Asheville ATV Accident Lawyers

Asheville North Carolina is prime country for riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), and unfortunately accidents and collisions are part of the nature of the use of any motorized vehicle.  Recovering compensation and damages for ATV and UTV accidents is far different than a usual motor vehicle collision on a highway, and you’ll need lawyers who handle ATV accidents in Asheville to help you navigate this process.  Car insurance generally excludes claims involving compensation for collisions involving ATVs and UTVs.  These “four-wheeler” vehicles are not regulated in the same fashion as true passenger automobiles. 

As a result, attorneys who handle ATV accident and UTV collison claims have to be creative to find a path to a successful financial recovery in accidents involving these all-terain and utility vehicles.  While these vehicles rarely get up to the speeds of their more powerful street-legal brethren, the open nature and lack of safety equipment (including airbags), means that significant accidents involving ATVs can cause serious injuries, or even death.  The attorneys at Melrose Law have handled countless ATV and UTV accident lawsuits, and are equipped to help you recover money for medical expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permeant injuries.  

Asheville ATV Accident Lawyers

Types of ATV and UTV Accidents

Some of the most common types of ATV and UTV accidents occur as a result of: 


  • Driving too fast for the conditions. This is doubly true on rugged dirt roads or when truly off-roading.  A small abnormality in a road can turn into a flipping hazard if the four-wheeler is going fast enough.

  • Failure to maintain the ATV or UTV. These high-powered all-terrain vehicles require routine maintenance just like every other wheeled passenger vehicle.  Worn out tires can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and roll the ATV.  Failure to maintain a vehicle’s breaks can lead to catastrophic injuries if the brakes fail to engage on a steep hill.

  • Inadequate supervision of children and teenagers. ATVs are not toys, despite their fun size, and many teenagers have not developed the proper risk analysis centers of their brains to properly respect these vehicles.

  • Pedestrians hit by ATVs or UTVs. A driver’s failure to pay attention to their surroundings can lead to serious injuries to those sharing the area with these vehicles.

  • Driving an ATV while intoxicated. These types of accidents are particularly egregious, and an individual injured by an intoxicated ATV or UTV driver can potentially recover punitive damages to punish the reckless behavior of the drunk driver.

There’s an innumerable list of potential factors and conditions that can contribute to an ATV accident in the Asheville area.  Terrain is a significant factor in many ATV wrecks in this area, as there are many steep roads, and lots of places to go sightsee in the beautiful mountains in the Western North Carolina area.

Our practice has always been focused on the mountains of North Carolina, and Mark Melrose has lived in this area for the majority of his lifetime and is well-acquainted with the unique conditions of the Asheville area.  Our four-wheeler accident lawyers can help you get compensation for yourself or your loved ones. 

ATV and UTV Defined

An all-terrain vehicle has a very specific definition under North Carolina law.  The North Carolina General Statutes Define an ATV as:

A motorized vehicle 50 inches or less in width that is designed to travel on three or more low-pressure tires and manufactured for off-highway use.  The terms “all-terrain vehicle” or “ATV” do not include a golf cart or utility vehicle, as defined by this section, or a riding lawn mower.

Utility Vehicles are defined as:

A motor vehicle that is (i) designed for off-road use and (ii) used for general maintenance, security, agricultural, or horticultural purposes.  “Utility vehicle” does not include an all-terrain vehicle or golf cart, as defined in this section, or a riding lawn mower.

Asheville ATV Accident Lawyers

What is clear from the North Carolina statutes is that ATVs and UTVs while similar, are not exactly the same.  ATVs have a specific width requirement of 50 inches or less, and a low-pressure tire requirement.  While both vehicles are used off the highway, ATVs are “off-highway” while UTVs are for “off-road” use, and generally used for more practical purposes as opposed to recreation.

North Carolina recently decided to allow modified utility vehicles to drive on the state roads.  These modified UTVs must be at least 110 inches long, 58 inches long, and 60 inches tall.  They must also be able to get up above 40 miles per hour in speed, and have a suite of safety features more commonly associated with full passenger vehicles, including headlamps, turn signals, tail lights, and other safety features.

The biggest advantage for those injured by these UTVs is they are covered by North Carolina’s financial responsibility act, meaning car insurance will provide coverage for accidents caused by these modified utility vehicles.

Time Constraints to File an Asheville ATV Accident Lawsuit

North Carolina has various timing requirements for the filing of lawsuits of individuals hurt in ATV or UTV accidents. You should never rely solely on internet research to determine how long you can wait before filing a claim for yourself or your family members. We offer free case consultations and evaluations for those injured as a result of an ATV accident in the Asheville area.

Generally speaking, a person injured by the negligence of another driver in an ATV or UTV accident has three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, if the victim was killed as a result of the driver’s negligence, the family (more specifically, the Estate) has two years to file a claim, and various paperwork must be completed before that two-year deadline.

Do not wait until the last moment to see if you or your family member can recover damages for your medical bills or other injuries—talk with an experienced attorney immediately to get advice on how to handle your individualized situation.

The Sooner a Potential Claim is Investigated, The Better

It is of critical importance to investigate an ATV or UTV accident as soon as possible after it occurs.  Some of the most commons reasons to begin an immediate investigation are:

  • The necessity of maintaining the physical evidence.  If the tires are in poor condition or there is evidence of faulty brakes, you need to send a qualified investigator and/or mechanic to inspect the ATV before the potentially liable driver can have the vehicle repaired, thereby destroying evidence you may need to prove your case in court.
  • Collection of witness statements.  Memories fade, and memories of traumatic events even more so than other incidents.  We retain skilled investigators to speak to witnesses of collisions to get a detailed account before stories change, either as a result of the passage of time or because interested parties discuss the incident amongst themselves to get their story of events “straight.” 
  • The insurance company may want to take your statement, do not do so without speaking to a lawyer first.
  • Protection from the insurance company.  Insurance companies are not your friend.  An insurance company who may have to pay compensation for your injuries will look for any possible way to avoid paying a fair settlement.  We will insulate you from the insurance industries dirty tactics, and allow you the necessary time and space to recover from your injuries and focus on your family.  

Contact Our Asheville ATV and UTV Accident Lawyers Today

We provide free case evaluations, and we do not get paid unless we make a recovery.  There is no risk in contacting our office, and no obligation to hire our firm if you decide that we are not the best fit for your needs.  Please call (828) 452 – 3141, or reach out to us through the Contact Us form on the side of the website.  We will do our very best to help you.  

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$3.025 Million settlement by Mark R. Melrose and co-counsel in a medical malpractice case for 40 year old man who suffered a devastating stroke after his surgeon failed to diagnose the cause of his bowel infarction. The doctor failed to read the echocardiogram which had clear evidence of a blood clot. This clot then broke apart and caused the stroke.

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