Snowmobile Accident Lawyers Serving Illinois, Wisconsin & Indiana
Illinois has over 2,500 miles of trails available for snowmobiling. So, it is no wonder that it is such a popular winter sport in our state.
Snowmobiling can be an exhilarating way to enjoy the outdoors in the cold winter months for those who adhere to safety precautions and abide by state regulations.
However, some outdoor enthusiasts drive their snowmobiles dangerously and put others and themselves at risk of serious injury. When a fun day snowmobiling results in a rider being seriously injured or killed due to someone's negligence, the party at fault might be liable for the financial and personal toll that the victim and their families face.
A Snowmobile Accident Injury Attorney can Help
The auto accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC know the dangers of snowmobiling. We have resolved many snowmobile accident cases successfully.
Our personal injury attorneys can assist you or your family member recover the monetary compensation you are entitled to receive under Illinois law. All our motor vehicle accident cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, where we only receive a legal fee when we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you.
Our snowmobiling accident attorneys currently represent clients in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Elgin, Naperville, and Schaumburg.
Illinois Snowmobile Laws to Protect Operators and Passengers
Snowmobile operators must follow specific laws regulating riding, including restrictions on where they can be driven, the age of the driver, and insurance coverage.
These rules are meant to protect both riders and those who come in contact with snowmobilers from danger and financial risk.
Some of the current regulations in Illinois include:
- Age limits. No one under the ten years of age can legally operate a regulation snowmobile and ATV (all-terrain vehicle). Those between ten and fifteen must have a parent or guardian of at least sixteen years old accompanying them on the snowmobile.
- Liability insurance is required for snowmobilers riding on marked trails other than their personal property or on private property where the property owner has permitted them to ride.
- Highways. In general, it is not permissible to ride snowmobiles on highways or roadways. Under specific circumstances, certain roads can be crossed at an intersection or used to cross a bridge or culvert, but only by drivers that have a valid driver's license or snowmobile safety certificate.
Our legal team has experience representing passengers who have sustained a catastrophic injury due to the negligence of the operator of the snowmobile or other party. We appreciate that most passengers are friends or relatives of the operator and work hard to secure a recovery for you without filing a lawsuit.
Injuries Associated With Illinois Snowmobile Accidents
There is a risk involved whenever someone decides to participate in a sport or activity like snowmobiling. Snowmobiles can weigh over 600 pounds and go speeds of over 90 MPH, making them dangerous when not driven safely.
Some of the injuries associated with snowmobile crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Joint injury and dislocation
Our attorneys take care to ensure every aspect of the cases in thoroughly evaluated to maximize the damages for each client. We are diligent in our investigation to determine all responsible parties and maximize the available insurance coverage.
In some cases, another operator or driver of a motor vehicle may cause an accident through negligence. In those instances, the injured rider may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries.
- Collisions. If another snowmobile rider is reckless and hits another snowmobile/rider, they may be liable for damages.
- Motor vehicles. Snowmobile drivers that follow the state regulations yet are hit and injured by a motor vehicle due to the motorist's negligence could receive compensation for their injuries.
- Product liability. Snowmobiles can have manufacturer defects that can cause an injury accident. If a person is injured due to a defect in their snowmobile or improper maintenance on a rented snowmobile, there may be a case for liability for their injuries.
Approximately 200 people are killed, and another 14,000 are injured every year in snowmobile accidents. While many of these might fall under inherent risk, most snowmobile injuries are caused by driver negligence and defective products.
Filing a Snowmobile Accident Compensation Claim
If you, or a loved one, were harmed in a snowmobile or motorcycle accident, an experienced Illinois snowmobile accident attorney can ensure you receive adequate compensation from the negligent party. Your personal injury lawyer will seek monetary recovery to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses from the negligent party.
In some circumstances, an injured victim of a snowmobile or car accident might be eligible to recover punitive damages from the negligent party. In a fatal accident, the family of the deceased may pursue a wrongful death case against the individual or entity that caused or contributed to the collision.
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the surviving family members can recover compensation for loss of economic and emotional support when losing a loved one through medical malpractice, snowmobile or truck accident, nursing home negligence, or abuse.
Snowmobile Accident Injury FAQs
How Many People Die From Snowmobile Accidents?
Approximately 200 people die every year in 14,000 or more are injured in snowmobile accidents in the United States. The leading cause of snowmobile accidents involves too much alcohol consumption, excessive speed, operator inexperience, and poor judgment.
Both children and adults suffer severe injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, and organ damage.
How Dangerous is Snowmobiling?
Uneven terrain, bumpy roads, and loss of balance can make riding a snowmobile very unsafe. According to the National Safety Council, many snowmobile accidents are the result of failing to maintain control of the vehicle, placing the rider and other snowmobilers at risk of collision.
Other snowmobilers crash into trees, rocks, and fences, resulting in catastrophic injuries or death. Some snowmobilers share the same space as wildlife, exposing themselves to dangerous animals in remote areas all alone.
Is it Hard to Snowmobile?
Operating a snowmobile is much like riding a motorcycle that can be extremely challenging to master the basic techniques of maneuvering. Inexperienced riders can get stuck in treacherous terrain unexpectedly, especially when pushing the limits of seeing just what the vehicle can do.
Snowmobilers will often throttle hard to get out of a ditch and back on the trail when landing in soft powder. Operating a snowmobile can be extremely difficult when using illegal drugs, taking prescription medication, or drinking alcohol.
How Fast is the Average Snowmobile?
Snowmobiles are built like motorcycles and can travel up to 100 mph or more. Some high-power models can travel 150 mph on nearly level terrain.
Residents registered over 14,200 snowmobiles in Illinois in 2018, including Ski-Doo snowmobiles, snow scooters, ski mobiles, motor sleds, and motor sledge models.
At What age can a Child Where a Snowmobile Helmet?
Everyone six years and older should always wear a helmet when riding on a snowmobile. The National Safety Council states that no child should ride as a snowmobile passenger until they are at least six years of age due to the restrictions of their body development and inability to wear a fitted helmet correctly.
It is recommended that no child ride on any trail on a motorized sled at any speed for any length.
What Size Snowmobile Helmet do I Need?
Snowmobile helmets are best fitted by consulting a sizing chart to determine the proper size of your head based on the design of the helmet. A properly fitted helmet usually requires using a fabric tape measure to determine their circumference of your head just above the eyebrows.
Hiring an Illinois Snowmobile Accident Injury Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents injured snowmobile drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Our attorneys prosecute accidents involving snowmobiles in Illinois and throughout the Midwest.
Many of these accidents are covered under insurance policies that provide coverage for these injuries and medical expenses. In many cases, we can negotiate a settlement directly with the insurance company, which will avoid the lengthy process of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Like all our personal injury cases, we handle Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin snowmobile accidents on a contingency fee basis. We only charge a legal fee if there is a recovery for you.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send personal and time-sensitive information to our law office through voicemail, email, or text message. Our attorneys follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).