As winter weather engulfs Wisconsin, many people are out enjoying snow sports. Snowmobiles can be a fun way to explore the outdoors in snowy weather, but they can also be dangerous. When a snowmobile crashes, there is little to protect the rider from the impact. The risk of accidents can be greatly reduced if everyone rides responsibly. It is easy to underestimate how serious a snowmobile accident can be, leading some to ride carelessly.
If you were injured in a snowmobile accident, you will want to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Critical evidence can be covered up very quickly in snowy weather, so time is very much of the essence. It is also important to talk to an attorney who understand Wisconsin’s Recreational Immunity Statute, which in some circumstances can preclude an injured party from pursuing a claim to recover his or her damages.
What Kinds of Careless Riding Behaviors Cause Snowmobile Accidents?
Snowmobiling is supposed to be a fun recreational activity. People often do not think that snowmobile accidents would be very serious, but these crashes can and do cause major injuries in the right circumstances. Common careless behaviors that lead to crashes include:
- Intoxication – Some people believe that it would be fine to have a few drinks before heading out on a snowmobile. This becomes especially dangerous after dark when the rider’s vision is further impaired. If an intoxicated snowmobile driver caused a collision in which you or a loved one were hurt, contact an attorney for legal guidance.
- Design or manufacturing defects – In 2014, Yamaha had to recall thousands of snowmobiles due to a potential fire hazard. If someone is injured or killed by a design or manufacturing defect, the company that designed or manufactured the defective snowmobile may be liable.
- Improper maintenance – Some people rent snowmobiles that are not property maintained. A rental company may be liable if they rent unsafe snowmobiles and someone gets hurt.
- Inexperience – Much like driving, riding a snowmobile well in a variety of terrains is a skill that must be learned. Riders should use care not to enter difficult terrain, like steep hills, that are beyond their skill levels. Inexperience can also become an issue when adults fail to adequately train and supervise minors.
- Speed – Some modern snowmobiles can hit highway speeds. Many of the most serious snowmobile accidents involve very high speeds. Riders can easily be thrown or crushed between snowmobiles and other objects.
- Inappropriate use – Not all snowmobiles are equal. Overestimating the abilities of a snowmobile to tackle rough trails, elevation changes, river crossings, and other types of challenging terrain can lead to an accident when someone’s snowmobile is no longer operable or starts to slide out of control.
If you are injured in a snowmobile accident, timing is critical. Evidence near the scene of the accident can be very quickly covered up and will be difficult or impossible to recreate.
Call a Wisconsin Snowmobile Accidents Attorney
Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. will fight for those injured by others’ negligent conduct to receive the full amount of compensation they deserve. Our Appleton snowmobile accidents lawyers are experienced at helping those hurt due to careless snowmobiling. Call us at 920-739-7366 for a free consultation.