Insurance Issues with ATV/UTV Accidents
Stillwater News Press reported that a woman was killed in a UTV accident on Saturday, June 20th, 2020. According to the Department of Public Safety, the woman was a passenger in a 2019 Polaris Ranger that was driving through a pasture. The cause of the accident is as of yet unknown. The driver was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured, but the passenger who was killed was not wearing a seatbelt.
ATV/UTV accidents involve some interesting legal issues that don’t come up in normal car accidents. ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) and UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles) generally use the same kind of insurance policy as motorcycles. Unlike motorcycles, however, ATV/UTV insurance is not required by law in the state of Oklahoma. It is also not included in most auto insurance plans. It is likely that many UTV owners will forgo purchasing insurance altogether. Therefore, the question becomes who pays for damages in the case of an ATV/UTV accident?
Not enough information has been released about the case, so let’s create a hypothetical scenario: someone is injured as a passenger on an ATV. The driver was neither the owner of the vehicle nor the owner of the property on which they were driving. Whose insurance will pay for the damages? Is it the driver, the owner of the vehicle, or the owner of the property? What if the person responsible for paying does not have the requisite insurance?
In the case of the latter, one possible solution is for the person injured to have their own Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This may pay for your damages if the person who caused them does not have the proper insurance. This is not infallible, however, as many policies explicitly exclude ATV/UTV accidents from their coverage. It is important to know what kind of coverage you have in order to know if you have protection.
If you are injured in an ATV/UTV accident, it can lead to a long, confusing legal battle as it has to be determined who is at fault and what insurance coverages are available to you. We at the offices of Jones Brown Law deal with such cases regularly. Feel free to contact us for a no-obligation consultation at 855-559-7325 (855-55-WRECK).