Chicago residents like to work hard and play hard, and the city and its surroundings offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Weaving through the woods in an all-terrain vehicle, zipping over Lake Michigan’s waves on a Jet Ski or WaveRunner, or jumping snowdrifts in a snowmobile can be an exhilarating way to spend a day outdoors. However, small recreational vehicles also can be dangerous both for riders and bystanders when riders are inexperienced or not taking proper safety precautions.
Common Types of Injuries in ATV Accidents
When ATVs, dirt bikes, scooters, personal watercraft, or snowmobiles are involved in crashes, injuries can be serious. Some are even fatal. Typically, a rider’s body is exposed with little protection in the event of a crash. Helmets can help prevent traumatic head injuries, but Illinois doesn’t require helmets and many riders choose not to wear them.
Despite their relatively small size, some of these vehicles can reach high speeds, which enhances the possibility of serious injury in a crash. Additionally, these vehicles often are operated in places where the environment presents hazards such as boulders or fallen trees.
Some commonly seen injuries in ATV and other recreational accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Herniated discs in the back or neck
- Broken limbs
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bruises, cuts, and scrapes
Common Causes of Injuries
Illinois doesn’t require people riding most types of recreational vehicles to have an operator’s license, so injuries often may occur just because the rider doesn’t have the proper training or experience to handle the vehicle.
Sometimes injuries happen because the vehicle isn’t properly maintained, or because there was a manufacturing defect. Sometimes they happen because people are drinking and operate the ATV, dirt bike, or watercraft under the influence. When minors are injured using recreational vehicles, it’s often an issue of lack of supervision or lack of safety gear such as kneepads and helmets.
It isn’t only the people operating these types of vehicles who can be hurt. Other people often will be nearby watching the rider, perhaps waiting for a turn on the vehicle. When an ATV or other recreational vehicle crashes into a crowd, injuries can be numerous and severe.
There may be several different avenues for pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages resulting from an ATV or other recreational vehicle accident that will depend upon the circumstances of your claim. In some instances, you may seek compensation from the person who was operating the vehicle. Under other circumstances it may be the vehicle’s owner or the vehicle’s manufacturer. Or it may be the person who owned the property where the accident happened if it was caused by hidden hazards on the property. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate all of the facts and evidence in support of your claim and help you to identify the responsible party, then work to get your bills and other damages paid. Call Staver Law Group at for a free consultation about your ATV accident.