Friday, 21 May 2010 12:03

Yamaha ATV Injury

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Injured in an ATV rollover? Design defects increase Rhino rollover risk and have resulted in serious injury and death.

The Yamaha Rhino

The Yamaha Rhino ATV is an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) manufactured by Yamaha Motor Company from 2004 – Present. The Rhino is extremely unsafe because it rolls over even when operating at low speeds. Many injuries and deaths have occurred due to the defective design of the Rhino. There are widespread reports of broken legs, particularly the tibia bone, which occur as a result of the vehicle rolling over due to its unsafe design. The Yamaha Rhino all terrain vehicle has been linked with many rollovers due to the following properties:

  • The Yamaha Rhino is narrow, and wider vehicles can be more stable
  • The Yamaha Rhino is top-heavy and therefore has a high center of gravity
  • The Yamaha Rhino has small tires, and small tires give the vehicle less of a platform for stability

Rollover Warning

Experts have questioned the safety of the Yamaha Rhino since its release. In August 2007, Yamaha announced that it would add doors and passenger handles to vehicles manufactured after 2004, but stopped short of issuing a recall of the Rhino. At the same time, Yamaha issued a new product warning label for the Yamaha Rhino that acknowledged the risk of rollover accidents and alerts users that the Rhino can rollover even while operating the vehicle on flat, open areas. In spite of its knowledge of serious injuries resulting from rollovers, Yamaha has not announced a recall of the Rhino all-terrain vehicle.

When confronted with the mounting injuries of Rhino drivers and passengers, Yamaha has simply blamed them for their own injuries. The following statement is from Yamaha:

“While the Rhino has been a reliable and versatile vehicle, some operators have engaged in aggressive driving (such as sliding, skidding, fishtailing, or doing donuts) or made abrupt maneuvers (such as turning the steering wheel too far or too fast) that have resulted in side rollovers – even on flat, open areas. Unfortunately, some occupants have been seriously injured during such rollovers when they put their arms or legs outside the vehicle, resulting in crushing or other injuries.”

The Yamaha Grizzly

The Yamaha Grizzly is a popular ATV (all-terrain vehicle) used by thousands of individuals across the United States. Unfortunately, there have been numerous issues regarding the throttle system “sticking” and causing the ATV to suddenly accelerate. In one case, an individual was backing his Yamaha Grizzly off its trailer when the throttle stuck in the “wide open” position. The Grizzly slammed into a tree, throwing the operator several feet and causing severe, life-threatening injuries.

Law Offices of Gary Green has experience with Yamaha Grizzly sudden acceleration cases. If you or a loved one were injured on a Yamaha Grizzly ATV or any other ATV, contact Law Offices of Gary Green now for a free consultation at 1-888-442-7947 or contact us with an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com

Common Injuries

Rhino drivers and passengers have suffered serious injuries when their Rhino rolled over. In some instances passengers have died. Common injuries include:

  • Broken Legs, Ankles or Feet
  • Crushed Legs, Ankles or Feet
  • Broken Arm, Wrist or Hand
  • Crushed Arm, Wrist or Hand
  • Amputation

The Yamaha Rhino and other ATV models are to blame for thousands of deaths and serious injuries each year. It is estimated that more than 146,600 people – more than one quarter of them children – were treated in the United States emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If you or someone you know was injured on an ATV, you should take the following steps to preserve your claim:

First, take several photographs of the ATV as is and the surroundings where the accident occurred, if possible. Do not move anything until the photographs are secured, if possible.

Second, make sure you maintain the ATV in its current condition in a dry, secure place until it can be examined by one of our experts. Do not attempt to repair or discover the defect in the ATV. If you need assistance in this regard, don’t hesitate to call us.

Third, do not make any changes of any kind to the ATV.

Fourth, other than to secure the vehicle, do not let any person operate the vehicle until you contact us.

Fifth, secure and maintain any and all repair invoices, owner’s manuals, documents you received when you purchased the ATV and any correspondence you received from the dealer or manufacturer.

Finally, call us as soon as possible after the injury.

Failure to preserve the ATV immediately after an injury can compromise your rights to recovery.

ATV Lawsuits

Defective Products – Although accidents happen in any vehicle, ATV design defects have caused limbs to be crushed and even death in all-too-frequent rollovers. Consumer advocates blame the injuries and deaths on weak voluntary standards. Many ATV rollover injuries are caused by unstable design. For instance, the Yamaha Rhino was designed with its high center of gravity too high, making the vehicle dangerously unstable.

Product Liability – This is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.

Design Defects – These are errors caused in the initial product design that make the vehicle dangerous. The injured party must show that the harmful product was defectively designed and often needs to show that a safer alternative design was available and feasible. Manufacturing Defects – are flaws that occurred during the manufacturing process; the manufacturer can be at fault if a defect results in injury, no matter what safety steps were in place during the process.

Failure to Warn – Manufacturers must warn customers of any dangers that are not obvious and give instructions for proper use. If the consumer hasn’t been satisfactorily warned, this could mean the manufacturer knows of a potential hazard regarding its product but neglects to tell the consumer and could be the cause of the user’s injuries.

Our on staff lawyers are standing by to answer any questions you may have regarding the Yamaha Rhino or any other ATV rollover litigation. If you or a loved one were injured on a Yamaha Rhino ATV, contact Law Offices of Gary Green now for a free consultation at 1-888-442-7947 or contact us with an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.

Trademark Notice: “Yamaha” is a trademark of Yamaha Motor Company. Law Offices of Gary Green is in no way affiliated with Yamaha Motor Company. The use of this mark is solely for informational and product identification purposes.