Side-by-side vehicles, also known as utility terrain vehicles or UTVs, can offer an appealing recreation option for California residents and visitors looking to get out and explore the state’s trails and open spaces. Their rugged construction makes them ideal for off-roading and gives riders an up-close experience in nature.

Unfortunately, because side-by-sides don’t have the safety features of cars or trucks, even relatively minor accidents involving these vehicles can lead to serious injury or death. If you suffered injuries in a side-by-side accident, an attorney at Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook can help you seek the compensation you deserve. We’ll handle your case while you focus on your recovery. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.

What Is a Side-by-Side Vehicle?

Side-by-side vehicles are a type of off-road vehicle originally designed for heavy-duty work on farms, ranches, and similar environments. Most have two seats in a side-by-side orientation, but some have additional seating.

For safety, side-by-sides may be equipped with roll cages and seatbelts, which can help in minor crashes. However, without solid walls and airbags, passengers still face significant exposure during more severe accidents.

Seeking Compensation for a Side-by-Side Accident Injury

If you suffered injuries in a side-by-side accident, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against either the owner or the operator of the vehicle. Depending on the cause of the accident, you may also be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

Product Liability

Mechanical failures can cause side-by-side accidents. These failures may result from manufacturing defects. If a component of the UTV broke or malfunctioned and led to your accident, the manufacturer may be liable for your injuries.

The manufacturer may also be liable if they fail to provide sufficient warning of potential hazards associated with the vehicle’s operation. For example, if the side-by-side is prone to rolling over when turning at certain speeds, the manufacturer must communicate this danger to the driver.

Steps to Take Following a Side-by-Side Accident

The actions you take after a side-by-side accident can have significant implications for your physical recovery and the outcome of your personal injury claim. Here are some of the most important things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Follow All Medical Instructions – When you seek immediate medical attention after a UTV accident, your doctor and other medical professionals will prescribe a course of treatment that may include surgery, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, prescription medication, and more. Follow their treatment plan to the letter. This demonstrates the necessity of the treatment and helps you heal from your injuries.
  • Save All Documentation – Hang on to all paperwork and electronic communications resulting from the accident, including bills, receipts, statements, and communications with your medical team and insurers. Doing so preserves critical information for your personal injury claim and will help quantify your expenses.
  • Consult an Attorney – Contact an experienced Walnut Creek recreation accident lawyer right away to discuss your legal rights and options. Your lawyer will review the details of the accident, identify all potentially liable parties, and manage communications with your insurer and other third parties to protect your right to compensation.

Potential Compensation for Side-by-Side Accident Injuries

Following a Walnut Creek UTV accident, you may be able to recover compensation for financial as well as non-economic losses resulting from the crash, including:

  • Past, ongoing, and anticipated future medical expenses
  • Costs associated with vehicle and home modifications necessitated by your injuries
  • Lost income, including loss of future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

In California, you have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contacting an attorney right away following an accident will help preserve your right to seek compensation and improve your likelihood of recovering the full amount you need to move forward.

Contact Our Walnut Creek Side-by-Side Accident Lawyer

Have you been hurt in a side-by-side accident in Walnut Creek, California? Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook‘s recreational accident lawyers are here to help. We have more than four decades of experience fighting for the rights of those injured in accidents due to other parties’ negligence and are prepared to aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your situation in a free consultation.