A person who sustains a serious injury on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or in a utility-terrain vehicle (UTV) is in a unique situation than other types of personal injury scenarios. First, the injuries are often much more serious than those involving on-road vehicle, and second, most insurance policies are not clear on coverage for injuries sustained off-road (and, if the policies are clear, they are usually deny coverage for such accidents).
No matter the circumstances of your accident (be it ATV or UTV), we recommend you contact an attorney at East Valley Injury Law for a free consultation regarding your case. Perhaps you were not driving or riding a UTV at all but suffered serious injuries due to a negligent driver striking you while on foot. Whatever your situation, the experienced UTV attorneys at East Valley Injury Law are here to help. We love to ride just as much as you do and have inside knowledge regarding ATV and UTV insurance policies (because we ride) above the average personal injury attorney. We have fought for our clients against insurance companies regarding off-road coverage in Superior Court, US District Court, and even in Appellate Courts.
We have represented people injured at The Imperial Dunes, in Mexico (note: most policies will cover you as long as the accident occurs within 50 miles of the border), on mountain trails, and even on private property. We are the firm to call if you are injured in an off-road accident.
We recently represented a young man injured while driving his grandparents’ UTV. He was on a trail with loose gravel. He made a tight turn and the UTV began to tip onto the driver’s side. He was unaware of the need to keep his arms inside the vehicle when the vehicle rolled (nobody told him about this and he was not familiar with riding UTV’s). As a result, his arm was badly injured and he required several surgeries. We made a claim against his grandparents’ insurance. After a significant battle, the carrier finally realized they were on the losing end and they paid the full 6-figure liability policy limit.
In another (similar) case, we represented a young man whose father told him not to fishtail unless he was in the dunes and on very loose sand. The son was riding as a passenger with the father driving. The father was (in his own words) “showing off” as he approached camp (just south of the border and not in dunes) by fishtailing. The vehicle went onto its side and skidded. The son put his hand out to prevent his head from slamming onto the ground. The son lost some fingers on his dominant hand. We were able to secure a 7-figure settlement for the son against his father’s policy.
In yet another recent case, our client was at his friend’s birthday party. His friend purchased a new UTV for his birthday and was allowing people to drive it in his backyard. The driver decided to do doughnuts and the UTV tipped. Our client put his hand down and received significant injuries. The insurance company claimed it the policy was 1) not yet in place; and 2) did not cover off-road accidents. We were able to beat both of these arguments and receive a high 6-figure settlement for our client whose hand was badly injured.
It is important to note that in each of these claims, the policy owner was either a friend or a relative. You and I have insurance coverage on our UTV’s and ATV’s for a number of reasons. One reason is to protect our assets. Another (probably more important reason) is to provide coverage for family members and friends who are injured due to the reckless use of our machines.
Some people are reluctant to bring a claim against a family member or friend. Before we ever do so, we talk with our clients and, if our client asks this of us, we reach out to the family member or friend and let them know we do not want to go after any of their personal assets, but only want to make sure the insurance company pays what they have contracted to pay and for which the family member or friend has been paying premiums.
If you, a family member, or friend has been injured while riding a UTV or ATV, please give our firm a call.