You may find yourself in need of an ORV lawyer if you have been in an ORV accident.
After a serious off-road vehicle accident, you could be facing mountains of medical expenses and be unable to work or pay for rent and other necessities. What insurance will pay for, and who you may sue to cover your expenses, will depend on what happened, and where.
ORV Lawyer: Off-Road Vehicles On the Road
Off-road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) aren’t designed for highway driving. Their tires are usually too soft to handle potholes and their engines are too small to move at the high speeds necessary to keep up with traffic. But that doesn’t mean ORV accidents don’t happen on the road. Collisions with cars often happen at ATV crossings or along the shoulders of the roadway.
When an ORV accident is the result of a motor vehicle – directly or indirectly – you are entitled to no-fault benefits from an auto insurer. If you have a no-fault policy covering a car in your name, you can a claim file for First Party benefits against that policy. If not, you may be able to claim benefits from the driver’s policy, the vehicle owner’s policy, or as part of the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
Any time no-fault insurance is involved, you are entitled to recover:
- 100% of all reasonably necessary medical expenses
- 80% of lost wages up to 3 years
- Attendant care costs up to 3 years
Off-Road ATV Injuries
When you take your ORV on the trails, you have fewer options. Michigan law places strict limits on “premises liability” for people using ORVs. If you are injured while riding on someone else’s property, you probably won’t be able to sue the property owner for the injury.
If you have health insurance, your medical expenses will still be covered. But you will likely have to pay deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance costs. Health insurance also doesn’t cover any of the non-medical costs that come up when you are unable to work. For that, you will need to turn to any optional short-term disability insurance. This may be provided through your employer or you may have purchased a plan individually.
Children on ORVs
All too often, the people who are injured in ORV accidents are children. Michigan law requires kids to go through ORV safety training before hitting the trails. But all too often, children will ride ATVs too big for them to control, or will not be able to respond fast enough to an emergency situation. If you are going to let your child ride, make sure their ATV suits them:
- 70cc to 90cc engines are appropriate for children over 12 years of age.
- 90cc or higher engines should only be used by people 16 years old or older.
If a child is injured because a parent or custodian provided negligent supervision, it is sometimes possible for the child (by a legal representative) to sue the parent to get access to that parent’s liability insurance. If your child has been severely injured in an ATV accident, talk to the attorneys at Christensen Law, an Ann Arbor ORV Lawyer, to see if there may be a claim.