Rochester, MN Personal Injury attorneys at Patterson Dahlberg
The heavy doses of snow in the winter creates a significant amount of thrills and excitement for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as snowmobiling. For decades, snowmobiles have been used for recreation, military purposes, and travel. Snowmobiles can definitely be entertaining and exciting….something that will offer you a thrill of a lifetime during the fall and winter.
For those who are familiar with snowmobiles, we understand there can be a certain amount of peace found on the trails. However, we also understand how dangerous snowmobiles can be, especially if the person operating the snowmobile fails to exercise the necessary caution or if the snowmobile has a mechanical failure.
In the event of a crash, any sustained injuries can be life-changing or fatal. Some of the most common snowmobile accidents that were caused by negligence include the following:
- Uncontrolled or excessive speed
- Unsafe trail, including improper signage
- Poor manufacturing
- Poor maintenance
- Operating a snowmobile while being under the influence
- A collision on the track
In Minnesota, a snowmobile is known as a self-propelled vehicle. What does this mean? This means that a snowmobile is a vehicle that has been manufactured and designed to operate on snow or ice. Snowmobile operators and passengers have a duty to understand the statutes, obtain proper licensing, and go through the proper registration procedures. The owner of a snowmobile is responsible for the actions of the operator, and is also liable if they negligently entrust the sled to someone inexperienced, reckless, or intoxicated.
If anyone attempts to operate a snowmobile with very little experience, the chances of an accident occurring will increase. It is important to learn about the operation of a snowmobile, the snowmobile laws and regulations in Minnesota, and snowmobile training courses in Minnesota. In order to avoid a minor or major accident on a trail, we encourage you to take the time to learn about common issues related to snowboarding and how you can avoid accidents and/or injuries.
Riding with Caution
One of the thrills of driving or riding on a snowboard is the ability to operate the snowmobile at a high speed. While we know how exhilarating it can be to operate the snowmobile at a high speed, it is not the safest thing for you to do. Operating the snowmobile at such an incredible speed will put the snowmobile operator and the passenger at a greater risk of being involved in an accident. There will be speed limits posted around the trail, and it is important to follow those speed limits in order to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
Avoiding Alcohol Consumption
Another leading cause of snowmobiling injuries include consuming alcohol while operating the snowmobile. Over 50 percent of snowmobile accidents in Minnesota involve the use of alcohol. Alcohol will greatly impair one’s ability to operate any type of vehicle, and a snowmobile is not an exception. Make the wise choice to avoid consuming any alcoholic beverage before operating a vehicle. It will also be a wise choice to avoid riding with a person who is under the influence.
Am I Able To File A Case?
Every case will be reviewed in order to obtain enough information about your claim and to assess if you are eligible for compensation. One of the steps that will be taken includes determining if the snowmobile crash stemmed from negligible operations, regardless if you were the operator or the passenger. The majority of snowmobile personal injury cases are based on negligence.
There are multiple elements of negligence that will need to be established in order to successfully file a claim and receive compensation. These elements include the following:
- Duty: the other party owed you a duty of care
- Breach of duty: the duty that was owed to you by the other party was not met
- Damages: you were injured in the accident and suffered damages or losses
- Proximate cause: the injury you sustained was caused by someone else’s failure
- Cause in fact: if the other party had not acted in a negligible manner, you would not have suffered an injury
Compensation For My Injuries
A snowmobile accident can cause minor and major injuries, from cuts, scrapes, broken bones, brain injuries, and even death. Any injury can cause serious financial strain on the injuries party. An accident involving a snowmobile can lead to costly medical bills, rehabilitation treatments, and more. If it is determined that you have a case, you could be able to recover for:
- Past wages and future wages
- Past and future medical bills
- Punitive damages
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Assistive medical devices
If you were injured in a snowmobile crash with another snowmobile and the other driver was negligent, the negligent driver and owner could be held liable for your injuries. If you were the operator a passenger traveling on an unsafe trail, you could be eligible for compensation for the injuries you suffered. Finally, if you were a passenger injured on a snowmobile that was negligently or recklessly operated by the driver, you may have a claim.
If it is discovered that the snowmobile was not properly maintained and you were a passenger, you could receive compensation for your injuries. Since there are some snowmobile accidents that will need involve someone being held liable, it is important to consult with an injury lawyer before moving forward.
Recovering From Injuries from Snowmobile Injury Rochester, MN
There will be some injuries that one may obtain after a snowmobile accident that can heal over a short period of time with very little complications. However, there will be some injuries that will leave a long-lasting impact on one’s life. One can become partially disabled or fully disabled due to a snowmobile accident.
Patterson Dahlberg Injury Lawyers will move quickly with your case in order to remain within the statute of limitations. After a snowmobile crash, you could have as few as two years or as many as six years from the date of the crash to take legal action, depending on the nature of the claim. If you fail to take legal action within the applicable statute of limitations and if you do not bring your case to court within the time frame, you will no longer be able to move forward and recover the losses and damages you feel you deserve.
There are several factors that play a role in the popularity of snowmobiling. Despite how popular snowmobiling is, we want operators and passengers to understand how dangerous snowmobiling can be. If you want to know what your options may be after being involved in a snowmobile accident or if you would like a free case evaluation, call us at 507-424-3000.