All-Terrain Vehicles, or ATVs, are used for both recreational and rescue purposes, provide easy access to off-road areas. The rising popularity of ATVs for both work and play has unfortunately led to an increase in the number of accidents associated with those vehicles. In fact, ATV riding leads to thousands of injuries and fatalities every year. However, not all of these accidents are the fault of the operator.
Numerous ATV models have been recalled in recent years for a variety of problems, including improper fuel tank placement and faulty brakes. These design flaws render the ATVs unsafe, even when properly used. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed as the result of an ATV defect, protect your rights by letting our experienced Morristown product liability attorneys at The Terry Law Firm handle your case
A lawsuit filed against the manufacturer of a defective consumer good is known as a product liability claim. Although many brands of ATVs have been the subject of product liability lawsuits, one vehicle at the center of many claims is the Yamaha Rhino. First introduced in 2003, the Rhino was intended as a lightweight, off-road “utility terrain vehicle,” or UTV. This UTV was different from an ATV in that riders sat side-by-side, in twin bucket seats, rather than straddling the machine.
Early models of the Rhino had no doors to protect riders’ extremities during rollovers and, despite such dangerous design features, were sold without proper warnings. Due to the open sides, the most frequent Rhino rollover injuries involved crushed arms and legs. In 2006, the company sent warning stickers to owners advising them to keep arms and legs inside the vehicles. In 2007, Yamaha launched a retrofit program to install doors and a passenger handhold on the UTVs. By 2008, all Rhino models had undergone a design change with side doors added.
Even with these changes, victims contend the Rhino suffers from a design flaw and is inherently unstable due to its narrow stance, high center of gravity, and a powerful engine. Accidents involving severe head, spine, and limb injuries have been reported, and more than 200 lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an ATV accident that was due to a manufacturing defect, you may be able to recover damages. Although no amount of money can make up for a personal injury or wrongful death, compensation can lessen the financial burden of an already difficult time. Our Morristown product liability attorney team will serve as your advocate to help you obtain compensation for such costs as medical bills, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, and loss of earnings.
To discuss your case during a free consultation, call us today at (423) 536-6220.