Personal Injury Lawyers

ATV Accidents Spike Causing Alarm

When nine year old Tyler Massey was killed on an ATV this past summer in cottage country, our hearts went out to Tyler and his family.   Tyler was one of nine people who died in off-road vehicle (ORV) accidents in 2015, investigated by the OPP. It is the highest number of ORV deaths investigated since 2009! That’s according to a CTV NEWS Orillia report from June 17, 2015.

In a similar story in the Simcoe Reformer by Monte Sonnenberg, (June 16, 2015), The OPP sounded the alarm over the disturbing spike in ATV fatalities to that point in 2015—a year earlier just one person had died in an all-terrain vehicle crash in Ontario as compared to nine fatalities in OPP jurisdiction in 2015. And that was at the midpoint of the year. “The OPP are raising the alarm because carelessness and law-breaking are at the root of the body count,” states Monte Sonnenberg in the article who recounts the OPP statement which says that alcohol was involved in five of the fatalities, while speed was a factor in three. Five of the deceased were not wearing a helmet.”

In a news release, the OPP cautioned Ontarians to “wear a helmet every time—regardless of how short a ride you plan on taking. Don’t include alcohol or drugs in an off-road vehicle outing and keep your speed under control so that you don’t lose control of your vehicle.” Source: Simcoe Reformer, June 16, 2015)

According to the laws relating to ATV use in Ontario under the Off-Road Vehicles Act, operators must be 12 years of age or older, while driving beyond the owner’s property, unless they are under direct supervision of an adult.  Drivers and passengers are required to wear an approved motorcycle helmet, if they are riding beyond the owner’s property.  Ontario’s rules against drinking and driving also apply to ATV drivers operating vehicles on a roadway.

In terms of insurance, the owner of the ATV must have insurance on the vehicle if it is to be driven off the owner’s property including liability coverage as well as Statutory Accident Benefits (No Fault Benefits) coverage.  The owner and permitted driver are liable, under the ORVA, for any personal injury or death caused by negligence.

ATV accidents can result in serious head and neck injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and orthopedic injuries such as torn ligaments or broken bones.  Depending on the extent of the injury, a person could suffer traumatic injury resulting in long-term medical care and even loss of income.  This is why it is important to seek expert legal counsel if you or someone you know has been injured in an ATV accident, or have suffered an accident at the negligence of another,

At Futerman Partners LLP, we have over 30 years of experience and expertise handling ATV accident claims. We will help you get the compensation you deserve under the law. Call us today for a free consultation at 647-496-9619.