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ATV Crash Leaves a Mother & Two Toddlers Dead, a Third Toddler Injured

Steve Wagner

A recent ATV crash in the town of Center Point in Clay County, sixty miles from Indianapolis, resulted in the death of three people. This included the 22-year-old female driver, her one-year-old son, and her friend’s two-year-old daughter. Another passenger, the driver’s two-year-old son, was seriously injured and had to be airlifted to the hospital. The accident occurred when the ATV lost control, hit a concrete wall, and erupted in flames.

Causes of ATV Accidents
The causes for accidents like the one reported above are many. Possible reasons include:

  • The driver being under the influence of alcohol,
  • Over-speeding or rash driving
  • Poor judgment of the operator
  • Toddlers riding in the front, with the driver, cramping the driver for free movement and distracting her. Overcrowding, or packing the ATV beyond the recommended weight

This is among the dozen-odd accidents involving ATVs in Indiana this year, leading to speculations whether there are some inherent problems with ATVs over-and-above operator attributable reasons. ATVSafety.gov reports that in 2010 there were an estimated 726 deaths and 115,000 ER visits nation-wide.

Can Injury or Death Be Prevented?
The occupants wearing protective gear such as helmets, chest protectors and protective eyewear may make the difference between getting off with minor injuries opposed to major injuries or death. In the above reported case, the occupants were not wearing helmets.

Can Relatives of Victims Claim Compensation in Such Cases?
Yes, victims or their survivors can claim compensation from those responsible for the incident.

  • From the Driver – When accidents are the result of driver negligence, such as speeding or alcohol, the relatives of the deceased passengers can sue the driver for wrongful death. It does not matter if the driver is dead. The proceeds would come from the driver’s estate or insurance.
  • From the ATV Manufacturer – If it can be proven that some inherent defect in the ATV caused the crash, the victims can sue the ATV manufacturer or dealer for product liability.

How to Proceed?
Pursual of wrongful death cases is a complicated and tricky affair, as it entails considerable investigations to rake up evidence. Filing a court case involves adherence to many legal regulations and paperwork. In such cases, complicated probate issues also come into play.

Wagner Reese has a team of experienced and successful Indiana wrongful death attorneys who are adept in the process. Call (888) 204-8440 to get in touch with our Indiana wrongful death attorneys for a free evaluation of your case. We do not charge any money upfront, and collect our fees only when you receive your personal injury settlement.

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