Illinois Snowmobile Accident Lawyer
Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people each year. These days, it is right behind skiing and ice skating as the most popular winter sports in the country.
Illinois is one of the more popular states in the United States for snowmobiling. There are nearly 14,000 registered snowmobiles in the state, and it is a popular winter sport.
The cold winter climate makes parts of the state ideal for snowmobiling. These can be fun recreational vehicles that you can use to enjoy the winter.
Even when you or a loved one have followed all rules for snowmobile safety, an accident injury may still happen. Regardless of your level of care, you may be injured in a snowmobile accident because of someone else's negligence.
Then, you should contact an injury attorney to possibly recover compensation for the damages and serious injuries that you have suffered.
Why Snowmobile Injuries Are Often Serious
While a snowmobile is a recreational vehicle, every piece of advertising that you see encourages people to drive it as hard as they can. These are not vehicles that people will drive in a leisurely manner.
Snow sports are meant to be adventurous. Theoretically, even though someone is driving a snowmobile fast, there is nothing to say that they should not be doing that. Of course, if they are going too fast, it could be considered the driver's negligence.
Because of the speed, snowmobile injuries can be every bit as serious as those suffered in motorcycle accidents.
In both of these crashes, the driver does not have the physical protection that they would have if they were in other types of motor vehicles.
Common Snowmobile Injuries
Here are some of the common severe injuries that snowmobilers would suffer in accidents:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (from head trauma in the crash)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
Many of these injuries can result in permanent disabilities that can change the life of the accident victim.
Find the Negligent Party
After your snowmobile crash, there are a number of parties who could be held liable. A personal injury attorney would investigate your accident to figure out the right party to sue. It could be that you can file a lawsuit against multiple parties for your injuries.
The responsible party would determine who you need to contact to receive compensation. You may be dealing with an insurance company, or you may be filing a lawsuit in court. In part, that would be up to you and your lawyer based on your legal strategy.
Investigating Snowmobile Accidents
There are a number of things that a personal injury lawyer would do to investigate your snowmobile accident. They include:
- Visiting the scene of the accident to learn more about the conditions and how it may have looked at the time of the accident
- Analyzing the snowmobile itself and consulting with experts to learn if the snowmobile was defective
- Speaking with witnesses who may have seen the accident
- Reviewing any other documentary evidence
Not only will your attorney help determine the cause of your snowmobile accident, but they will also review your medical information and your own personal situation to help you determine what you are owed.
Suing the Manufacturer for Snowmobile Accidents
This is often the leading cause of a snowmobile accident. These must be precise vehicles that can steer and stop quickly to avoid hazards. People need to be able to maneuver away from trees, hazards and other snowmobiles. The machine must respond to the driver's inputs and commands.
There are four major snowmobile manufacturers. They are:
- Arctic Cat
- Polaris Industries
- Yamaha Motor Corporation
Injured people may be able to file lawsuits against both the manufacturer of the snowmobile and the dealer who sold it to them. They could file product liability lawsuits under the following legal theories:
- The snowmobile had a design that made it unreasonably dangerous
- There was a mistake made in manufacturing or on the assembly line that made the product unreasonably dangerous
- The manufacturer knew or should have known of a danger with their product, and they failed to take action to fix it or warn the general public
Improper Maintenance Cases
Some Illinois snowmobile accidents are caused by maintenance errors. Snowmobiles must be maintained in proper working order because they require precision.
However, the snowmobile driver may try to steer or brake and realize that the machine simply is not working properly.
In some cases, this is the fault of the dealer or maintenance shop that either inspected the vehicle or installed new safety equipment. The maintenance provider can also be sued in a personal injury lawsuit.
Lawsuits Against the Property Owner for a Snowmobile Crash on Private Property
You may have had your accident on public property that was supposed to be a marked trail or on private property that was specifically designated as a snowmobiling trail.
The property owner may have failed to clear debris from the area that was used as a snowmobile trail.
Alternatively, they may have marked a trail in a dangerous way. If they open their property to the public for snowmobiling, they must keep it in reasonably safe condition.
Suing Another Snowmobile Driver
Many snowmobile accidents are one vehicle crashes, when a driver loses control of their vehicle. However, there are some cases where two snowmobiles will crash into each other, causing serious injuries. In those cases, the same rules would apply that are used in any car accident case.
Here, you would be able to sue another driver if they acted unreasonably in any way. For example, they could have forced you off the trail or were traveling at an excessive speed.
Suing the Driver for Your Serious Injury
If you were a snowmobile rider, traveling on the back of a snowmobile driven by someone else, you may also have a legal cause of action against the driver for their conduct if they were acting recklessly.
For example, the driver may have been traveling off marked trails, or they were speeding excessively. Do not worry if the driver was a friend of yours or a family member.
Chances are that they are covered by an insurance policy, and you would be making the claim against their insurance. In other words, the money does not come out of their own pocket.
Compensation for Your Snowmobile Accident Injury
If you were hurt in a snowmobile accident, you may be entitled to the following damages if you can prove that someone else was responsible for your injuries:
- Lost wages (or payment for a reduction in your earnings capacity)
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If your loved one was killed, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit, and the family can be paid for its own damages suffered.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member have been injured in a snowmobile accident, call our law offices toll free at (888) 424-5757 or fill out a contact form for a free case evaluation.
A personal injury lawyer will review the details of your case and give you advice about how you can qualify for a financial recovery under Illinois law.
We serve clients throughout Illinois, including the following areas:
- Cook County
- Sangamon County
- Dupage County
- Lake County
- Peoria County
- Macon County
We can offer you a free consultation to discuss your legal issue in Chicago IL or anywhere in Illinois, and you owe us nothing unless you win your case after we form an attorney client relationship.