The Oklahoma schools are out, and the summer weather is ideal for spending time outdoors. ATVs have become a favorite ride for teenagers, particularly on country roads that may be more challenging than city roads. However, the consequences of ATV accidents are similar to those following car accidents. Even though teens can drive ATVs without licenses, the rules and responsibilities are the same as for car drivers causing injuries or fatalities.
On a recent Monday afternoon in Harmon County, a couple of 15-year-old boys got onto an ATV and set off, westbound on Harmon County Road 1530. The driver — who is from a neighboring state — veered left off the roadway, and in his attempt to get back on the road, he overcorrected. The ATV started sliding and then rolled over, ejecting both boys.
Both teenagers — neither of whom wore a helmet — suffered injuries. They were transported to a nearby hospital from where they were both transferred to another medical facility by helicopter. It was reported that the driver suffered arm injuries, and the passenger was treated for external injuries to his head and internal injuries to his chest.
Even though the driver is only 15 years old, and it was only a fun ride, he can be held responsible for the damages suffered by his passenger — just as would be done in car accidents. The injured boy, or his parents, may file a personal injury claim in an Oklahoma civil court. Along with the driver, his parents or guardian and any other owner of the ATV may be named as defendants in this lawsuit. After establishing negligence, the court will consider all documented claims for financial and emotional losses.