All terrain vehicles, or ATV’s and snowmobiles are highly popular forms of entertainment for the avid outdoors person. Cruising on one of these machines is an exhilarating way to spend time in nature’s playground. But just as much as these machines are exciting, they can also be dangerous. If safety rules are not properly followed, serious and even fatal accidents can occur.
Whenever you are operating a motorized vehicle, you should take every precaution to ensure that you are protected should unexpected mishaps arise. Along with following the provincial and federal legislation related to motor vehicle usage, there are other steps you can take to protect yourself from liability in the event of an accident. Those steps include:
1. Understanding Your Insurance Policy
In most provinces, purchasing insurance on your motorized vehicles is required by law. While many people might believe that this only relates to cars, trucks, and other larger automobiles commonly seen on roadways, it also applies to smaller vessels including boats, mopeds, ATV’s, motorcycles, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles.
However, having insurance does not automatically safeguard you from collision compensation. Before heading out for a day of cruising fun, make sure you know exactly what type of insurance is available and what your policy covers.
2. Paying Attention to The Conditions
Weather and trail conditions will impact where and when you can take your all terrains or sleds. Before venturing out, check the local websites and reports to find out what is open or closed to riders. If there are restrictions on riding, it is important to follow the rules outlined by the governing parties. Failure to oblige by the rules could add to your legal troubles very quickly if something happens.
3. Call First Responders
Should a serious accident occur, call first responders immediately. While this might sound like common sense, many people have tried to treat the injuries themselves and have only made the situation worse. Rather than take matters into your own hands, contact the authorities so any injured person can be treated properly.
4. File a Police Report
Should an accident happen, it is essential to file a police report as soon as possible. A police report is a legal document that outlines what happened. It is always better to file your report when the details of the event are still fresh in your mind.
5. Contact a Lawyer
If you are at fault or believe you might be held liable in some way, contact an accident lawyer immediately. Even if you are not responsible for the events leading up to the collision, a legal advisor will advise you on the best steps to take and let you know what you need should court action take place.
Law professionals can help you understand your rights while navigating through the legal process. They can file the right paperwork and defend your rights in a legal courthouse.
6. Keep a Paper Trail
Keep all communications, forms, prescriptions, reports, and other data related to the accident so that you have a paper trail of all the events, diagnoses, and findings should you find yourself before a judge.
All terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and other motorized riders are not only exciting activities, but they provide great entertainment during the different seasons for the outdoor enthusiast. But while these vehicles are great to ride, they are not without their risks. Accidents can occur quickly on one of these sporty mobiles so care must always be taken to ensure every ride is a safe one.
Should mishaps occur, taking the proper, legal steps before and after the collision can save you from legal action.