Insight

Snowmobile Injury Accident Cases

Snowmobile Injury Accident Cases

Lawrence J. Buckfire

Lawrence J. Buckfire

January 17, 2022 02:10 PM

For many people, the snowy winter months are a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Winter sports can be fun and fast, like skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling. And unfortunately, along with the fun, there often comes serious injury accidents.

Riding a snowmobile provides great fun and thrilling excitement; however, snowmobile accidents are much too common and can result in serious and tragic injuries. Snowmobile injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, knee injuries, and serious bone fractures often result. In some cases, the crashes are fatal.

Every year, northern states in the United States have a number of snowmobile accidents. The most common causes are collisions with fixed objects, like fences or chain links, and unfixed objects like other snowmobiles. Other injuries are caused by fires or simply falling off the snowmobile.

A large number of accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers. Many snowmobilers make drinking a part of the whole experience and fail to recognize the serious risks of operating a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The results are often catastrophic to the operator, a passenger, or the driver of another vehicle.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, to ensure proper safety while riding on a snowmobile you should follow these guidelines:

  • Graduated licensing for snowmobile operators is recommended.
  • Children under 16-years-old should not operate a snowmobile.
  • Travel at safe speeds.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and drugs before and during snowmobile operation.
  • Wear insulated protective clothing.
  • Avoid snowmobiling on ice if uncertain about its thickness.
  • Do not carry more than one passenger.
  • If the need should arise to tow a person, using a sled or cutter attached to the snowmobile by a rigid bar connection reduces the risk of injury.

Victims injured in Michigan snowmobile accidents do have legal rights. Drivers who cause accidents can be held accountable for money damages if they are negligent in the operation of their snowmobile or intoxicated at the time. Property owners can also be held liable if they are aware that snowmobile riders use their property and they have known dangers on the property.

Many times, the snowmobile will be insured or the negligent operator will have other insurance to pay the claim. Lawsuits for these accidents demand compensation for the resulting physical injuries and psychological damages. If there is a fatal accident, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking special damages.

It is important to contact an experienced attorney to investigate the case as soon as possible after the crash. Many times, it is necessary to have an investigator conduct interviews of eyewitnesses and search for surveillance video that might capture the accident. Also, the involved snowmobiles may need to be photographed and inspected by an expert to determine their speed prior to the crash and at the time of impact. Quite often, it is an early investigation that is the difference between winning a settlement or receiving no compensation.

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