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Montana ATV Accident Lawyer

All-terrain vehicles are a popular form of recreation in Montana, but accidents can happen easily. ATV operators often speed or attempt dangerous stunts while driving, putting passengers, occupants of other ATVs, and bystanders in danger. ATV crashes can cause serious injuries, property damage, and emotional trauma.

The Advocates’ personal injury attorneys have been representing ATV accident victims for three decades, and we are ready to help you too. We are committed to helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.

If you need an experienced, caring attorney for your ATV accident claim, contact The Advocates law firm today for a free consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Not every accident requires an attorney. However, if the accident resulted in injuries or significant property damage, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process, which can be lengthy and complex. Your attorney will build your case, keep track of your medical records, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Studies have shown that accident victims who hire a personal injury lawyer can receive settlements up to 3.5 times larger than if they settled on their own.

The best way to know if you have a case is to speak with an attorney. The Advocates offer free consultations—you can speak with a qualified legal team to understand what your case is worth without paying a dime. Once you have decided to hire an Advocate, we will investigate your accident to firmly establish liability.

Your initial consultation with us is always 100% free. There are never any upfront costs or hidden fees when you hire The Advocates.

Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that our attorney fees are calculated as a percentage of your settlement. You will not pay us unless we win your case, and you receive a settlement.

Every personal injury case is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to accident claims. The length of the claims process will depend on the severity of your injuries, the willingness of the other party to settle, the court’s caseload, and more.

In general, personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to a few years. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get your case started. Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, after which you will lose your right of action.

When you hire The Advocates, we will begin investigating your accident immediately while you finish medical treatment. Once all evidence and medical records have been compiled, your attorney will send a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company. At this point, negotiations will begin.

In many cases, a settlement can be reached during negotiations. If the other party refuses to make a fair offer, you may choose to file a suit. In the litigation phase, your attorney will represent you in court in front of a judge, jury, and/or arbitrator.

A Team of Legal Professionals Assigned to Your Case

For nearly 30 years, The Advocates have helped thousands of personal injury victims receive the compensation and care they deserve after their accidents, and we are prepared to do the same for you. 

We can help you:

  • Understand the claims process
  • Access medical care and other treatment such as physical therapy
  • Investigate your accident
  • Build your case
  • Negotiate with insurance adjusters

You only pay if we win your case!


Talking to a Professional

  • No need to schedule an appointment
  • No need to wait for an email response
  • Free online consultation
  • Talk directly with an attorney

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Montana ATV Accident Statistics


85% of ATV fatalities are male.

Montana state ATV accident statistics  

  • In the years from 1982-2017, 160 people were killed in ATV accidents in Montana
  • According to the NHTSA, in approximately 39% of fatal ATV accidents, the driver of the ATV had a BAC of over 0.08
  • Most ATV occupants killed in accidents are 15-24 years old
  • Distracted driving contributes to more than 30% of all Montana ATV accidents annually
  • Around 85% of ATV fatalities nationwide are males
  • In recent years, ATV accidents have claimed the lives of residents of Kalispell, Shepherd, Missoula, Billings, Havre, and Bozeman

Common causes of ATV accidents

  • Impaired driving: ATV accidents are far more likely to happen when the operator is under the influence
  • Riding illegally: ATVs and UTVs (such as side-by-sides) are only permitted on public roads if they are street-legal. Riding ATVs that are not permitted on highways can increase the risk of accidents with cars or other vehicles
  • Reckless riding: Because ATVs are typically ridden in rural areas, many operators may be tempted to drive too quickly, take corners too sharp, or perform other dangerous maneuvers
  • Children riding without supervision: Inexperienced operators are 13 times more likely to crash in their first month of riding than other operators
  • Riding with too many passengers: ATVs should only carry the number of passengers they are built for. Riding with extra people on board increases the risk of a crash
ATV on it's side on a trail
Common ATV injuries

Common ATV accident injuries 

Depending on the nature of your accident, ATV accident injuries can range from mild to life-threatening. Some common ATV crash injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations and bruising

Montana ATV Laws


What is considered an ATV in Montana

What is considered an ATV under Montana law?

Off-highway vehicles are defined as a “self-propelled vehicle used for recreation or cross-country travel on public lands, trails, easements, lakes, rivers, or streams.”

This definition includes:

  • Motorcycles
  • Quadricycles/ATVs
  • Dune buggies
  • Amphibious vehicles

The definition does not include snowmobiles or vehicles designed primarily for water travel.

Where are ATVs allowed to ride?

ATVs are typically allowed on public land and trails. Some trails prohibit motor vehicles, so be sure to familiarize yourself with local laws before riding.

In order to ride on public land, an ATV must be registered with the Montana Motor Vehicle Department. To register an ATV for off-road use, an operator must pay a one-time registration fee and a yearly fee for the Montana Highway Patrol.

To use an ATV on highways, it must be registered as a street-legal ATV, which requires additional fees. Some roadways do not allow ATVs, even if they are street legal (limited-access freeways, for example).

Shocked woman sits beside her ATV after a crash
Happy family safely rides ATVs near water

How old does a person need to be to operate an ATV in Montana?

To operate an ATV on public roads or highways, the operator must have a valid driver’s license (16 years old or older) OR have completed an off-highway vehicle safety education course and be accompanied by a person who possesses a valid driver’s license (ages 12-15). 

A person under 12 may operate an ATV on unpaved roads or highways if they are accompanied by an adult.

Are helmets required on ATVs?

Helmets are required for those under 18 years of age when an ATV is ridden on streets or highways.

Helmet on top of an ATV
Auxiliary light on an ATV

What must an ATV be equipped with to drive?

All ATVs must be equipped with a state-approved muffler and a spark arrester.

In order to be street-legal, your ATV must have the following:

  • Driver’s side mirror
  • Horn
  • Headlight
  • Brake lights
  • Brakes

What is the statute of limitations for ATV accidents?

For any personal injury case, a plaintiff only has a certain amount of time to file their claim. After that time period is up, they lose their right of action. This is referred to as the statute of limitations.

In Montana, the statute of limitations for ATV accident cases is 3 years. However, it is a good idea to file your claim much sooner than that. Personal injury cases can take a long time to settle, so it is a good idea to give yourself as much time as possible before the statute of limitations is up. As soon as you think you may have a case, contact a personal injury lawyer so they may begin working on your claim.

Attorneys and clients talk about accident case

When Should I Hire an ATV Accident Attorney?


If you were injured in an ATV accident due to someone else’s negligence, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault in order to receive any damages. Montana is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that you must be found less responsible for the accident than the other party in order to receive a settlement. Your claim will be reduced depending on how much responsibility you are found to have had in causing the accident.

The Advocates personal injury attorneys have helped thousands of accident victims reclaim the damages they suffered, and we are ready to help you too. We will be there to help you build your case, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and answer any questions you may have.

From the moment you contact us to the day your case is settled, your Advocate will be there for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. You deserve peace of mind. You deserve an Advocate.

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