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Pocatello ATV Personal Injury Attorney

ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles are one of many ways that the Idaho outdoors are enjoyed. These motor vehicles are a great way to view the beautiful mountain scenery all around us. Of course, fun is just one of the reasons people from Pocatello use these machines. Farmers and ranchers all around southeast Idaho use them on farms and ranches. They are used to move cattle, haul people and equipment, and check on livestock.

However, these recreational vehicles can be dangerous and cause severe injuries if not used and maintained in a responsible fashion. At Racine Olson in Pocatello, we’ve had the opportunity to help people who have been injured by these machines. We’ve seen first hand the types of injuries that can occur if a machine is not maintained or operated responsibly. Racine Olson has been here since the 1940s and we have significant experience in all sorts of injury cases. We know the complexities of such cases because we’ve solved them before to our client’s benefit. We hope you will trust us with your situation.

Methods to Recover Include Negligent Entrustment

It’s important that you retain an attorney that has knowledge regarding all different theories that allow you to recover. This puts pressure on the opposing party and allows you to maximize your claim earlier and obtain a favorable settlement without having to go through trial. For instance, one possible theory to force a recovery from a negligent party that injures another is negligent entrustment.

Negligent entrustment is a theory that allows an injured person to hold the owner of a vehicle responsible for damages when the owner has allowed it to be used carelessly. This legal theory provides that an owner or person who controls the vehicle, and who is responsible for it, may be held liable if the owner or person who controlled the ATV “knew or should have known that such use may create an unreasonable risk of harm to others.” Kinney v. Smith, 95 Idaho 328, 508 P.2d 1234 (1973). The most important element or factor that the court looks at to determine liability under this theory is whether the defendant had the right or the ability to control the vehicle’s use. Lopez v. Langer, 114 Idaho 873, 875, 761 P.2d 1225, 1227, (1988). This rule can be an important and effective tool in maximizing recovery for an injured person.

Negligence

The most common theory of liability in Idaho is negligence. Negligence is established when the injured person or plaintiff establishes that the defendant, or wrongdoer, owed the injured party “(1) a duty, recognized by law, requiring a defendant to conform to a certain standard of conduct; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a causal connection between the defendant's conduct and the resulting injuries; and (4) actual loss or damage. Alegria v. Payonk, 101 Idaho 617, 619, 619 P.2d 135, 137, (1980). This can generally be simplified to the overarching principle that everyone in our society has a duty “to use reasonable care to avoid injury” to other people.

Where ATVs, UTVs, or motorcycles are concerned, negligence may arise due to the failure of a trail or bridge to be constructed or maintained properly. It may arise due to the fact that the owner didn’t maintain the machine correctly. It is helpful to have experienced lawyers like the Pocatello ATV personal injury attorneys at Racine Olson on your side to explore all the options.

ATV Maintenance Is a Crucial Aspect to Safety

It’s very important to maintain these vehicles properly. In one case this firm handled, an ATV was improperly maintained and the front brake was not working correctly. The machine was then loaned to a relative for hunting. When the vehicle was unloaded, the front brake did not function and the four wheeler flipped over onto the rider causing severe injuries including extensive facial trauma. This led to many surgeries and emotional struggles for the injured party. Proper care and maintenance would have prevented this terrible accident.

Expert Witnesses Are Needed in These Cases

ATV accidents and ATVs in general can be complicated. It’s not enough to have a lawyer who has ridden an ATV. You need to have a firm like Racine Olson that can find the appropriate experts to support the case. Experts can make or break a case, and this includes people like accident reconstruction experts, human factors engineers, and physicians. We know that. We’ve been here in Pocatello for a long time and we have handled cases from Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello and all places in between.

We know how to help. We know the stress you’re under. Give us a call. Problem solved.

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