ATV Accidents in Montana
Montana is full of beautiful trails that are ideal for hiking, biking, and riding off-road vehicles (OHVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). This makes Big Sky Country a great place for people who love being outdoors. Unfortunately, all types of recreation come with inherent risks, and ATV riding is no exception.
The potential dangers of ATV riding include serious injuries, fatalities, property damage, emotional trauma, and financial loss. If you’ve been involved in an ATV accident, it’s normal to feel hopeless, angry, frustrated, or stressed. Fortunately, things can get better.
The personal injury attorneys with The Advocates are here for you. We have been representing injury victims for more than three decades, so we understand the struggles you are facing in the wake of your accident. If you need someone to listen to your story, help you access medical care, and assist you in getting your expenses paid, then you need an Advocate.
What Is the Difference Between an OHV, ATV, and UTV?
The terms OHV, ATV, and UTV are often used interchangeably, but there are slight differences between the three.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines an off-highway vehicle as a motor vehicle capable of off-highway travel during winter or summer. All-terrain vehicles are a type of OHV, along with four-wheelers, three-wheelers, dirtbikes, motorcycles, and snowmobiles.
Typically, an ATV is made to carry one person, while utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) can haul loads and occasionally carry additional passengers.
Montana ATV Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), OHV-related accidents cause an annual average of more than 700 deaths. Emergency rooms in the United States treat an estimated 100,000 ATV injuries each year. Over a period of 5 years, ATVs were involved in 96% of OHV accidents.
The most common types of ATV accidents include:
- Collisions with other ATVs
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Passenger ejection
Common Causes of All-Terrain Vehicle Accidents in Montana
There are innumerable potential causes for ATV crashes. Some of the most common include:
- Operator inexperience
- Reckless driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Distracted driving
- ATV malfunction/defect
- ATV losing traction on paved roads
Common ATV Crash Injuries
ATV accident injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to life-threatening conditions. Some of the most common types of injuries ATV riders face after a crash include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
- Broken ribs and collarbones
- Internal organ damage
- Broken limbs
- Sprains, strains, and muscle tears
- Lacerations and contusions
Staying Safe on All-Terrain Vehicles
The CPSC recommends following these ATV safety tips to prevent severe injuries and fatalities:
- Stay off public roads (ATVs can lose control on paved surfaces)
- Never carry more passengers than there are seats on your vehicle
- Never operate an ATV or OHV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Always wear appropriate protective gear (helmet, eye protection, boots, gloves, and clothing that covers your limbs)
- Never let children ride vehicles that are meant for adults
- Wear seat belts (when applicable)
What to Do After an Accident Involving Off-Highway Vehicles in Montana
If you are involved in an ATV accident in Montana, the best thing you can do is remain calm. Panic is a natural response, but it is not a useful one–in fact, it can cause you to do and say things that damage your potential injury case.
After your accident, take the following steps:
- Check for injuries
- If anyone is seriously injured, call 911
- Even if no one requires immediate medical attention, file a police report
- If you’ve collided with another ATV, exchange contact information with the other ATV operator
- Document the scene of the accident, including injuries, property damage, and the area as a whole
- Report the accident to your insurance company (even if it wasn’t your fault)
- Contact an ATV accident lawyer
Who Is Liable in a Montana ATV Accident?
Depending on the nature of your accident, a number of individuals or organizations may be liable.
If your accident was the result of negligent or irresponsible behavior by an individual, you may be able to file a personal injury case with their insurance company.
If the crash was caused by a defective part on the vehicle itself, the ATV manufacturer may be held liable in a product liability case.
A personal injury lawyer with The Advocates can provide you with a free consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your crash. They can help you determine the best course of action.
How Can a Montana ATV Accident Attorney Help?
Your ATV crash may have left you feeling like your life has been flipped upside down. The Advocates understand, and we’re here to help.
Personal injury claims can be complex, lengthy processes. From proving negligence to negotiating with insurance companies, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when pursuing an injury case. Having a competent, caring professional on your side can make things easier.
The Advocates will work with you to build your case and fight for a fair settlement. We’ll be there 24/7 to answer your questions and help you access the resources you need. With an Advocate on your side, all you need to do is focus on feeling better.
Contact us today for a free consultation. You can speak with an attorney risk-free to determine whether you have a case. If you decide to pursue your case, you won’t pay us a dime out of pocket–in fact, we only get paid if we win your case and you receive a settlement.
For your convenience, we operate offices in Billings, Great Falls, Missoula, and Lewistown. If you can’t make it to our office, we’ll come to you.
You deserve an ATV accident lawyer who puts your needs first. You deserve an Advocate.