Minnesota ATV Accident Lawyers

Minnesota is the perfect place for ATV enthusiasts. Whether you compete, participate in rallies, ride while deer hunting, or ride just for fun, you'll find a trail that suits your riding style. ATVs offer a thrilling recreational alternative, but they also contribute to accidents and severe or fatal injuries.

Contact our Minnesota ATV accident lawyers if a negligent rider injures you or your child. When we accept your case, we become your legal advocates. We resolve complex legal issues on your behalf and determine if anyone owes you financial compensation.

Injured? Get Nicolet.

ATV riding down a trail in Minnesota

At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our Minnesota personal injury lawyers believe that negligent people should pay for the injuries they cause.

Proving a case to an insurer is often complicated, so we have always offered our clients a simple solution. We take care of the legal issues while you concentrate on healing.

Our ATV accident attorneys offer injured victims effective legal representation. Once we establish a working relationship, we investigate our clients' accidents and evaluate the liability issues.

When appropriate, we identify the negligent parties, place them on notice, and take steps to recover fair compensation.

Injured in Minnesota? Get Nicolet.

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Our Law Firm's Results

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Our accident injury lawyers have recovered over $240 million for our injured clients. We accomplished this by preparing our cases beginning on day one.

Our personal injury law firm handles each case as though it may go to court one day. We investigate all types of accidents, assess evidence, and evaluate liability issues. Furthermore, we get to know our clients to understand better how their injuries affect their lives.

Our preparation strategy has always given us an edge when negotiating with responsible parties, their insurers, and their attorneys. If they don't negotiate fairly, we are prepared to pursue alternative dispute resolution or file a lawsuit.

We can't promise any specific result, but our clients' personal injury stories demonstrate our drive to obtain optimum results and push back against insurance companies; so do our results:

  • Car Accident, $1,200,000: We resolved the case for $1.2 million, while the insurance company originally offered only $50,000.
  • UTV Accident, $550,000: The liability insurance carrier offered $75,000.
  • Motorcycle Accident, $1,100,000: The insurance company offered $650,000.
  • Pedestrian Accident, $1,050,000: The liability insurer denied the claim before our law firm took over. 

All Terrain Vehicles in Minnesota

ATV Accidents by the Numbers
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Minnesota ATV riders have over 270,000 registered ATVs/all-terrain vehicles.

These vehicles have specific characteristics that distinguish them from those in the broad off-highway vehicles category.

  • Three to six wheels
  • A dry weight (without fluids) of no greater than 2,000 pounds
  • UTV (Side-by-side, SxS) versions that seat two
  • Two ATV classes based on their dimensions: Class 1: Fifty inches wide or less; Class 2: 50 inches but no more than 65 inches

ATV manufacturers create unique designs and features, but all brands must comply with 16 CFR Part 1420, Requirements for All Terrain Vehicles. This Consumer Product Safety Commission regulation mandates that all ATVs meet American National Standards Institutes (ANSI) safety standards.

ATVs vs. UTVs

ATVs and utility task vehicles give riders a choice in operation and functionality.

As an ATV is smaller than a UTV, it offers several unique features.

  • Single-person straddle seating (like a motorcycle)
  • Handle-bar control
  • Functionality relies on bodily control
  • Greater maneuverability
  • Smaller and easier to transport
  • More economical than a UTV

Many riders prefer utility task vehicles (UTVs) over traditional ATVs. You may know a UTV as a Side-by-Side or SXS.

These vehicles operate similarly to a basic ATV but provide additional and optional benefits.

  • Larger with more room for hauling
  • Steering wheel and brakes for greater control
  • A bigger engine for more power
  • Adaptable for farm work and heavier jobs
  • Optional accessories: windshields, front loaders, sprayers, etc.
  • Seating for up to six passengers

Minnesota’s Off-Highway Trails

Experienced DNR Parks and Trails trail builders help develop significant trail projects. Parks and Trails' roving crews and club volunteers perform trail maintenance duties. The DNR, LGUs, club volunteers, and volunteer Trail Ambassadors conduct scheduled trail monitoring.

Minnesota Recreational Vehicle ATV Statutes

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Minnesota Statutes Chapter 84, Department of Natural Resources, establishes rules and guidelines for ATVs, UTVs, and other off-road and recreational vehicles.

The DNR also publishes the OHV Regulations, a plain language handbook summarizing relevant laws, regulations, and rider requirements.

Here are some of the guidelines.

  • Owners must register all ATVs with the DNR.
  • Riders under age 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Riders over 16 must have a license to cross a highway directly.
  • Most riders born after July 1, 1987, must complete an approved safety course.
  • Under specific circumstances, ATV riders may travel on the right shoulder or the extreme right side of a public road right-of-way, a county state-aid highway, or a county highway.
  • Riders qualified to ride on the above public roads may make left turns from any part of the road when they can do so safely.

Types of ATV Accidents

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The National Highway Transportation Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), scientists, and medical professionals have spent years studying ATV accidents and injuries.

They conclude that most serious injuries and fatalities occur due to four types of recreational vehicle accidents.

  • Collision: A rider collides with an object, a vehicle, or an ATV.
  • Overturn: The vehicle overturns or rolls during riding or maneuvering. Trail defects sometimes contribute to overturns.
  • Ejection: The vehicle throws a rider or passenger to the ground or into another object. An NHTSA analysis determined that 80 percent of ATV fatalities involve ejection.
  • Other: Other types of accidents fall outside the above categories.

Studies have shown that ATV accidents continue due to several issues, often outside the rider's control. The CPSC concludes that the vehicle's basic design contributes to accidents. ATVs have a short wheelbase, a narrow track, and a high center of gravity.

These elements cause “adverse handling characteristics.” Manufacturers anticipate that a rider's “active-riding techniques” will compensate for these shortcomings.

ATV Recalls

Top ATV accident lawyer in Minnesota

As consumer products, ATVs and UTVs fall under the CPSC's control. The agency passes regulations to establish safety standards.

They also monitor consumer product complaints and recall vehicles when appropriate. In recent years, CPSC has recalled several ATVs due to safety hazards and noncompliance with mandatory safety requirements.

Here are a few of the recalled items.

  • Luyuan Youth ATV Recall: The units don't comply with maximum speed limitations and safety requirements for vehicles marketed for riders under ten years old.
  • American Honda Recalls: Off-highway ROVs (also known as Side-by-Sides and UTV) have problems with potential steering function loss that may cause accidents and injuries.
  • Arctic Cat Inc ATV Recalls: The manufacturer has issued two past recalls: A braking system pressure switch leaked fluid, creating a risk of brake failure, and a gear case component failure caused potential vehicle control issues.
  • Maxtrade All-Terrain Vehicle Recall: The parking brakes prevent the vehicle from moving. ATVs fail to meet safety standards and pose a risk of serious injury or death. 

ATV Accident Injuries

ATV accident injuries range from minor to catastrophic and fatal. In its most recent off-highway vehicle Report of Deaths and Injuries, the CPSC estimates that ATV accidents generate 105,400 emergency department visits annually.

The more serious injuries occur when the vehicle rolls over or ejects its passenger. CPSC further determined that fractures were the most common injuries. The body parts of the head, neck, arms, shoulder, torso, and leg were the most frequently injured.

The DNR Summary of Fatal ATV/OHM/ORV Accidents describes how recently documented fatal accidents occurred.

  • A 20-year-old male struck a tree, rolled over, then hit another ATV.
  • A 21-year-old female passenger died when the rider struck a “clump of trees.”
  • A 42-year-old female died while sitting on her ATV as a truck was towing it with an attached strap. The ATV overturned, fatally injuring her.
  • A 66-year-old man sustained fatal injuries after a van struck his ATV.
  • A 12-year-old female passenger died when she fell out of an ATV.
  • A 12-year-old male died when his ATV rolled over and pinned him underneath.

Riders must self-report ATV crashes; reporting is mandatory only for physician-treated conditions and fatalities. Law enforcement agencies don't document or maintain comprehensive statistics on all accidents, and reported injuries vary depending on the type of accident.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Damages for Your Injuries

Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers fight to obtain full and fair compensation for injury victims of all ATV accident cases, including the past and future medical expenses you incur. Our Minnesota personal injury lawyers have successfully recovered damages for a variety of severe injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Disc fractures and dislocations
  • Fractured and shattered bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal injuries, organ damage, and bleeding
  • Burns
  • Loss of bodily functions
  • Fatal injuries and wrongful death

Based on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's analysis of recent accident data, 73 percent of ATV fatalities occurred on minor, rural roads.

Recoverable Compensation for ATV Accident Injuries

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When our Minnesota personal injury attorneys negotiate or try our client's cases, we seek economic and non-economic damages on their behalf. If we take a case to trial, we sometimes ask a jury for a punitive damage award.

Economic Losses

This damage includes all out-of-pocket costs incurred during treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation. ATV injuries often leave accident victims unable to work, either temporarily or long-term. If your disability or treatment is ongoing, we recover the costs for future economic losses.

Economic damages include:

  • Medical bills – Cost of medical treatment, hospital stays, mobility structures and devices, medical devices, hospitalization, surgical costs, rehabilitation and psychological therapy, replacement services, and other calculable costs.
  • Income loss – Lost wages, business or self-employment losses, and future losses.

Non-Economic Losses

For this damage category, we place a value on an injured victim's psychological, emotional, and other subjective losses.

Damages sometimes include:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Psychological trauma
  • Losses to family and spousal relationships
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent impairment 

Punitive Damages

Under Minnesota's Punitive Damage Statute, §549.20, juries may award punitive damages to penalize a defendant for particularly heinous acts. As your attorneys, we must produce clear and convincing evidence showing that the defendant acted with “deliberate disregard for the rights and safety of others.”

Who is Responsible for ATV Accidents?

Numerous factors occasionally contribute to the circumstances that result in an ATV crash.

Often, people or entities share responsibility for the resultant damage and injuries. Our personal injury attorneys will investigate your case to uncover all liable parties and take action accordingly.

  • Other ATV Owners/Riders: When a negligent ATV rider crashes into another vehicle, they share responsibility for any damage or injuries. Some ATV riders cause crashes when they drive under the influence, ride too fast for conditions, become distracted, or commit other risky driving behaviors. ATV owners share responsibility for accidents when they lend their vehicles to an unsafe operator.
  • ATV Manufacturer: Manufacturers don't always comply with ATV safety regulations. As confirmed by CPSC recalls, they encounter ongoing design and manufacturing issues that can cause accidents and injuries. Experts frequently consider the basic ATV design—short wheelbase, a narrow track, and a high center of gravity—as problematic.
  • Vehicle Operators: Some ATV riders have a right to drive on certain parts of the road. Vehicle drivers must take proper precautions to avoid collisions and allow ATV riders to proceed safely.
  • Property/Trail Owner: Some ATV accidents occur due to poorly maintained or marked trails. The property owner shares negligence with other parties if maintenance issues contribute to an ATV accident.
  • Vehicle Maintenance Contractor: The mechanic shares liability if an ATV accident occurs due to improper maintenance or repairs.
  • Supervising Adults: When an unsafe young driver causes an accident, their parents or other supervising adults share responsibility for their actions. 

How Negligent Parties Defend Themselves


When individuals, businesses, or other entities cause or contribute to someone's injuries, they don't simply pay when you ask them to.

Negligent parties, their liability insurers, and defense attorneys usually follow a defense strategy that often begins with their accident report.

  • Deny Liability: Some negligent parties report their claims as “no liability.” Unless the evidence proves otherwise, the insurance company stands by their insured's version.
  • Negotiate Conservatively: Even when an insurer decides to pay, they don't always negotiate fairly. They sometimes make low offers or make no offer at all. This tactic often forces an injured victim into filing a personal injury lawsuit. Then, they must choose whether to accept a low offer or spend more time and money for an uncertain outcome.
  • Evidence: When a manufacturer knows they marketed a product that causes harm, they often keep that information to themselves. That's why the CPSC must sometimes force manufacturers to recall their defective products or offer to repair them.
  • Take a Chance at Trial: Some defendants know that if they go to trial, the injured person might not have enough evidence to prove negligence in an ATV accident lawsuit.

A Skilled ATV Accident Attorney Knows How to Support Your Claim

Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers deal with these defense strategies by preparing our case from day one. Our attorneys evaluate the evidence and damages.

We produce a strong case whether we're negotiating informally, mediating, or presenting at trial. If trying a case is the only option for recovering a fair settlement, our law firm has the resources to complete the discovery process and deliver our evidence in court.

Contact Our Minnesota ATV Accident Attorneys

Russel Nicolet ATV injury attorney
Russell Nicolet, Minnesota ATV Accident Lawyer

ATV accidents are usually too complicated to handle without legal representation. You need an experienced personal injury firm and a dedicated Minnesota ATV accident attorney to represent you.

At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we address complex liability and damage issues while our clients heal.

When you retain our firm, we take immediate steps to protect your legal rights and work toward resolving your claim.

When you’re ready to discuss your case, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Please call (612) 446-3999, click our chat button, or visit our contact page and leave a detailed message.

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Darian T.
"My car accident happened dec 8, 2022. I was rear-ended, and left with an injury to my left hand. I saw Nicolet Laws advertisement while driving. So I looked them up and called in. I had the pleasure to speak with Ryan Muir, who was super professional and explained everything down to the t. I couldn’t be more happy with how everything played out, even when we were looking at 2 plus years of even reaching a settlement agreement, I was ready for the long. Ryan stayed on top of everything and we closed out the settlement around the 1 year mark. My advice to anyone looking for representation from a car accident is to go with Nicolet Law. Those guys and gals are amazing, thank you."
Tomieka G.
"Russell handled mine and my daughters claim, after being in a car accident and I have to say what an Amazing law firm. Stayed on top of my accident claim and case, even when the other company's adjuster did not want to cooperate in communicating. Would highly recommend. While nobody ever "wants" to be in a situation to need to have to hire an attorney, if I ever was in need again, Nicolet Law firm would be my first call."
Nancy L.
"The Nicolet Law Office has been wonderful to me. I was in a car accident and had the same insurer as the person who hit me, which made things very difficult. Ben Nicolet was my attorney, and he helped me through every step of it. Highly recommend them!!!"