ATV Accident Lawyers Calgary

Camping grounds and nature sites near Calgary provide residents an escape from city life. If you are an off-highway vehicle enthusiast, you may visit these scenic locales to take advantage of the trails and riding areas. Riding a quad, dirt-bike, or other all-terrain vehicle (ATV) can be an exhilarating experience, as well as a lively social activity that you can enjoy with your friends. But like any motor vehicle, ATVs can be dangerous. When accidents occur while riding an ATV, the outcomes can be serious. If you or a loved one have been injured in an ATV accident, contact our Calgary ATV accident lawyers today for a free consultation to see if you might be eligible for compensation.

Common causes of ATV accidents in Alberta

ATV accidents are responsible for thousands of hospitalizations each year. Throughout the province, ATV accidents are responsible for approximately 6000 emergency room visits annually. Many of these ATV accidents are caused by the negligence of the driver or drivers. Other drivers, or passengers, can be victims of someone else’s negligence.

Operating an off-highway vehicle without a reasonable degree of caution is a violation of the province’s Traffic Safety Act. As such, if you are injured because another ATV driver engages in any form of wrongful conduct while operating their vehicle, that driver may be negligent. Common forms of negligence that generally result in injury-causing collisions include:

  • Riding under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Speeding
  • Carrying passengers on single-rider vehicles
  • Riding an ATV inappropriate for the operator’s age, weight, and experience level
  • Straying from trails
  • Operating the off-highway vehicle on highways
  • Failing to use headlights while riding at night
  • And more

Depending on the severity of your injuries sustained in the collision, ATV accident survivors could face years of physical pain and discomfort, psychological trauma, and financial distress. You could be forced to deal with years of hardship because another driver of an off-highway vehicle failed to fulfill his or her basic duty of care to consider the consequences of their negligent driving.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by another ATV rider’s negligence, it can be difficult to know how to proceed, where to turn for assistance, or what kind of compensation might be available. Our Calgary ATV accident lawyers may be able to help you answer these important questions during a free initial consultation.

If you are eligible to pursue a claim against the at-fault ATV rider whose negligence caused you to be injured in a collision, our Calgary ATV accident lawyers may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

What to do immediately following an ATV accident

Whenever you are involved in an accident where you or others may be injured, the first and overriding priority is to make sure everyone is okay and safe. If you or someone else at the scene of an accident is injured, the priority is to take all steps to get medical attention to those who need it.

If you are injured in an accident, and your immediate medical concerns have been addressed, you may want to take heed of what happened and why, particularly if the fault of the accident appears to belong to someone else. If someone else’s negligence caused the accident and your injures, then you may have legal rights against them for compensation. These rights depend heavily on what happened in the accident.

If you are claiming compensation from someone else in an ATV accident, then you have the burden to prove the accident was someone else’s fault. To do this, you have to be able to show what happened. Things that can assist include:

  1. The full name and contact information of everyone involved in the accident or who witnessed the accident;
  2. Photographs of the scene of the accident;
  3. A written description of what you remember about the accident;
  4. Written statements from others who saw the accident describing what they saw;
  5. A full description, including the make, model, licence plate or insurance information for all vehicles involved in the accident.

You can also contact our law firm for legal help. Even if you are unsure whether you are eligible to pursue a civil claim, taking advantage of a free initial consultation could be beneficial.

An overview of how ATV accident lawsuits work in Calgary

ATV accidents are a type of negligence claim that you can pursue in the Alberta Court of King’s Bench. The beginning of the claim involves you identifying the parties involved in the accident and determining what happened and who was at fault. Next, you can file a Statement of Claim in the Alberta Court of King’s Bench, naming the at fault person or persons as defendants, and serve them with the claim.

After a claim has been started and served, both you and the defendant(s) have the right to discover and learn about what happened in the accident and how it injured you. This includes the exchange of documents, including clinical records from your doctors and therapists, and other records such as police files that might provide additional information about what happened in the accident. The process of discovery also includes you and the defendant answering questions under oath about what happened.

Once the discovery process is complete, you can set a trial date where the evidence from the witnesses is presented in court. A small percentage of claims make it to trial. Most of them settle at some point before the trial date.

Our Calgary ATV accident lawyers can assist you at every step of the way. We also provide free consultations. This means that you can explore whether our legal team can assist you in your claim for free and with no obligation.

An overview of the types of damages available for ATV accident victims

ATV accidents can lead to serious injuries. This is because, unlike in a typical car, a driver or passenger on an ATV tends to have less protection from injury in the event of an accident. If you have been injured in an ATV accident it can affect your life in many ways. When we are determining what type of damages are available in compensation, we look at the specific ways your life was affected by the accident.

For example, if you have been injured then you will experience some degree of pain and suffering. Pain and suffering, also known as non-pecuniary damages, is a type of damage available in an ATV accident claim. The idea of pain and suffering damages is to provide solace to the injured person for his or her suffering.

To determine what this amount is, we look at many factors such as:

  1. The type of injury you sustained;
  2. how long the symptoms lasted or will last;
  3. your age;
  4. how the injuries affect your recreational activities;
  5. how the injuries affect your household/domestic activities; and
  6. how the injuries affect your relationships with friends and family.

The next type of damage we claim is related to wage loss. Not all injuries result in wage loss. When there is a wage loss, we divide it into past wage loss and future wage loss. There are many ways injuries can affect your wages, depending on what your job is, or what your educational or vocational plans are. Sometimes determining wage loss is as simple as adding up the number of days or weeks you missed from work before you recovered from your injuries. Sometimes determining wage loss is more complex and subject to “what ifs” both in the past and in the future.

We think of wage loss as a loss of earning capacity. This includes the money you lose from missing shifts at work but is broader than that. Your pre-accident body and mind was an asset that you owned. An asset that had capacity in the world to work for pay or perform other productive activities in the pursuit of profit. When your body or mind are injured due to an ATV accident, that capacity to earn income may be reduced. This can manifest in many ways, from being unable to continue in your job as one extreme, to turning down occasional overtime shifts or perhaps even retiring earlier than you would have twenty years from now.

Depending on your injuries and the facts around your work and educational history, you may have suffered a past loss of earning capacity and/or a future loss of earning capacity. If you did, then you are entitled to compensation for both.

A related type of claim to loss of earning capacity is the loss of housekeeping capacity. This can also be for past or future losses. Not all claims have a loss of housekeeping capacity component and sometimes the effect an injury has had on your housekeeping is considered exclusively the domain of pain and suffering. However, historically and in cases where one family member does not work and performs primarily domestic activities for a household the courts have recognized the economic value of this type of unpaid labour. Loss of housekeeping capacity is not reserved only for people who do not work. Whether it would be applicable in your case can be a tricky question that requires a nuanced analysis.

Another type of damage you can claim is your out-of-pocket expenses. These are typically the costs of treatment or medications. However, there are many unexpected ways that an injury can cost you out-of-pocket expenses. Anything from parking at a hospital to clinic, mileage to travel to appointments, modifications to your home or vehicle can be claimable out-of-pocket expenses.

Related to out-of-pocket expenses is a claim for future care. Sometimes victims of an injury cannot afford the medically justifiable expenses until after a claim is resolved. In those cases, we want to make sure that we are claiming the future out-of-pocket expense that you will incur in the future.

Occasionally we can pursue an “in-trust” claim on your behalf for others who have provided services to you as a result of your injuries. These claims can also be tricky and nuanced, as your families and friends are expected by society (and the courts) to provide assistance to you without the automatic expectation of compensation. However, in some cases the level of care required goes above and beyond what would be reasonable to expect from your family and friends, and can be the subject of an “in-trust” claim. Despite the name of the claim, an “in-trust” claim is still a type of damage that you receive in your claim and is not literally provided in-trust for the friend or family member who assisted you.

Though not technically damages, you can also claim the out-of-pocket expenses required to bring and continue a claim, which are called disbursements. Finally, if you pursue a claim in the Alberta Court of King’s Bench, you can claim an additional amount called “costs” which is not related to any out-of-pocket expenses but is an extra amount allowed to help with legal fees.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Calgary ATV Accident Lawyers

Do not hesitate to contact our Calgary ATV accident lawyers. Even if you are unsure whether you are eligible to pursue a civil claim, taking advantage of a free initial consultation could be beneficial.

Our legal team is standing by to provide you with personalized, case-specific legal advice.


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