Obtaining Compensation for Your Snowmobile Injuries
Although many dread the harsh, cold winter months, those who love to snowmobile look forward to them. While snowmobiling is enjoyable, it is not without risks. Snowmobile accidents can, and do, occur.
The majority of snowmobile collisions cause personal injury. For this reason, traveling alone is not recommended. Just as automobile accidents can occur because of negligence, so can a snowmobile accident. Snowmobile accidents can cause injury, property damage, and even death.
This popular sport can quickly turn tragic due to the recklessness or negligence of one individual. These tragedies can cause serious injuries and death. Although sometimes unintentional, the reckless or negligent person who caused the accident should be held accountable.
Main Causes of Snowmobile Accidents
Approximately two-thirds of the fatal snowmobile accidents involving children are due to injuries to their necks and heads. These injuries generally occur from striking a motionless object, such as a tree. Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that children under the age of 16 refrain from operating snowmobiles. The academy also recommends that all riders be required to wear a helmet.
Speed contributes to the majority of fatal snowmobile accidents. Many times, driving too fast occurs when alcohol is being consumed. Alcohol consumption will impair your judgment and can also contribute to hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. It results in a dangerously low body temperature that could lead to death.
Driving during the night presents yet another hazard as vision is limited. Many fatal snowmobile accidents occur between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Where a snowmobile falls through ice, drowning can occur and cause serious injury or death.
Important Safety Practices When Snowmobiling
- Always keep your snowmobile in peak condition, checking it at the start of the season and continue maintenance all season long
- Know your abilities and the abilities of your snowmobile so you can remain in control
- Do not drink alcohol or consume drugs before or while driving your snowmobile
- Always travel at a safe speed
- Avoid driving at night, but if you do drive in the dark, be even more cautious
- Make sure to plan your route. You need to inform someone else, who is not snowmobiling with you, what route you plan to take. You also need to give them your estimated time of arrival
- Never travel by yourself
- Stay on the marked trails; avoid veering off into the unknown
- Remain alert. Fatigue can be caused by the continuous vibrations and motion of the snowmobile, as well as the wind and sun. All of these factors affect your reaction time
- Carry a safety kit that contains a flashlight, first aid kit, a tool kit, matches and a compass
- Cross roads and streets carefully. Remember to stop and look before continuing onto the road. Cross the road at a right angle and always avoid driving across bodies of water
- Always wear proper gear
- If you are snowmobiling in the mountains, watch out for avalanche dangers
Your gear should include:
- Goggles/face shield
- A properly fitting helmet
- Warm mitts/gloves
- Layers of water repellent clothing
- A windproof outer layer
- Warm boots
Always carry rescue gear with you when snowmobiling in the mountains.
Rescue gear should include:
- A radio
- A beacon
- Probe poles
These items will help you locate people, should they become buried in the snow, and alert others that you need assistance.
Snowmobile racing has become extremely popular. The high speeds driven during a snowmobile race can easily result in a loss of control. This could cause the vehicle to begin flipping, which increases the risk of striking other snowmobiles or objects. This increases the risk of personal injury.
All personal injury cases including snowmobile accidents have a statute of limitations. If you have been injured in a snowmobile collision and you fail to file your claim within the proper amount of time, you may not be able to recover any kind of compensation for your injuries and/or damages.
While snowmobiling is meant to be a fun winter activity, unthinkable accidents can occur. If you or your loved one has been injured due to a snowmobile accident that was caused by another person’s wrongful or negligent act, you should contact an experienced recreational and snowmobile accident attorney to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. Please contact our office today at 508-755-7535 for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.