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Articles Posted in ATV Accidents

atv.jpgAt Michaels & Smolak, we’ve seen a lot of bad ATV accidents in Central New York. From our perspective as New York ATV accident lawyers, the best cases are those in which the accident was not the injured guy’s (our client’s) fault. But unfortunately, many times severely injured victims of ATV crashes are themselves to blame.

The Good news about ATV accidents is that there are fewer of them than before. ATV Deaths and accidents have been going down steadily year after year since 2006. That’s because ATV’s are built safer, in part because of lawsuits brought by lawyers like me forcing manufacturers to make them safer. (Remember the old three-wheelers, and the tip-over accidents that plagued them? Personal injury lawyers sued them into oblivion!)

But there are still too many ATV accidents. This blog post is aimed at helping ATV users, and their parents, avoid accidents (and tickets!).

atv.jpgWhen I read the story this morning about a Pulaski ATV operator who was killed when his neck ran into a wire strung across a private trail in Albion, I got that “déjà vu” experience. I handled a similar case about 4 years ago. That case involved a dirt bike rider on a trail down in the Watkins Glen area. In that case, there were little red plastic flags strung along the wire that had worn out and become almost invisible with time. The owner had meant to prohibit entry onto the trail. We resolved this case with a settlement.

This Albion ATV accident happened on private trail. The owner of the trail might be held liable, depending on the facts. Some important facts a New York personal injury lawyer would consider are: (1) Who put the wire there (was it deliberately installed by the trail owner to keep users off, or was it placed there by some unknown persons as a kind of cruel joke? Obviously, it will be much easier to prove liability if the owner placed it there or had notice that it was there); (2) Was the wire visible or did it have visible markings on it? (This accident happened at about 8:50 p.m., so visibility would probably be minimal or non-existent); and (3) Were there any prior signs or warnings to stay off the trail?

If the owner meant to keep ATV riders and others off his property, this was a dangerous and cruel way to do so. Let’s hope that was not the case.

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