
They often include:
- Medical bills, including past and future medical expenses for hospital stays, doctor’s visits, surgeries, and prescription medications;
- Lost wages, including past and sometimes future wages;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Replacement services such as child-care services or cleaning services, if your injuries make it impossible for you to perform these duties yourself;
- At-home nursing care;
- Personal property damages; and
- Other accident-related out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-Economic Damages: These damages are more subjective losses that occur because of an accident. Unlike economic damages, these losses are not so easy to quantify.
They can include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of a limb;
- Loss of reputation;
- Scarring; and
Punitive damages: Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which compensate the victim for their losses and restore them to the position they were in before the accident, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious behavior and deter them from committing the same actions again in the future. In Florida, these damages are only awarded in very limited circumstances, and the victim must show that the defendant acted with hostile intent and conducted themselves in a display of gross negligence.
What to Do Following an Orlando ATV Accident
An ATV accident can be overwhelming and stressful. Often, panic kicks in and it’s hard to know what to do following a horrific crash. However, it is vital to understand that the actions you take following an ATV crash are not only critical for protecting your health and safety but also for protecting your legal rights.
If you find yourself in an ATV crash, take as many of the following steps as you can:
- Call 911: Call 911 immediately following the accident, or ask someone else nearby to call if you can’t. This is the quickest way to get your accident on record while also making sure that emergency medical services are on their way to the crash scene. Once the police arrive, they can get to work investigating the ATV crash and recording their findings in an official police report. If you decide to pursue an ATV accident claim, a police report can provide you with valuable information about what happened and who was at fault.
- Take pictures: If it is safe and you can do so, try to take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as you can. Include photos of the ATV from every angle, any other vehicles involved in the collision, visible injuries, the area surrounding the accident, any dangerous conditions on the land that could have caused the accident, and evidence of the weather conditions at the time of the collision.
- Get witness details: If other people at the scene saw what happened, take down their names and numbers. Their statements may provide you with valuable evidence that can help substantiate your claims.
- Be careful what you say: When you are talking to witnesses and those involved with the accident, be careful what you say. The statements you make can be used against you and may affect the amount of compensation you ultimately recover. Do not apologize for the accident or say that any of it was your fault. If any of the other parties make these statements or take the blame for the accident, make sure you jot down this information.
- Write down details: After the accident, you should document the accident and everything that happened before the crash and after it in a journal. Over time your memories of the accident may fade. It is vital to write down the details of the incident to help refresh your memory and provide your attorney with essential facts about the crash. Make sure to also write down how you feel after the accident, the medical treatments you receive for your accident-related injuries, how this accident affects your life, and the pain and suffering you experience during your recovery.
- Contact an experienced Orlando ATV accident lawyer at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney: Finally, contact an experienced ATV accident attorney following your crash. A lawyer can quickly get to work gathering the critical evidence you need to prove your claim and fighting for maximum damages on your behalf.
Orlando ATV Accident FAQs
Each year thousands of people are involved in an ATV accident, and many of them suffer debilitating and sometimes deadly injuries. Worse yet, these victims often have no idea what they are supposed to do next following their ATV accident, whom they can call for legal help, or what legal actions they can pursue if the ATV crash was someone else’s fault.
Our law firm wants to help clear up some of the confusion surrounding ATV accidents. In the below answers to the most frequently asked questions we get from our clients, we will cover a few of the most common concerns many ATV accident victims have. If you have specific questions related to your accident, contact our office today.
1. Why are Orlando ATV accidents so dangerous?
ATVs are an extremely popular activity, especially in Orlando where countless ATV adventure tour companies are ready to take people out on self-driving tours. Consequently, hopping on an ATV is now easier than ever and available to almost anyone regardless of their ATV riding skills or experience level. Unfortunately, ATVs are also unstable and sometimes hard to control. This is especially true if riders are traveling at high speeds. Consequently, collisions and rollovers happen quite frequently and often lead to life-changing injuries or even death.
2. What is my Orlando ATV case worth?
If you were injured in an Orlando ATV accident, you may seek compensation for the harm you endured.
However, the value of your claim will depend on:
- The severity of your injuries (the more severe and long-lasting the physical effects of your injury, generally the more your case is worth);
- Whether the injury is permanent;
- Your ability to work following the ATV accident, now and in the future;
- The type of medical treatments you need following the accident, now and in the future;
- The extent of your accident-related pain and suffering; and
- The credibility of the witnesses and the strength of the evidence your attorney gathers and presents in your case.
Because these factors can significantly affect how much compensation you receive, contact a skilled Orlando ATV accident lawyer as soon as possible following your Orlando ATV collision. If you choose to work with the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, we can go over each of these elements with you, figure out which ones may impact your claim, and prepare the best case possible in light of these factors, making sure we go after the maximum available compensation on your behalf.
3. How do you prove that someone else caused an Orlando ATV accident?
Determining whether you have a viable ATV accident claim depends on several factors, including figuring out who was legally responsible for the accident. Typically, to show that another person was at fault for your injuries, you either need to show that they intentionally caused the accident or that their negligent actions caused the accident.
For a victim to prove negligence, they must demonstrate:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care;
- The defendant breached this duty of care;
- This breach caused the ATV accident; and
- The victim sustained injuries, losses, and damages.
What makes proving fault in an ATV accident even more complicated is that sometimes there may be more than one person responsible for the accident. That is why if you have been harmed in an Orlando ATV crash, you need an experienced ATV accident attorney on your side. Our lawyers can promptly get to work investigating the ATV crash, figuring out who was at fault for the collision, and going after all those who may be liable for the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
4. If my Orlando ATV accident injuries appear minor, do I still need to see a doctor?
Yes, it is crucial to get checked out by a doctor following an ATV accident, even if your injuries do not appear to be severe. Some dangerous injuries such as head trauma may not manifest clear symptoms immediately after an accident. Consequently, an accident victim may believe they are fine when, in truth, their injury is getting worse the longer they wait to get help, sometimes leading to debilitating or deadly consequences.
For these reasons, even if the harm you endured appears to be minor, get examined by a medical professional as soon as possible after the accident. A doctor can verify that you do not have any serious hidden injuries and provide you with the medical treatments you may need.
In addition, when a doctor examines you, they will write down their findings in a medical report. This report can be significant in an ATV accident claim because it can clearly link your injuries to the accident and help show the extent of the harm and damages you endured. Why is this so important? Because the insurance company or the defense will often try to argue that your injuries are either not that serious or that they resulted from a subsequent event and not from the ATV accident. This is a harder argument for them to make if you went to a doctor and got treated for your accident-related injuries right away.
5. Is there anything I can do to avoid a serious and deadly Orlando ATV accident?
You can reduce your chances of getting in an accident when you hit the trails if you:
- Do not travel on paved roads unless you are trying to cross. When crossing a street, make sure you do so safely, and make sure that crossing is permitted by law.
- Always wear a Department of Transportation compliant helmet.
- Make sure you suit up with proper gear, including long sleeves, long pants, goggles, gloves, and over-the-ankle boots.
- Never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Do not carry more than one passenger on an ATV that is designed for two people.
- If you are riding a single-rider ATV, never carry a passenger with you.
- Make sure you ride an ATV designed for your age.
- If your child is under the age of 16 and riding an ATV, make sure you supervise them as they ride.
- Only ride on designated trails and at safe speeds.
6. What happens if my child is injured in an Orlando ATV accident?
According to Florida’s regulations, if a child is under the age of 16, they need to be supervised by an adult while riding an ATV. Consequently, if your child is injured while riding an ATV that belongs to a neighbor, friend, or someone else, the owner or driver of that ATV may bear liability for the injuries your child suffered.
However, liability will depend on:
- Whether you gave your child permission to drive the ATV without an adult’s supervision.
- Whether your child was a passenger on a vehicle driven by an adult who violated traffic laws or was driving recklessly.
- Whether your child wore protective gear or a helmet, which is required by Florida law.
- Whether your child took the ATV without permission because the owner improperly secured it.
In addition, if another child caused the ATV accident, sometimes you can hold their parents accountable for the crash. Due to these legal complexities, you need to work with a skilled and knowledgeable ATV lawyer to determine whether someone else may be responsible for your child’s injuries. An experienced attorney can help you understand these different factors and determine if someone can be held accountable for your child’s Orlando ATV accident.
7. Will insurance cover my Orlando ATV accident injuries?
Following an Orlando ATV accident, victims often want to know who will pay for their injuries. Unfortunately, there is not always a straightforward answer. This is because ATVs are often not covered by car insurance policies that would generally compensate the victim for car accident-related injuries. Usually, ATV crash victims need to figure out if they can go after other insurance policies for compensation.
For instance, if the ATV crash resulted from a defective land condition, the victim can try to seek compensation from the property owners’ insurance. On the other hand, if the ATV accident was caused by another driver’s error, the victim will need to show that the other driver was at fault for the accident and then figure out if the liable party is covered by an insurance policy that applies to the accident. Or, in the alternative, the victim can try to hold the negligent driver directly accountable for damages.
As you can see, trying to figure out if an insurance company will pay for your ATV accident injuries is a tedious and complicated process. That is why the legal team at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, is here to help. After investigating your accident and figuring out what happened and who was at fault, we can look for applicable insurance policies and find a source of compensation that can provide you with the financial help you need.
8. If an insurance company offers me a settlement amount after my Orlando ATV accident, should I accept it?
In some situations, an insurance company may offer you a settlement following your accident. Even though you may feel like this is an excellent opportunity to obtain some of the money you need to pay your accumulating medical bills, often it’s best not to accept the insurance company’s initial offer.
Before you accept a settlement, you need to consider numerous factors, including:
- Will this settlement amount cover all of your current accident-related medical bills?
- Will this settlement amount cover your future accident-related medical bills and future expenses?
- Will this settlement amount help you get back on your feet after missing work and paying other out-of-pocket accident-related expenses?
Quite often, when you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company, you do not even know what your future expenses will look like. Before you decide to accept an offer it’s usually best to wait until you have completed all of your medical treatments and have a better understanding of what your future care needs will look like.
Additionally, you should remember that once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot ask for more money at a later point in time. For these reasons, if you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company, it’s best to seek the help of an experienced attorney to evaluate the offer and help you decide whether it is sufficient to meet your accident-related needs.
If you are wondering whether to accept an insurance company settlement offer, contact the ATV accident attorneys at the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney. Our legal team can go over the offer and figure out if it is fair to you. If it is not, we can go back to the insurance company and negotiate for an amount that is.
9. How can Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney help me after an Orlando ATV accident?
If you have been injured in an ATV accident because of another person’s recklessness or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To go after maximum compensation, you need a skilled ATV accident attorney on your side.
When you retain the law offices of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, our lawyers can:
- Go over your ATV accident in detail, answering any of your questions or concerns, helping you understand your legal options, and helping you determine the best course of action for your situation.
- Investigate your accident and gathering the critical documents and evidence you need to establish your case’s foundation.
- Interview relevant witnesses who can help substantiate your claims.
- Bring in experts such as accident reconstructionists, engineers, economists, and doctors to testify to the extent of your damages.
- Handle the negotiations and discussions with the defense or insurance companies, ensuring we fight for a settlement amount that is fair to you.
- Take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation if the other side refuses to offer you a fair settlement amount.
Call Our Orlando ATV Accident Attorneys Today
If an Orlando ATV accident harmed you or a loved one, get the legal help you need. Do not wait any longer. Contact the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney at (407) 490-1271 and let our Orlando ATV accident lawyers go after the compensation and justice you deserve.
Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney
2420 S. Lakemont Avenue
Orlando, FL 32814