All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Dirt Bike use is a popular pastime outside of major cities in Ontario, particularly in rural communities and areas with a high volume of cottages and summer properties. Used for both leisure and work activities, these vehicles can be dangerous if operated improperly. In Ontario, hundreds of ATV accidents are documented every year, many of which result in serious injury or death.
Common reasons for ATV and Dirt bike accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Collisions with oncoming traffic on roads or trails
- Failure to wear a helmet/protective gear
- Driver negligence including intoxication
- Unmaintained roads or trails
- Manufacturer defect
The most prominent injuries sustained as a result of ATV and Dirt Bike accidents include: fractures; head and neck injuries; spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other neurological and orthopaedic injuries.
With over 30 years of experience handling ATV and Dirt Bike accident cases, the team at Futerman Partners LLP can help you navigate these off-road vehicle accident claims and pursue appropriate legal action when warranted. Call us today.
Laws Regarding ATV Use in Ontario
Operating an ATV in the Province of Ontario requires adherence to the following rules and regulations under the Off-Road Vehicles Act (ORVA).
- Operators must be 12 years of age or older, while driving beyond the owner’s property, unless they are under the direct supervision of an adult
- Drivers and passengers must wear an approved motorcycle helmet if used beyond the owner’s property
- Passengers are not permitted while riding on public roads
- The vehicle must be insured if used beyond the owner’s property
In addition, the driver can directly cross a highway where permitted, if they are at least 16 years old and hold a valid driver’s license (G2 or M2 license or higher). When operating an ATV along a roadway, drivers must comply with Ontario’s drinking and driving laws. However, a driver will generally be held liable for damages, along with the owner, if an ATV is operated under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance on private property, Crown land or a trail system at any time.
It is important to understand that the owner of an ATV must not only purchase insurance for the vehicle if driven off the owners’ property with liability coverage and coverage for Statutory Accident Benefits (No Fault Benefits), but the owner is liable under the ORVA, along with the permitted driver, for any personal injury or death caused by negligence.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ATV or dirt bike accident and believe a third party is responsible, contact Futerman Partners LLP today. We can provide the strong legal support you need to receive the compensation you deserve.