Minnesota is a great place for those who enjoy riding Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), whether for recreation or work. However, UTVs and ATVs do not have many of the safety features found in other motor vehicles, and occupants can suffer serious injuries in a UTV/ATV accident in St. Paul or anywhere in the state.
If you, your child, or another family member sustained serious injuries or died because of a UTV/ATV accident someone else caused, you may hold the at-fault parties accountable and pursue the compensation you need. The complex process requires an experienced St. Paul UTV/ATV accident attorney for help. Contact Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers today to request your free consultation.
How Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your UTV/ATV Accident Claim
Having served injured people throughout Minnesota and the surrounding areas for more than 15 years, the attorneys at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers have the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle all aspects of your UTV/ATV accident injury claim for you so you can focus on getting better.
Our attorneys have earned top lawyer rankings and other awards and honors from members of the legal community for their impeccable professionalism and outstanding legal abilities.
To date, we have recovered more than $55 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients, including the following successes involving UTV/ATV accidents:
- $500,000 for victims of a side-by-side accident
- $475,000 for a family of UTV accident victims
- $175,000 for a UTV accident
While we can’t guarantee the compensation you will receive, we can promise to take an active interest in your case if you have a viable claim and help you recover the maximum financial recovery possible by:
- Gathering all the necessary documentation and evidence to support your claim
- Filing your claim with the insurance company and negotiating to get the highest settlement possible
- Fully preparing your case from day one as if it were to go to trial
- Filing your lawsuit in court within the statute of limitations and fighting for you at trial to sway a jury or judge’s decisions in your favor
At all turns, you can rely on us for personalized attention and compassionate support, and we are always available to answer your questions and concerns promptly while providing regular updates on the status of your case. We pride ourselves on delivering stellar client service, and our website proudly displays some of the numerous client testimonials we have received over the years.
Do not trust your UTV/ATV accident injury claim to just anyone. Get the award-winning representation you need to obtain the full compensation you deserve. Contact Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers for your no-cost consultation.
What Are Minnesota's Registration Requirements for UTVs and ATVs?
Although people use UTVs and ATVs in similar conditions, such as going off-road, the two vehicles have several important differences. Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) defines each type of vehicle and requires owners to register their ATV or UTV with the state. Minnesota currently has around 270,000 ATVs/UTVs in the state.
The Minnesota DNR establishes the following criteria for ATVs and UTVs that owners must register:
- Class 1 ATV - Refers to any motorized vehicle with three or four wheels and a net weight of 900 pounds or less. Its width must not exceed 50 inches, and it usually has only one seat for the driver and perhaps a passenger to ride while straddling the seat. These vehicles also usually have no seat belts or roll bars and drivers control them with a handlebar instead of a steering wheel. People refer to these types of vehicles as three-wheelers, four-wheelers, or quads.
- Class 2 ATV (UTVs) - Refers to all-terrain vehicles with manufactured widths of up to 65 inches and a net vehicle weight of 2,000 pounds or less without fluids. They may have four to six wheels and the seats are side-by-side, allowing for up to six occupants. These vehicles typically have seatbelts and a roll cage to help prevent injury in a rollover accident and are commonly referred to as side-by-sides or SXSs.
Registered owners of UTVs/ATVs in Minnesota must display the registration decal prominently on the vehicle and keep their registration papers with them in case they need to show them to law enforcement. Riders under 18 must also wear a DOT-approved helmet while riding, and all riders must complete an approved safety training course. Also, riders over 16 years old should have a valid driver’s license to operate a UTV/ATV on the road or when directly crossing a highway.
Those who live outside Minnesota may ride their registered UTV/ATVs in the state for up to 30 days without registering. However, non-residents need to purchase non-resident trail passes. If a non-resident did not register their vehicle in their home state, they must register with Minnesota to operate their vehicle legally in the state.
Prevalence of UTV/ATV Accidents
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 105,000 people receive emergency treatment for UTV/ATV accident injuries each year. Additionally, the CPSC reported that more than 2,000 people died because of off-highway vehicle accidents during a recent three-year period.
Adults over 55 make up around 29 percent of fatalities, and children under 12 collectively represent almost half of all UTV/ATV accident fatalities. During that same three-year period, Minnesota reported 58 fatal incidents and 61 fatalities from incidents involving off-highway vehicles.
St. Paul UTV/ATV Accident FAQs
What Are Common Accidents Involving UTVs/ATVs?
Because of their design and usage, UTV and ATV riders can experience many accidents, but four are the most common:
- Overturn: UTVs and especially ATVs easily roll over. This can either cause the accident, such as if the rider took a turn too sharply, or a result of the rider trying to take evasive action to avoid a collision.
- Ejection: ATVs have no enclosures or seatbelts, and can easily eject riders from the vehicle in a crash. Although UTVs often have seatbelts, most are open with only a roll cage and perhaps fenders and small doors. Thus, accidents can eject occupants from the vehicle.
- Collisions: UTV/ATV riders can collide with other objects, such as vehicles or other ATV/UTVs. A collision with a larger passenger vehicle or commercial truck can mean disaster for the UTV/ATV occupants.
Other scenarios can lead to a serious UTV/ATV accident as well, and many times, the accident would not have occurred were it not for someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Therefore, contact an attorney immediately for a free review of your case to learn of your options for holding the at-fault party liable and getting the compensation you need.
What Are Common UTV/ATV Accident Injuries?
Unfortunately, several dozen people die each year in UTV/ATV accidents.
Some common injuries we help people recover compensation for at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Deep cuts and contusions
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Crush and amputation injuries
These are just some of the serious injuries you could suffer in a St. Paul UTV/ATV accident, and you may have to take time off work to recover along with having to pay exorbitant medical bills and other associated expenses. You shouldn’t bear the costs of your injuries and suffering if someone else caused the accident. An attorney can hold them accountable.
What Compensation Can I Obtain After a UTV/ATV Accident?
The compensation you can receive from the at-fault party responsible for causing the accident depends on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of your case.
Common forms of compensation we help people recover at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers include:
- Medical costs and treatment expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of income, wages, and work benefits, including tips and commissions
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries result in a disability and extended time off work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
You may recover other forms of compensation as well, but you need an attorney to carefully assess your claim to identify and calculate the damages you can recover.
Who Can You Hold Liable for Your UTV/ATV Accident?
Determining liability in a UTV/ATV accident can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Liability typically depends on negligence, violations of traffic laws, and the actions of the parties involved.
Here are a few potential parties you could hold liable:
- Other drivers: If another driver—whether another UTV/ATV driver or motor vehicle driver—caused the accident, you could work with an attorney to hold them accountable for their recklessness or carelessness.
- Vehicle manufacturer: If a defective part or component on your UTV/ATV failed and caused or contributed to the accident, your attorney could work to hold the manufacturer liable under product liability laws.
- Property owner: If someone gave you permission to ride your UTV/ATV on their property, but hazardous conditions on the property caused your crash, you could speak with an attorney about holding the property owner liable for their negligence. Your attorney may show the landowner failed to maintain safe conditions or provide proper warning signs, for instance.
- Rental company: If you rented the UTV/ATV, your attorney could hold the rental company liable if they negligently maintained the vehicle, failed to provide proper instructions, or rented to someone who they should not have allowed to operate the vehicle.
- Government entities: If dangerous roads caused or contributed to the accident, your attorney could hold the government entity responsible for maintaining the road liable for your injuries and damages. The same holds true if a government-owned vehicle collided with your UTV/ATV because of driver negligence.
Your attorney may identify other parties that could bear liability for your injuries, so contact a lawyer as soon as possible for a complete review of your case and advice regarding your options.
How Do I Obtain Compensation for My UTV/ATV Accident Injuries?
For most personal injury claims in Minnesota, including UTV/ATV accident injury claims, the first course of action is to have an attorney file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, Minnesota does not require UTV/ATV owners to insure their vehicles, and most auto insurance policies do not cover them. People may buy specific policies for their UTVs/ATVs, or their homeowners’ insurance may cover them.
With that in mind, your attorney will need to check the at-fault party’s insurance coverage. If insurance is an option, your lawyer can file a claim with them and gather the necessary documentation and evidence to support your claim. They can also ensure the insurer honors your claim and negotiate with the insurer to get the highest settlement possible.
If insurance is not an option, or if the insurer denies your claim and refuses to negotiate, your attorney may file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or their insurer in civil court and sue for the money you need.
Either way, your attorney must show the UTV/ATV owner owed you a duty of care and breached that duty by their negligence or wrongful actions. That breach caused your injuries and losses, and you suffered compensable damages as a result.
What Is Minnesota’s Statute of Limitations for UTV/ATV Injury Claims?
For most personal injury claims resulting from negligence, including UTV/ATV injury claims, Minnesota generally allows you six years from your injury to file a lawsuit for you in court. If you do not have an attorney file for you within that time, you could lose your rights to pursue compensation, so you need to get started as soon as you can.
How Much Will a UTV/ATV Accident Attorney Cost?
The personal injury attorneys at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers understand that injured parties can rarely pay for an attorney upfront. Therefore, we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis for the cases we handle. We will not charge an upfront retainer or bill you hourly for our services. Instead, we will receive a percentage of the compensation we recover for you. Our attorneys will explain our fee schedule and how we collect our payment before you sign a contract.
Contact an Experienced St. Paul UTV/ATV Attorney Immediately
You have no time to waste in contacting an experienced St. Paul UTV/ATV accident attorney and starting the process. You and your family have already suffered enough, and you deserve full compensation to help you in your physical recovery. Contact the St. Paul personal injury lawyers at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (651) 237-4258 for your free consultation.