Snowmobiling is a fun wintertime activity for places across the country lucky to get enough snow. But just like riding an ATV, snowmobiles come with their own set of safety concerns. Snowmobile accidents happen with alarming frequency-an estimate 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries occur from snowmobiles each year. These accidents may involve other snowmobiles, skiers, snowshoers, or even vehicles. And because snowmobiles travel at such high speeds with little protection to riders, accidents can cause severe injuries, if not death.
If you participate in the sort of snowmobiling, you probably know that you need to take safety precautions like driving sober, watching for other snow sport enthusiast, watching for cars when you cross roads, and wearing reflective gear and a helmet. And if you participate in another winter sport such as skiing or snowshoeing, you need to be aware of snowmobilers in your proximity and wear reflective gear so that they can yield to you. But sometimes, no matter how careful you are, accidents do occur-often because of other negligent snowmobilers, but sometimes too because of a default in the construction of your snowmobile or because of negligence on part of the land owner.
Just like a car accident, if you were injured in a snowmobile accident, you may be eligible for compensation from the at-fault party for your injuries. And if you have lost a loved one in a snowmobile accident that was someone else's fault, you may be eligible for a wrongful death suit. But proving liability can be a complicated matter, especially in the case of snowmobile accidents that may occur in remote areas and lack witnesses. If you are seeking to file a personal injury claim after a snowmobile accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney who will be able to assess your situation and determine if you have a strong case.
If A Driver Is Responsible
If you are involved in a snowmobile accident with another snowmobiler, you will want to call a law enforcement officer or patrol officers. A law enforcement officer can write an official accident report that will determine the speeds of the snowmobiles and if either driver was negligent or impaired at the time of the accident.
Speed and alcohol or drug impairment are two major factors in snowmobile accidents and their documentation can help you gain the compensation you deserve.
If The Snowmobile was Responsible
Sometimes accidents occur because a snowmobile was not properly designed. The throttle system, balance, or skis may have defects that cause the snowmobile to malfunction, leading to an accident. If a defect in the snowmobile was the cause of your accident, your attorney will have to undertake a product liability suit, in which you file a lawsuit with the manufacturer of the snowmobile for your injuries.
If the Property Owner was Responsible
At times, the property owner may be responsible for your accident due to negligence. For a landowner to be negligent, they must have known about a hazard-such as a fallen tree or large rut-and been negligent in their duty to fix the hazard. If you were riding on state land, your claim may be even more difficult. Most state and federal lands are exempt from liability in the case of injuries that occur on their property. A personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine if you are able to collect damages.
If you're considering filing a personal injury claim or having a hard time recovering damages from a claim after a snowmobile accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible.