ATVs have long been known as dangerous off-road vehicles because of their rollover risk but the popular recreational vehicles have been increasingly associated with fires, often spontaneous combustions that have caused serious burn injuries and death.
One manufacturer, Polaris Industries Inc., has issued at least 10 recalls for its RZR model – pronounced “razor” – because of fire hazards. ATVs have suddenly become engulfed in flames, often leaving behind nothing but charred skeletons. Experts have testified that not only have product defects been discovered as the cause of the tragedies but that the company tried to conceal the fact.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in an ATV fire, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
The attorneys at Kline & Specter have successfully handled all categories of auto and product liability cases, with scores of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Our lawyers have won well over $10 billion in verdicts and settlements in personal injury cases.
We are currently litigating one recent case in central Pennsylvania in which a man and a teenager were injured when their Polaris ATV burst into flames. The man was able to save his passenger from more serious injury by getting the teen out of the Polaris ATV as quickly as possible, but in doing so he suffered second- and third-degree burns over his neck, back and arm. At last report, he remained in a coma.
The side-by-side seated ATV they were riding was a Polaris 2021 RZR 1000, a model that sells for about $20,000. Some models cost nearly $30,000.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reports of numerous recalls of Polaris ATVs, many following reports of spontaneous fires damaging vehicles and some injuring riders and passengers.
The New York Times reported in 2019 that there had been at least 180 fires involving Polaris RZR models, with resulting serious burn injuries and four deaths. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported there had been 793 ATV incidents with vehicles damaged due to melting or burning by 2017. Polaris is based in Medina, Minnesota.
The incidents are hardly a secret. There are numerous cases recorded on YouTube videos. In most, there were not serious injuries, but in many the fires were sudden and shocking, often totally destroying the ATV. The Times reported that the number of fires and injuries have increased over the years as Polaris has manufactured ATVs that are faster and more powerful.
Kline & Specter, with more than 50 attorneys and five lawyers who are also medical doctors, has the experience and expertise to litigate ATV fire incidents that have caused serious injury or death. Our law firm works on a contingent fee basis, which means we only get paid if and when you are financially compensated.