ATV Accident Lawyer


In 2022 alone, Missouri saw approximately 300 All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) crashes. Most of these accidents resulted in serious injuries, and some proved fatal. These statistics have prompted the Missouri State Highway Patrol to sound the alarm, especially since so many victims of ATV accidents are children.

The aftermath of a serious ATV accident in Missouri can be highly distressing for families, and victims may require extensive medical treatment. These accidents may also lead to income loss, disfigurement, emotional distress, and a wide range of additional damages. Many ATV accidents prove fatal, leaving families with unpaid medical bills, funeral costs, and lifetimes of grief.

From a legal standpoint, ATV accidents often cause confusion – and they may be more complex compared to standard auto accident claims. Due to these factors, a victim often chooses to work alongside a dedicated ATV accident attorney in Missouri. These legal professionals understand the complexities of ATV accidents, and they can help plaintiffs strive for fair compensation with targeted strategies. If you or a loved one has experienced an ATV accident, book a free consultation with Sotiriou Wilmowski.

Types of ATV Accidents

Due to the versatility of ATVs and the variability of offroad terrain, a wide range of accidents are possible:

Rollover ATV Accidents: Rollover ATV accidents are among the most deadly. These vehicles are heavy enough to crush riders, and this type of accident may be especially dangerous for small children.

An ATV may roll backward onto a rider after an attempt to climb a steep hill. ATVs may also roll sideways after riders attempt turns at excessive speeds. Finally, an ATV might roll forward, crushing an ejected rider after a bump or jump. These accidents may be exacerbated by a lack of helmet use. Furthermore, ATVs are especially prone to rollovers due to their high center of gravity.

Ejections: An ejection accident tosses a rider from their ATV, and these incidents can easily prove catastrophic. After falling from an ATV, riders may strike their heads on rocks and other solid objects, causing brain injuries.

They might also suffer broken bones or spinal cord injuries – especially at high speeds. Those following in other ATVs might inadvertently run over fallen riders. Ejections can occur without warning, even after a slight bump or pothole. These accidents are especially common at high speeds or after impacts with stationary objects, and most ATVs do not have seatbelts.


Collisions with Trees: When an ATV collides with a tree, the impact can eject a rider forward – causing catastrophic head injuries. Numerous fatalities occur each year in this manner, and riders without helmets are especially vulnerable. Trees are surprisingly sturdy – crushing even the heaviest ATVs in high-speed impacts. Other stationary objects can cause similar accidents, including boulders, fences, walls, and even wild animals.

Submersions: ATV riders may travel near rivers, ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water. Some ATV accidents end with riders submerged, and this poses additional drowning hazards. These accidents are especially dangerous if riders lose consciousness prior to submersions, as they might be unable to swim to safety.

Collisions with Other Vehicles: ATV accident victims may have collided with other motor vehicles, including road cars, golf carts, UTVs, and other ATVs. These collisions can easily lead to fatal or catastrophic injuries.

Mechanical Failures: Some ATV accidents are caused entirely by mechanical failures or defects. This might involve failing brakes, faulty suspensions, tire blowouts, and so on.

High speeds: Some ATVs are capable of speeds higher than 80 miles per hour. Generally speaking, it is easier to lose control at higher speeds – and this loss of control may lead to ejections, collisions with trees, rollovers, and other accidents.

Common Causes of ATV Accidents

ATV accidents may be caused by a range of complex factors, like inexperience, intoxication, other drivers, or high speeds.

Inexperienced riders are more prone to ATV crashes, and this is especially true with unsupervised children. Inexperienced riders are more likely to violate basic safety rules, including riding double. They may also be less familiar with the local terrain, and they often make the mistake of riding on paved roads. ATVs are designed only for offroad conditions, and they suffer from poor performance on paved roads.

Intoxicated ATV riders can easily cause serious accidents. These are recreational vehicles, after all, and the recreational use of drugs and alcohol among ATV riders should perhaps come as no surprise.

Product defects can cause ATV accidents even in the complete absence of human error. Over the years, manufacturers have been forced to recall numerous ATV models for a variety of issues that increase the risk of accidents.

Reckless drivers can cause even the most responsible ATV riders to suffer injuries. ATVs can collide with each other and a range of other vehicles in Missouri.

Unsafe speeds can easily cause ATV accidents. In Missouri, it can be illegal to operate an ATV at a speed higher than 30 miles per hour. Specific trails may also have their own rules, and a posted speed limit of 10 miles per hour is common.

The Importance of Determining Fault in an ATV Accident

Determining fault is both complex and important after an ATV accident in Missouri. Unlike many other states, Missouri does not mandate insurance for ATV riders. In other words, you cannot turn to an insurance provider for compensation in the same way as you would after a normal car crash. As a result, you need to find another source of potential income – and this requires you to determine fault. If you work with your ATV accident lawyer and identify a potentially liable party, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries.

While ATV insurance is not mandatory in Missouri, it is available. If you have this type of coverage, you could potentially pursue compensation without filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Your lawyer can help you file an accident claim through your ATV insurance provider, and this should lead to relatively straightforward compensation.

If you do not have ATV accident insurance and you cannot determine fault, it may be impossible to pursue compensation – highlighting the need for effective legal representation. Even if you believe that no one caused your accident, a lawyer can uncover subtle signs of negligence that you haven’t considered. For example, your accident might have been caused by a mechanical defect that you never noticed.

How to Prevent an ATV Accident and Serious Injuries

The Missouri Department of Social Services outlines several steps to prevent ATV accidents and serious injuries:

  • Never let a child under the age of six ride an ATV
  • Always make sure that children over the age of six ride ATVs appropriate for their age
  • Always supervise children riding ATVs
  • Make sure that children wear helmets while riding ATVs
  • Wear additional safety equipment, such as goggles, boots, and gloves
  • Never ride double in an ATV designed for one person
  • Avoid steep slopes and rocky terrain

Let us help you

As former insurance defense lawyers, personal injury attorneys Deme Sotiriou and Tom Wilmowski of Sotiriou Wilmowski pride themselves on using their inside knowledge of the insurance industry to obtain maximum value — and often more — for their clients.

ATV Accident Liability

The question of fault is a common concern after ATV accidents in Missouri, and you could potentially hold numerous parties accountable.

Suing as an ATV Passenger in Missouri

If you were injured as an ATV passenger, you could sue the driver for any injuries you sustained. They may have had a duty of care to ensure your safety.

Filing a Product Liability Claim After an ATV Accident

If your accident was caused by some kind of product defect, you might file a product liability claim against the ATV manufacturer. For example, the manufacturer might have knowingly distributed an ATV with faulty brakes.

Suing a Negligent Road Motorist After an ATV Accident

If your accident was caused by a road motorist, you could sue the driver. This may function in exactly the same way as a pedestrian or cyclist accident claim.

Suing Parents for ATV Accidents

If you were injured by a child riding an ATV without proper supervision, it may be possible to sue the parents. If they knowingly allowed an inexperienced child to take their ATV out for a ride, they could be liable for any resulting damages.

Contact an ATV Accident Lawyer

Thinking about legal recourse after an ATV accident can be challenging, especially if you’re preoccupied with medical treatments and psychological trauma. Although internet research represents a positive first step, you might consider enlisting the help of an ATV accident lawyer to address these concerns.

After a consultation, an injury lawyer in Missouri may be able to pursue compensation on your behalf while you focus on healing. This might include gathering evidence of negligence, following up with your health care providers, negotiating for fair settlements, and much more. To discuss your legal options and begin this important process, book a consultation with Sotiriou Wilmowski today.

Frequently Asked Questions

In the aftermath of an ATV accident, you might have all kinds of questions on your mind. If you don’t find the answers here, you can always raise these concerns with your ATV accident lawyer during a consultation.

How common are ATV accidents?

Hundreds of ATV accidents occur each year in Missouri. On a national scale, the United States sees hundreds of thousands of ATV accidents – resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths.

What are some of the causes of ATV accidents?

ATV accidents may be caused by a range of human errors, such as recklessness, intoxication, distraction, speeding, and inexperience. However, these accidents may also be related to mechanical issues – such as defective parts, faulty brakes, and so on.

Who can people sue following an ATV injury?

If you were injured in an ATV accident, you can potentially sue a range of parties. First, you could hold an ATV manufacturer liable for distributing defective products. If you were a passenger riding in an ATV, you could potentially sue the driver. If you were operating the ATV alongside passenger road vehicles, you could potentially sue a motorist for causing your crash. Each ATV accident is slightly different – and you should speak to your lawyer to learn who might be liable.

What is the role of personal injury lawyers in ATV accident cases?

Personal injury lawyers provide targeted advice and guidance during initial consultations with victims of ATV accidents. During these discussions, plaintiffs can ask questions and voice concerns. Personal injury lawyers may let plaintiffs know whether pursuing legal action is even worth it. If the lawyer believes that the ATV accident case has clear merits, they may recommend filing a lawsuit. From there, the lawyer can help gather evidence, negotiate for a settlement, and pursue litigation if necessary.

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