It was recently reported that a New Jersey resident died in an ATV accident. Though such accidents are becoming more frequently common, the facts concerning this crash are unique in that the authorities had difficulties in identifying the cause of death. The initial determination by authorities that the death was the result of a savage beating turned out to be incorrect.
The body of the deceased man was located in a state park. There was no question that the victim had died of blunt-force trauma to the head and face, and this was why authorities originally attributed his injuries to a beating. Only later was it discovered that friends of this individual had attempted to cover the incident up to apparently make it look like this individual did not die in an ATV crash. Authorities’ final determination was that the deceased individual was riding his ATV in the state park area at high speeds, and he subsequently lost control of the vehicle and crashed it into a tree.
This type of accident identifies the kind of challenges when trying to make a determination how an accident occurred when riding recreational vehicles such as ATVs or motorcycles. Since it is not always clear cut how an accident occurred, investigators and staff may be required to make a determination.
Fortunately, experienced personal injury attorneys that make a living litigating these types of cases have the resources to specifically identify the cause of injuries and/or crashes. Such attorneys can also spot inconsistencies in a story and make an accurate determination whether a lawsuit should or should not go forward.
The authorities generally do the best they can in investigating incidents like this, but there are often limited resources and time to make accurate determinations. It should not be assumed that an initial determination by authorities is the correct one. Often after a tragic circumstance a second look required to find out the truth.
Source: philly.com, “N.J. man’s death due to ATV crash, not beating,” Oct. 30, 2011