Many people in Madison, Wisconsin, ride Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) for fun and recreation or as work vehicles around their farms and land. However, UTV/ATVs can seriously injure occupants in accidents because they lack many of the safety features found in other vehicles and can roll over or eject their occupants.
If you suffered severe injuries or lost a close family member in a UTV/ATV accident someone else caused, you could obtain compensation from those responsible.
Contact an experienced Madison UTV/ATV accident attorney at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers for help with the complex and challenging process of establishing liability and getting compensation.
Our attorneys have extensive experience helping injured Wisconsin residents with their injury claims, and we can get the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today for your free consultation.
Why Choose Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers for Your UTV/ATV Accident Claim
The top-ranked personal injury attorneys at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers have decades of combined experience, and we have recovered more than $55 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Some of our notable successes with UTV/ATV accidents include:
- $500,000 for a side-by-side accident victim
- $475,000 for a family that suffered injuries in a UTV accident
- $175,000 for a UTV accident victim
Although we can’t guarantee how much money you will receive, we can promise to fight zealously for you to increase your chances of getting the maximum amount possible. We will work diligently to prepare a strong case for you, and we will protect your rights and advocate on your behalf at all stages of the process.
Our law firm has received numerous five-star reviews and powerful testimonials from our satisfied clients, so you can rest easy knowing a trusted legal professional will handle your claim. Contact us today for a free review of your UTV/ATV accident injury claim and find out how we can help you get the compensation you need.
What’s the Difference Between a UTV and ATV?
UTVs and ATVs come in various classes and sizes, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires owners to register their vehicles if they meet certain specifications. Those vehicles that do not meet the registration requirements may operate on private land only with the consent of the landowner.
The registration requirements for UTVs and ATVs in Wisconsin are as follows:
- ATV: An ATV has a net weight of 900 pounds or less with a manufactured width of 50 inches or less. They have a single seat the rider must straddle to ride. ATVs may have three or four wheels, and are known as three-wheelers, four-wheelers, or quads.
- UTV: A UTV has a net weight of 3,000 pounds or less without fluids with four or more tires, a steering wheel, two headlights, a brake light, and a tail light. The vehicle must not exceed 65 inches wide and must have seat belts and a roll cage to reduce the likelihood of a rollover crash crushing occupants. These vehicles are also called side-by-sides since two occupants can sit next to each other.
On average, Wisconsin reports around 49 UTV accidents per year, with 37 injuries and six fatalities, along with 114 ATV accidents that result in 96 injuries and 16 fatalities.
Wisconsin Registration Requirements for UTVs/ATVs
The Wisconsin DNR offers several types of registrations for UTVs/ATVs:
- Public registration - For use on public trails, road routes, private property, and frozen waterways. It is not valid for agricultural use.
- Private use, agricultural registration - For using the vehicle for an agricultural purpose, such as transporting implements, equipment, supplies, and products on or between farms, as well as public roads as long as it provides an agricultural purpose. Does not include operation on public lands open to other UTVs/ATVs or frozen waterways.
- Private use, non-agricultural - For use exclusively on privately owned land by the applicant or an immediate family member.
- Government and municipal - State, county, and city governments may register their UTVs/ATVs for municipal or government use.
- Commercial ATV/UTV Dealer - For manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or renters of UTVs/ATVs.
Nonresidents of Wisconsin may bring their own UTVs/ATVs into the state and ride them on designated UTV/ATV paths or frozen waterways. They may also purchase a five-day trail use receipt.
All registered UTVs/ATVs must display the appropriate registration decal, and operators must carry all necessary paperwork and registration cards with them to provide to law enforcement if needed.
Vehicles registered for public use need a rear plate displaying the vehicle’s registration number. Wisconsin currently has around 400,000 registered UTVs/ATVs combined.
What Are the Safety Risks of UTVs/ATVs?
Those who operate or ride in UTVs/ATVs face a significant risk of injury in an accident. Although UTVs must contain seatbelts and roll cages, they expose riders to the elements with little protection in a collision. ATVs have no safety devices or enclosures at all. Furthermore, there is no real age requirement for drivers of UTVs/ATVS, and children as young as 12 can operate these vehicles alone.
Common hazards that can cause UTV/ATV accidents include:
- Uneven and dangerous terrain
- Reckless or impaired drivers
- Defective components or parts
Also, riding on paved roads increases the risk of a collision with a larger passenger vehicle or commercial truck.
What Are Common Injuries in UTV/ATV Accidents?
With few or no safety mechanisms and the potential to eject riders in a crash, UTV/ATV accidents can cause serious, life-threatening injuries to their occupants.
Some common types of UTV/ATV accident injuries we help clients obtain compensation for at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers include:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
You could sustain other injuries as well, and the ordeal could leave you with exorbitant medical bills and other related expenses as well as lost income from having to miss work to recover.
Madison UTV/ATV Accident FAQ
What Damages Can I Recover After a UTV/ATV Accident?
The compensation you could receive from your UTV/ATV injury claim will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries, who bears the most liability, and other factors.
At Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have helped many people obtain full compensation for their injuries following a UTV/ATV accident that was someone else’s fault to help cover:
- Medical expenses and treatment costs
- Lost income and work benefits, which can include loss of future earning capacity
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
You may recover other forms of compensation as well, and your attorney can fully evaluate your claim, determine the damages you can pursue, and calculate the amounts you need to realize as full a recovery as possible.
Who Can I Hold Liable for My UTV/ATV Accident Injuries?
To obtain compensation for the injuries you sustained in a Wisconsin UTV/ATV accident, you will need to work with an attorney who can establish liability on the at-fault party.
To establish liability, your lawyer will need to show:
- The party owed you a duty of care
- The party breached that duty through their actions or inaction
- You suffered injuries or some kind of loss
- You suffered damages as a result
Although the legal concept is relatively simple, you need an experienced attorney to gather the necessary evidence to hold the at-fault party liable.
Your lawyer may identify any of the following as culpable for the accident and responsible for paying for your injuries and losses:
- The UTV/ATV driver: If you were a passenger in the vehicle, and the driver caused the wreck due to their carelessness or recklessness, your attorney may seek to hold them accountable.
- A motor vehicle driver: If the accident occurred on a public road as the result of a motor vehicle driver’s negligence or recklessness, your attorney could seek compensation from them.
- The UTV/ATV’s owner: If another party owned the vehicle, your attorney may work to hold them liable, particularly if they allowed an inexperienced person or child to operate the vehicle.
- The landowner: If a landowner gave you permission to ride on their property, but the property contained hazards or dangerous conditions that led to the crash, you could discuss with your attorney your options for holding the landowner liable for your injuries and losses.
- The vehicle’s manufacturer: If a defective component failed and contributed to the crash, your attorney could hold the manufacturer of the part liable, along with the UTV/ATV’s manufacturer, dealer, and others along the supply chain.
- Those responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance: Your lawyer may also hold the parties responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle if they can show improper maintenance led to the crash.
Depending on where the accident occurred and the parties involved, your attorney may identify others who bear liability for your injuries and losses. You will need a lawyer to thoroughly investigate your case to hold all responsible parties accountable.
What’s the Process of Obtaining Compensation Following a UTV/ATV Accident in Wisconsin?
Although Wisconsin does not require UTV/ATV to carry liability insurance on their vehicles, many homeowners’ insurance policies cover these vehicles. Vehicle owners may need to purchase additional insurance to cover UTVs/ATVs, so your attorney will need to check to ensure the owner has insurance.
If so, your lawyer can file an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance and negotiate with the insurer to get a settlement that will cover all costs of your injuries and losses.
If the UTV/ATV does not have insurance coverage, or if their insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney can take them to court and sue for the money you need.
How Long Do I Have to Sue Someone After a UTV/ATV Accident in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, you have generally three years from your injury to file a lawsuit in civil court to recover damages. Some exceptions may extend the time you have to file, but you need to reach out to our experienced UTV/ATV accident attorneys as soon as possible to learn your options and start the process. If you wait too long and do not have an attorney file within that time frame, you could forfeit any right you have to pursue compensation.
How Much Does a UTV/ATV Accident Attorney Cost?
The personal injury lawyers at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You won’t pay any money upfront to have a lawyer represent you, and your attorney will only receive a fee if they recover compensation for you. Since we also offer free consultations, you have no financial risk in speaking with an attorney and learning of your rights and options for pursuing compensation.
Contact an Experienced Madison UTV/ATV Attorney Today
You and your family suffered a lot because of a UTV/ATV accident that was not your fault. You deserve maximum compensation to help you pay for your medical expenses and other related damages, so you need to contact the experienced Madison personal injury attorneys at (608) 467-0429 today for your free consultation.