Lawyers Representing Injured Snowmobile Riders in Illinois and Wisconsin
With over 2,500 miles of trails available in Illinois for snowmobiling, it is no wonder that it is such a popular winter sport our state. For those who adhere to safety precautions and abide by the state regulations, it can be an exhilarating way to enjoy the outdoors in the cold winter months. However, there are also those who drive dangerously who put others and themselves at risk of injury. Defective vehicle components can cause harm. When a fun day snowmobiling results in a rider being seriously injured or killed due to someone’s negligence, the party at fault may be liable for the financial and personal toll that the victim and their families face.
Illinois Snowmobile Laws
More than 33,750 snowmobiles that were registered in Illinois in 2012-2013. Snowmobile operators must follow specific laws regulating riding, including restrictions on where they can be driven, the age of driver and insurance coverage. These rules are meant to protect both riders and those who come in contact with those on snowmobiles from danger and financial risk. Some of the current regulations in Illinois include:
- Age limits. No one under the age of 10 years of age may operate a regulation snowmobile. Those between 10-15 years of age must have a parent or guardian of at least 16 years old accompanying them on the snowmobile.
- Insurance. Liability insurance is required for snowmobilers that are 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 they can be crossed directly or used to cross a bridge or culvert, but only by drivers that have a valid drivers license or safety certificate.
Snowmobile Injury 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. Riding this type of sports vehicle is called an inherent risk, and in most cases when a person is injured while riding due to making a mistake or some uncontrollable events, the liability for their injuries is on the rider. However, in some cases another rider or driver of a motor vehicle may cause an accident through negligence and in those instances, the injured rider may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries. These include:
- Collisions. If another snowmobile rider is reckless and hits another snowmobile/rider, they may be liable for damages.
- Motor vehicles. Snowmobile drivers that are following the state regulations yet are hit and injured by a motor vehicle due to the motorist’s negligence; they may be able to 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 may fall under inherent risk, others are caused by negligence. When this is the case, the injured victim or their family will need the counsel of an experienced Illinois snowmobile accident attorney to determine whether they can receive compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses from the negligent party.Get legal help for your snowmobile accident injuries
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents injured snowmobile drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Our attorneys continue to 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. Like all of our personal injury cases, we handle Illinois and Wisconsin snowmobile accidents on a contingency fee basis where we only charge a legal fee if there is a recovery for you.