Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport in cottage country and rural areas offering an abundance of trails and off-trail experiences. There is nothing like the thrill of climbing on a powerful machine and driving off for a day of winter fun. Yet snowmobile accidents can happen and often result in serious injury, and sometimes, even death.
Along with the joy of this great winter sport, there are many obstacles which may lead to accidents including driver error, excessive speed and loss of control of the vehicle, or not being familiar with a property or area. Although it goes without saying that a snowmobiler should not be riding their vehicle on private property without the permission of the owner, even groomed trails or farmer’s fields can pose dangers that a driver may be unaware of; a rock jutting out of the snow, a fence line and even open water on a frozen lake. Bright sunlight on a winter’s day can impair a driver’s vision.
Like many sports, there is an inherent risk involved, though with snowmobiling there is a certain level of risk accepted by the passenger as well as soon as they climb aboard, so these cases are often difficult to prove.
Colliding into another vehicle or object is another common cause of snowmobile accidents, often resulting in serious injury. Carelessness or even negligence in operating the vehicle must be proven and can include the negligence of goods and/or materials improperly placed or discarded on a trail or road. Although not as common, some snowmobile accident claims involve manufacturer defects in a part or machine which may be the grounds for legal action against the manufacturer or a product liability claim. Further claims could also be made against the retailer or distributor of the snowmobile, under provisions of the Ontario Sales of Goods Act.
There are limitations to snowmobile accident claims. You have just seven days to inform your insurance company about the accident. You have 30 days after you receive the application to file for Accident Benefits, and two years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Unfortunately, many snowmobile accidents result in serious or catastrophic injuries including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures and orthopedic injuries and neurological injuries. Short or long term medical treatment can be costly. A potential tort claim should be filed against the at-fault party(s) in order to protect your rights under the law.
At Horowitz Injury Law, our experienced team has nearly 35 years of experience and can help you receive the compensation you deserve when you have been injured in a snowmobile accident. Call us today for a free consultation at 416-925-4100.