Visitor Question

Are we liable for this ATV accident?

Submitted By: E (Ohio)

Approximately three months ago my husband and a co-worker went to visit our cabin on almost 20 acres of land. The co-worker brought his ATV 4 wheeler along. He let my husband drive it to the rear of our property, with him riding on the back.

They had an accident going around some fallen trees and rolled the ATV. The co-worker suffered injuries to his shoulder, requiring surgery and he may be out of work upwards of 9 months. We do not carry separate liability insurance on our property.

It now sounds as if the co-worker is going to sue us. Will our auto or homeowners insurance cover this if we don’t have a separate rider? Is the co-worker in any way responsible because he owned the ATV and gave permission for my husband to drive it? What’s the breakdown of liability here? Thanks for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear E,

In almost all cases, homeowners insurance does not cover ATVs. This includes no coverage for theft, vandalism, personal liability, or property damage. For there to be coverage requires a Rider to the homeowners policy.

Also, in almost all cases, automobile insurance does not cover ATVs. This includes no coverage for theft, vandalism, personal liability, or property damage. For there to be coverage requires a Rider to the auto policy.

From the facts you present, the co-worker displayed no negligence. Unless your husband was a minor, and obviously he was not, the co-worker does not share liability for the accident.

At this point, you might consider speaking with the co-worker and asking if there is a way you could work the matter out. Possibly you could split the expenses with him. If the co-worker refuses, it would be in your best interest, and that of your husband, to seek legal representation immediately.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 15, 2016

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