Anyone who contributes to the injury of a child on an ATV could be found liable for the consequences of an accident. A negligent ATV driver or a car driver involved in a crash could be to blame. A parent who allows a child who is too small to drive an ATV might also face liability.
The owners of an ATV rental business or property owners where the accident occurred might also be liable for the young victim’s well-being. If another party is responsible for a terrible accident, the child’s family could seek help with medical bills by filing a claim directed at the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
Do I Need a Lawyer After My Child is Injured in a California ATV Accident?
If your child is dealing with more than a few minor scrapes and cuts, you should speak with a skilled California ATV Accident Lawyer about your options. If someone’s mistake or a company’s negligence contributed to a serious injury, those parties must be held accountable for the cost of the best medical care available.
Children can suffer broken arms and legs, spine damage, and head trauma in an ATV collision or rollover. They may initially heal, but with their bodies still developing those old injuries can end up affecting their development in their teen and young adult years. They’ll need enough in support to cover the potential for future surgeries and physical therapy.
Maison Law offers a free, no-obligation consultation to families who have had a loved one injured in an accident. Our lawyers work on behalf of the child to identify every party that may bear blame in what happened. We then demand the most in compensation possible for the victim and the victim’s family. Please contact us after a serious accident for a free case review.
California Laws Protect Children on ATVs
The California State Parks website lays out how children and adults must wear approved helmets when riding an ATV on public land.
California doesn’t allow ATVs on highways. For that reason you don’t have to have a driver’s license to operate one. California also doesn’t require riders to have insurance. However, to ride in certain areas, you could need ATV accident insurance.
Child operators may not need a driver’s license, but they will probably need proof they have taken an ATV Safety Certificate. These rules for children are laid out in Vehicle Codes CVC 38503 and 38504:
- Drivers from 14 to 17 years old cannot ride without an adult unless they complete a safety course and have a certificate showing their completion.
- Children under 14 years old must take the safety course before they can ride. They must also be directly supervised by a parent or guardian or someone authorized by a parent. The parent must have a certificate showing their completion of an ATV safety course.
Something else for parents to keep in mind, all ATV riders must be able to reach the gas and brake pedals and use all ATV controls. Parents can be liable if they place children on an ATV that’s too big for them.
Parents who break these rules can also face multiple fines that increase with each violation. They must also understand that they put their children at additional risk when allowing them to ride an ATV alone.
Who Is Responsible for An ATV Accident that Hurts a Child?
ATV accidents don’t just happen when drivers are jumping hills or racing through forests. The same as on any California freeway, the biggest danger often comes from other motorists. Drivers on other ATVs and in full-size 4×4 trucks can place those in vulnerable ATVs in extreme danger.
If a child is hurt in an accident, these and other parties may be liable for providing support for hospital bills and other damages to the family:
Another ATV Driver – Other ATV drivers could make reckless moves that put themselves and other ATV occupants in danger. Parents and their children can be thrown from an ATV in a collision and suffer a second impact with the ground. The reckless stunts that unsafe ATV driver try can make them liable for any collisions and injuries.
A Driver in a Car, Truck, or SUV – People in cars, trucks, and SUVs sometimes share off-road paths with ATVs. The motorists in larger vehicles must show a “duty of care” for young drivers who are vulnerable without seatbelts, airbags, and four metal walls. Families would demand help from a car insurance company if a driver’s careless mistake caused a crash.
ATV Rental Company – An ATV rental company should provide safe machines for riders to use. Victims forced into ATV accidents can sue companies and seek full compensation to make sure the child has enough money to afford the best medical care available.
Tour Company – An ATV touring company must provide safe vehicles and safe paths for tourists. A failure to provide a safe journey could result in a lawsuit for anyone who is injured.
ATV Manufacturer – The ATV maker may allow a design flaw or defect to be sold to customers. A tire maker could also be liable for a blown-out tire risk that causes an overturned ATV accident. An ignored recall on a certain model of ATV could also lead to a lawsuit if a child is hurt.
Property Owners – Riding on someone’s property could lead to a lawsuit over unsafe roadways or hazardous manmade obstacles if you or your loved one are hurt.
The State of California – A government department such as the State Parks Department could be liable for an accident officials know about a hazard on public lands but don’t warn riders about it. If a child ATV driver is hurt due to a rockslide or a damaged path, California officials may be found liable.
Contact a California ATV Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one are the victims of a careless driver, take advantage of a free case consultation from a real California ATV Accident Lawyer with Maison Law. This evaluation comes with no obligation to you or your family. We only want to make sure you and your child receive the proper support to make a full physical and financial recovery.
Remember, you won’t need any money upfront to hire a lawyer to represent your family. Maison Law doesn’t get paid unless we win your case. Then our fee comes out of the settlement money you are awarded. We want to handle the frustrating battles with insurance companies for you so that you and your child are allowed to focus on recovery in peace.