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Frequently Asked Questions About Massachusetts ATV Accidents

1. What will I need to prove in a Massachusetts ATV accident claim in order to obtain compensation?

In order to obtain compensation for injuries and other damages sustained in a Massachusetts ATV or other recreational vehicle accident, the injured victim must first prove the negligence of a third party to insurance companies or the court. Liable parties often include another motor vehicle operator, a manufacturer or a technician.

Proving negligence involves first demonstrating that the Massachusetts accident caused harm, such as property damage, injury or death. The plaintiff must then show that this harm was caused by another party’s recklessness or carelessness. The third party, once proven at fault for the accident and subsequent damages, will then be held responsible for compensating the plaintiff.

2. What happens if I am found partially responsible for the Massachusetts ATV accident?

In a Massachusetts ATV accident, where more than one party’s negligence contributed to the accident, the legal doctrine of comparative negligence comes into play. According to Massachusetts law, if the party that was injured in the ATV accident is found to be partially at fault for the accident, that person’s compensation may be reduced or completely barred.

Massachusetts uses a proportional form of comparative negligence that entitles an injured party to recover a portion of their damages if he or she is less than 51% at fault for the accident. If it is decided that the plaintiff is less than 51% at fault for the accident, but still partially responsible for its occurrence, the plaintiff’s recoverable damages will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault.

Juries and insurance companies generally use predetermined formulas to decide the percentage of liability. Our Massachusetts ATV accident injury attorneys understand how this number is calculated, and will negotiate with insurance companies to reduce your percentage of fault and make sure that you receive full and just compensation.

3. What are the age restrictions for operating an ATV in Massachusetts?

No person younger than 14 years of age is legally permitted to operate an ATV. Children between the ages of 14 and 16 must always be supervised by an adult and are not allowed to operate an ATV with an engine capacity exceeding 90 cubic centimeters. Young ATV operators under the age of 16 ½ are prohibited from operating an ATV on a public road or highway unless they are supervised by an adult. Supervising adults must be 18 years of age or older and remain close enough to the young ATV operator to maintain visual and verbal contact. If an injury or operational offense is committed by the young operator, the supervising adult may be held liable.

4. Where can I recover money for my Massachusetts ATV accident?

Generally, money is recovered from insurance companies. Many Massachusetts insurance companies now offer insurance coverage for ATVs. In some cases, the homeowner’s insurance of the ATV owner may cover the damages sustained in a Massachusetts ATV accident. If coverage is available, the process to recover money is essentially the same as in a Massachusetts car accident. If the negligent party is uninsured, or you do not have sufficient insurance to pay for all of your damages, you should consult an experienced Massachusetts ATV accident lawyer to discuss your other legal options, which may include seeking direct compensation from the negligent party.

5. My child was injured while riding an ATV. Is he/she entitled to receive compensation?

Your child may be entitled to compensation if he or she was injured while operating someone else’s ATV without adult supervision or without your permission. He or she may also be able to recover money if the injuries were caused by defective equipment on the ATV. One of our experienced Massachusetts ATV accident injury attorneys can help you further understand your legal options and entitlements.

6. Could the government be liable for my ATV accident?

The government may be found liable for negligence if a defect on a public road causes an ATV accident. If, for example, a road sign that is supposed to warn about an intersection or another hazard is hidden by foliage, absent, faded or illegible, the government may be held responsible for damages arising out of a Massachusetts accident. However, there are many rules and time limits regarding filing a Massachusetts recreational vehicle accident injury claim against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You should consult with an expert Massachusetts ATV accident injury lawyer to more fully understand your rights.

7. What can I do to prevent a Massachusetts ATV accident?

Adherence to safety rules can allow you to greatly reduce the risk of a Massachusetts ATV accident. ATV operators are required to wear a helmet, and should seriously consider wearing other safety gear in order to minimize injuries in the case of an accident. ATV drivers should know their personal limits, based on their age, experience and skill, as well as the limits of their vehicle. All equipment, including lights and brakes, should be periodically checked and kept in working order. ATVs should not be
operated in inclement weather conditions, and operators should always ride with a group. Massachusetts ATV drivers should operate at low speeds when in crowded areas, such as camp grounds, and should always yield to other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Young operators under the age of 16 should only operate ATVs appropriate to their size, and only under adult supervision. No passengers should ride on a single-rider vehicle. Riders should not tamper with the equipment on their ATV, such as adding a seat for a passenger, or operate an ATV that is not fully functioning. Finally, Massachusetts ATV operators should try to avoid riding on paved roadways or other roads that are high in traffic.

8. What is the Massachusetts Statute of Limitations for bringing an ATV accident claim?

Massachusetts is governed by a statute of limitations which restricts the time you have to file a claim after your accident. If you do not file your ATV accident claim in court within this time period, you may lose your rights to compensation. It is therefore critical that you contact one of our expert Boston, MA recreational vehicle accident injury attorneys today at 617-787-3700 or email us at info@gilhoylaw.com. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Call us today!
If You or Someone Close to You Has Been Injured in a Massachusetts ATV Accident, Contact Our Expert Massachusetts ATV Accident Personal Injury Attorney Experts Today at 617-787-3700 or Email Us at info@gilhoylaw.com. Our Boston, MA ATV Accident Lawyer Specialists Are Available 24/7.