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Recreational Vehicle (ATV and side-by-side) Liability

As a previous claims manager for an insurance company, Scott Krug, now our claims manager, had the opportunity to manage several bodily injury claims arising out of the operation of recreational vehicles.  These claims involved ATVs and side-by-sides, which often times resulted in serious injury or death.  Western Colorado is an off-road enthusiast's paradise offering a wide variety of riding experiences and terrain.  But with it's popularity comes increased risk of injury or death caused by a higher accident incident rate.  Given his experience in this field Scott Krug offers the following insight into complicated world of recreational vehcile liability.  

The question is frequntely asked, "Is my ATV/side-by-side covered by liability insurance?"  Unfortunately, there is no simple "yes" or "no" response as there are a number of variables to consider in determining if coverage exists.  Recreational vehicle owners need to take the time to sit down with their insurance agent to inform them about their ATVs or side-by-sides.  Important considerations need to be discussed such as: How many recreational vehicles are owned; who will be using them; how often will they be used; and perhaps most importantly, where will they be used.  For instance, a Farm and Ranch policy may provide liability insurance, but only while it is being used in the operation of the farm or ranch, and only while on the described property.  This means that the same policy may exclude coverage if the ATV/side-by-side is not being used in the scope of operating the farm or ranch.  It may also exclude liability coverage if the recreational vehicle is being used off the described property at the time of loss.  A special endorsement may need to be added to your current coverage to ensure that proper liability coverage exists.  

Without the proper coverage you could be left exposed should an event occur that leads to serious injury or death.  The majority of the claims handled by Scott Krug involved minors operating ATVs or side-by-sides while carrying a friend as a passenger.  In handling these claims, it was common for the passenger to sustain serious injury, which prompted his/her family to submit a claim against the ATV owner.  Scott Krug explains, "far too often I had the unfortunate task of reporting back to the owners that they did not have the proper coverage in place, and that their policy would not protect them from claims brought by the injured passenger.  The effects of this can be devastating, often times destroying long-time relationships in the process."  

Ensuring that you have the proper coverage in place only takes a few simple steps, and it offers peace of mind while you and your family are out enjoying leisure activities.  

If you have been injured in an ATV or sid-by side accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, call Doehling Law today for a free consultation.  Our attorneys have the experience necessary to successfully pursue a claim for your injuries and damages.  Our law firm does not accept a fee for our services unless we obtain a recovery.  

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