Utility Terrain Vehicles are “side-by-side” utility class off-road all-terrain vehicles. Examples of popular UTVS include the Yamaha Rhino, Polaris Ranger, Kawasaki Mule and John Deere Gator. Unfortunately, however, UTVs, particularly the Yamaha Rhino, are “rollover prone” and may overturn at low speeds and on flat surfaces.” In a rollover accident, the forces of gravity may cause the occupants’ limbs or entire bodies to come out of the vehicle, resulting in serious injury or even death. If you or a member of your family has been injured or killed as a passenger or driver/ operator of a UTV, contact the California personal injury attorneys at Estey Bomberger for a more information about your legal rights and to discuss the incident with an experienced attorney.
Yamaha Rhino Accidents
The Yamaha Rhino UTV was introduced to the world in 2003. Almost from the beginning, it was clear that the vehicle could rollover at low speeds and on relative flat ground. Without safety provisions to keep the occupants safe and inside the vehicle, hundreds of people were killed in Yamaha Rhino rollover accidents, and thousands more were injured. On March 31, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A., announced a recall of all Yamaha Rhino vehicles to retrofit the vehicles with half doors and additional passenger handholds, and install a spacer on the rear-wheels and remove the vehicle’s rear anti-sway bar.
UTV Design Defects
UTV rollover accidents causing serious injury and death can be attributed to a number of design flaws including:
- High center of gravity
- Inadequate seatbelts
- Insufficient safety testing
- Lack of padding to cushion injuries in a rollover accident
- Lack of proper doors to keep occupants inside vehicle;
- Lack of safety warnings
- Lack of retention system to keep upper torso in vehicle
- Too narrow track width
Types of Rollover Accident Injuries
The California traffic accident attorneys at Estey Bomberger represent victims of all types of serious injuries resulting from UTV rollover accidents and UTV crashes, including:
- UTV accident amputation injuries
- UTV accident crush injuries
- UTV accident degloving injuries
- UTV accident brain injuries
- UTV accident spinal cord injuries
- UTV accident broken/fractured bones
- UTV fatal accident / wrongful death
Compensation for UTV Rollover Accidents
Yamaha continues to blame consumers for accidents, saying that accidents occur when people use the vehicles in ways they shouldn’t. In May 2010, Yamaha lost a UTV rollover case in Lawrenceville, GA, when a jury awarded $317,000 to a man who suffered a crush injury to his leg as a result of a rollover accident. The case was significant because it was the first Yamaha rollover accident case where a jury found in favor of the plaintiff in the country. Hundreds of other UTV rollover accident cases are pending in courts across the country.
Estey Bomberger is currently representing victims of UTV rollover accidents in personal injury and wrongful death claims. For more information or to discuss your case with one of our skilled California rollover accident attorneys, call us anytime at (800)890-6722. All consultations are free, with no obligation. We do not charge any fees unless we recover money for you.