Missouri ATV Accident Lawyer on Crash That Killed Kansas City Man

By April 24, 2009ATV Accidents

As a Missouri ATV crash attorney, I was disappointed to see that a young man died in an ATV crash near Kansas City April 11. Television station KMBC reported April 13 that Jeffrey Gervy was riding ATVs with a friend around 8 p.m. near a warehouse, when his friend swerved to avoid a puddle. Gervy hit the puddle, slipped and was thrown from his ATV, hitting his unhelmeted head on the pavement. He was taken to the hospital, where he died of unspecified injuries.
If you don’t know anyone who uses an ATV or any Missouri ATV injury lawyers, you may not realize how dangerous these vehicles can be. An ATV — all-terrain vehicle — is a three- or four-wheeled vehicle specifically intended for off-road use. Though some are used for work, most ATVs are used by hobbyists who enjoy off-road driving. But despite their off-road use, many ATVs are actually highly likely to roll over when they encounter the sorts of obstacles and rough patches that off-roading presents. Like sport-utility vehicles, ATVs have a high center of gravity that makes them easy to tip over, even during apparently routine riding. Unlike SUVs, ATVs don’t have a steel-reinforced cage, air bags or seat belts to keep their occupants safe.
In an accident, that means that ATV riders have virtually no protection, aside from perhaps a helmet. Missouri state law requires helmets for riders 17 and under, but adults are free to go without. By contrast, helmets are required for all motorcyclists in Missouri, regardless of age. In fact, a 2003 study of trauma patient hospital admissions for ATV and motorcycle accidents found that both vehicles caused roughly the same amount of fatal accidents — and ATVs actually had a much higher incidence of head injuries. Complicating things further is the fact that children legally can and do ride ATVs, even those that are too big and powerful for the youngest riders. These safety problems contributed to an alarming 180% increase in fatal ATV accidents between 1995 and 2004, according to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Despite these dangers, ATV manufacturers have not added more safety features to their vehicles or strengthened warnings significantly — and regulators have not followed up. If this failure to correct defects or warn riders results in a serious ATV accident, victims have the right to hold manufacturers legally responsible for their injuries, including catastrophic injuries like brain damage, amputation and paralysis. Our St. Louis ATV crash attorneys represent people throughout Missouri and southern Illinois who have lost a loved one or been catastrophically injured in crashes involving unsafe or defective ATVs. If you are in this situation and you’re ready to take action, Carey, Danis & Lowe can help. To set up a free consultation on your rights and your case, please contact us online or call toll-free at 1-877-678-3400.