Saint Paul Snowmobile Accident Lawyers

Snowmobiles are both fun and useful, until someone gets injured. Mounting medical bills and missing time at work while recovering may cause injured victims to wonder whether they can pursue compensation for damages.

At TSR Injury Law, we have been representing injured victims in Saint Paul and throughout Minnesota for over 20 years. During that time, we have obtained $300 million in compensation for our clients. We are dedicated to holding at-fault parties liable for negligent actions that cause others harm.

Co-founder and managing partner Steve Terry has been chosen for the Super Lawyers list and received the Minnesota Award for Professional Excellence from the Minnesota State Bar Association.

If you suffered injuries in a snowmobile accident because of another’s negligence, we invite you to contact one of our Saint Paul snowmobile accident attorneys for a free snowmobile accident consultation. If you have a valid case, there are no out-of-pocket costs to pay. If we represent you, we do not get paid unless you do.

Call our firm today to learn more: (612) TSR-TIME

Do I Have a Case?

We cannot determine whether you may have any grounds for an injury claim without fully understanding how your accident occurred.

At TSR Injury Law, we offer a free opportunity to have your potential claim reviewed by one of our knowledgeable attorneys. In this free consultation, you will get answers to your legal questions. Additionally, we may ask about other factors that might have contributed to your accident to help us determine whether negligence played a role in causing your injuries:

  • Your personal account of the crash, especially what you remember right before the crash
  • If the trails, including high-risk areas, were clearly marked
  • Whether a mechanical failure or defective vehicle may have contributed to the crash
  • The time, date and location of the accident (including whether you and/or the other party were on a public area or trespassing on private property)
  • Any factors that may indicate negligence of another party, such as reckless or impaired driving or operation of a snowmobile

Our lawyers are here to review the unique circumstances of your crash to assess whether the other party owed you a duty of care to act reasonably and took appropriate steps to prevent harm to you and others. If a duty of care existed, we need to determine whether there was a violation of that duty and if so, whether that breach was the direct cause for your injuries and other damages.

We have extensive experience investigating personal injury cases, gathering supportive evidence to establish negligence, and recovering damages on behalf of our injured clients.

What is The Value of a Snowmobile Case?

Once we review the unique circumstances that apply to your crash, we can accurately calculate the value of your claim.

In general, the value of a claim is dependent on the severity of the injuries. Victims who sustain more serious injuries may have a claim of greater value. The reason for this is that these victims often require more extensive medical care, tend to have higher wage loss claims and a longer recovery time.

If you have a valid case, there are various other damages you may be eligible to pursue, including:

  • Lost income, if you missed work while recovering
  • Loss of future earnings if you were temporarily or permanently disabled in the accident
  • Emergency medical treatment, including ambulance transportation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation therapy
  • Surgical interventions
  • Loss of companionship
  • Ongoing medical care, both now and in the future
  • Reasonable and related traveling costs for your medical treatments

Contact our Saint Paul snowmobile accident lawyers to learn more today: (612) TSR-TIME

Liability for a Snowmobile Accident

Snowmobile accident claims can be complex, because there are multiple parties who could share liability, including:

  • Other snowmobile operators
  • Motorists driving in the area
  • Government entities
  • Private entities responsible for maintaining snowmobile trails
  • Snowmobile or machinery manufacturers

If another snowmobile operator or car caused your collision, he or she may be liable for your damages. However, if you were riding as a passenger on someone else’s snowmobile, liability could be shared by that driver, the operator of another snowmobile, or the driver of a car.

In addition to other motor vehicles and snowmobiles, those responsible for maintaining the trails could be liable if there were dangerous hazards that should have been mitigated to prevent harm to others. In this type of situation, our knowledgeable attorneys may investigate to see whether you could have a claim against any private, public or government entity that is responsible for maintaining the trails.

There are many potential scenarios and liable parties that could have caused your accident, which is why it is important to seek legal help from a reputable, experienced attorney.

Are There Deadlines for Filing Claims?

Minnesota has a strict filing deadline, officially known as a statute of limitations, that gives you six years  from when your crash occurred. However, there are exceptions that could apply, and make your deadline later, or even significantly sooner. It is important to pay attention to these deadlines, because if you miss your deadline, your case will likely be dismissed, and you have lost an opportunity to seek compensation for your damages, no matter how hurt you are.

Many people are unsure about what deadline may apply in their situation or whether that date has already passed. We encourage you to contact TSR Injury Law today. We are ready for online chats or phone calls 24/7. We welcome the opportunity to assess your situation and inform you of the statute of limitations that may apply to your potential claim.

Schedule your FREE snowmobile accident consultation today: (612) TSR-TIME

What Insurance Covers Snowmobile Accidents?

In Minnesota, snowmobile accidents are generally covered by homeowner’s insurance or a separate policy bought specifically for the snowmobile.  Umbrella polices may also come into play.

Similar to your motor vehicle insurance, the types of coverage offered may include:

  • Collision – Provides for damages to your snowmobile, such as if you collide with another object.
  • Bodily injury liability – Protects your personal assets by providing coverage for the medical costs sustained by an injured victim if you are at fault for a collision. However, if another rider caused your accident and has this coverage, you may file for compensation against his or her policy.
  • Property damage – Just like motor vehicle accidents, this coverage provides compensation for damages you cause with your vehicle.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage – This is coverage to provide compensation for damages you sustain due to an uninsured snowmobile rider.
  • Comprehensive coverage – Provides compensation if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire, flooding or other hazards.

The lawyers at our firm are well-versed in the coverage offered by these policies, and we have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients to help achieve maximum compensation for their injuries.

Throughout the personal injury legal process, if you have a case, we know how to protect the value of your claim. If we represent you, we have the legal staff, resources and access to other industry experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, to fully investigate the cause of your accident and build a strong argument for negligence.

Complete our Case Evaluation form to get started or call today: (612) TSR-TIME

Snowmobile Regulations

A snowmobile, also referred to as a Skidoo, motor sled, snow machine or motor sledge, is a self-propelled motorized vehicle that is designed for use on snow and ice.

Snowmobiles are often used for recreational sports, including trail riding, racing or fishing. However, people use them for other reasons as well, such as for military applications, winter safety rescues or other types of work-related expeditions.

Often, these vehicles are ridden on well-maintained and groomed trails, but sometimes they are operated on public areas of open terrain. Snowmobiles can reach speeds of 80 mph and up, which is why riders involved in an accident can sustain serious injuries.

In Minnesota, snowmobile riders are not permitted to exceed 50 mph when riding over public lands or open water areas. Riders are also responsible for noting and following any speed limits that are posted on the trails. Additionally, just as in with cars, if the trail or weather affects your visibility, you are required to reduce your speed accordingly.

Safety Regulations

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides information about state safety rules and regulations every rider needs to know and is required to follow to prevent accidents.

When operating your snowmobile:

  • Stay away from thin ice or lake inlets; never cross an area of open water
  • Always use the buddy system, never ride alone
  • Wear clothing to protect you from the elements, as well as a safety helmet and eye protection
  • Do not operate a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • On trails, stay to the right and always make sure your headlight and taillights are on and working
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others to avoid an accident
  • At night, reduce speed to below 40 mph
  • Always yield to other motor vehicles
  • Only drive on groomed trail areas


All snowmobiles must be registered with Minnesota’s DNR before taking them out on any trail in the state. In short, if it is not registered, you may not operate it, transport it or permit anyone else to operate it. In St. Paul, you can easily register in person, either at a deputy registrar or at the DNR License Center. You will need the following information:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Serial number
  • Engine size
  • Sales receipt to prove sales tax was paid (not required if you purchased secondhand from a private seller)

To safely and legally operate a snowmobile in Minnesota, you must have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Operators 18 years and older must also obtain a driver’s license or ID card with a valid snowmobile indicator

Helmet Use

All riders under the age of 18 are required to wear an approved safety helmet. An approved helmet only meets acceptable standards required under federal law if it displays the DOT (Department of Transportation) symbol.

The only exception to the helmet rule is if the operator is driving on private land that belongs to a parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle or aunt.


Using your headlights and taillights as indicated under the Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws and Regulations is required:

  • Use your headlights and taillights during hours of darkness
  • Headlights must be strong enough to see both people and vehicles at a minimum of 100 feet ahead, but not so strong that they diminish visibility for an oncoming vehicle.
  • It is not lawful to use colored lenses on headlights, particularly when driving on roads
  • Taillights must be red and visible to other vehicles and snowmobiles up to 500 feet behind you

How Do Snowmobile Accidents Happen?

Even snowmobilers who follow state safety rules can be injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence. Most snowmobile accidents could have been prevented and are often caused by:

  • Operating a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving or riding a snowmobile in severe weather conditions
  • Ignoring the buddy rule and getting stranded due to a mechanical problem
  • Neglecting to wear a safety helmet and face mask
  • A snowmobile having a mechanical defect
  • Travelling at excessive speeds, especially after sundown when vision may be impaired
  • Driving in a reckless or aggressive manner that puts others at risk
  • Being hit by a car while on a snowmobile
  • Striking a pedestrian with a snowmobile

Common Snowmobile Injuries

Snowmobile operators are at risk for severe, life-altering injuries if they do not operate their vehicle safely or if they are injured due to another rider’s negligence. Common injuries include:

  • Fractured limbs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Loss of limbs

Snowmobile injuries can be extensive and cause financial strain in addition to the emotional trauma of surgeries, physical therapy and other medical interventions often involved with a long recovery.

At TSR Injury Law, we are prepared to help you obtain fair compensation for the injuries and other damages you sustained due to another’s negligence.

Contact a St. Paul Snowmobile Accident Lawyer

After suffering serious injuries from a snowmobile accident that you believe was avoidable, we recommend that you contact TSR Injury Law for legal advice. We are available to discuss what actions or inactions may have caused your accident and whether you may have legal options to pursue compensation for the damages you sustained.

Our initial consultation is entirely free and with no obligation to move forward. If we represent you, there are no out-of-pocket costs to you. We only charge for our services after first obtaining a verdict or settlement on your behalf.

Our licensed attorneys at TSR Injury Law have advocated for accident victims in Minnesota for more than 20 years and recovered millions on behalf of our clients.

TSR Injury Law. Free Consultation No Upfront fees: (612) TSR-TIME

Minneapolis Snowmobile Accident lawyer

Snowmobiles are often used for recreation, travel, work-related tasks and even military purposes. However, in the event of a crash, the injuries sustained can be serious, life-altering or fatal. If you or a loved one has been involved a snowmobile crash that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue compensation, such as medical expenses and loss of wages.

At TSR Injury Law, we have more than two decades of experience representing injury victims and their families throughout Minnesota, with $300 million recovered on behalf of our clients. Many of our lawyers are members of The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100 and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

A Minneapolis snowmobile accident lawyer from our firm is ready to discuss your claim. Our initial consultations are completely free and there is no obligation to hire our firm. Should we represent you, we charge no upfront fees unless we are able to help you obtain compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Call (612) TSR-TIME. We are prepared to seek maximum compensation for your damages.

Am I Eligible to File a Case?

Our lawyers need to review your circumstances in great detail to assess whether you may be eligible to file a case for compensation. This includes determining if the crash was the result of negligent operation of the snowmobile, even if you were a passenger on the snowmobile that was operated carelessly.

Negligence is the basis of most personal injury cases. There are four elements of negligence that must be established to recover compensation:

  • Duty of care – The other side owed you a legal duty to act in a reasonable manner to prevent harm. Snowmobile riders have a duty to not speed around others when on a mountain, trail or on the road.
  • Breach of duty of care – The other side breached this duty of care by failing to act as a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation. His or her actions or inactions caused this breach.
  • Causation – There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and your injuries. There was a reasonable expectation for the other side to foresee that his or her actions would cause harm.
  • Damages – The other side’s negligence caused damages, such as medical bills to treat your injury, bills to repair property damage and other expenses attributed to the crash.

Proving negligence can be difficult without an experienced attorney by your side. We welcome the opportunity to discuss if you may have a case and your potential legal options in a free consultation.

TSR Injury Law. Free Consultation. (612) TSR-TIME.

Compensation for Snowmobile Crash Injuries

Snowmobile crashes can cause many significant injuries, from broken bones to internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and facial trauma. This can result in costly medical care to treat not only the physical pain endured, but also mental and emotional suffering experienced during and after the crash.

If you have a case, you may be able to be compensated for the following:

  • Past, current and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Assistive medical devices (wheelchairs and crutches)
  • Modifications to vehicles and homes for a disability
  • Long-term care services
  • Loss of wages and loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering

What If I Was Trespassing on Private Property?

If you were hurt in a snowmobile crash while trespassing, the owner of the property may not be liable for your injuries. You must have been lawfully invited onto the private property as a social guest (invitee) or for a business-related purpose (licensee). This is in accordance with Minnesota’s trespass laws.

You may be unable to pursue compensation and worse, you could face a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000 and a jail sentence up to 90 days. We recommend consulting a Minneapolis snowmobile injury lawyer who is well-versed in these cases and knows how to seek maximum compensation for these injuries.

Is There a Time Limit To Take Legal Action?

In Minnesota, there is a limited amount of time to take legal action for your injuries. This is known as the statute of limitations. For snowmobile crashes, you generally have two years from the date of the crash to file a case. Failure to meet the six-year deadline means forfeiting your right to bring your case to court and recover compensation for your losses, even when you are severely injured or disabled.

There may be exceptions that grant you extra time to file. This includes situations when the victim is a minor or mentally incompetent and cannot take legal action. Our legal team is ready to answer any questions you may have about the statute of limitations and help determine the filing deadline that is applicable to your situation.

Will Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Case?

State law requires all snowmobile riders under the age of 18 to wear a DOT-compliant helmet unless participating in a parade or operating the vehicle on family-owned land.

Even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, you may still be eligible to file a case and recover compensation for your injuries. However, the insurance company may attempt to devalue or deny your settlement. They may claim you sustained injuries because you failed to wear a helmet in an effort to pay out as little as possible to protect their best interests and save themselves money.

This is why it is important to reach out to our legal team as soon as possible. We are prepared to conduct a detailed investigation and gather evidence to define the role your missing helmet played in the crash and your injuries. There is no obligation to move forward and no risk in calling us.

Give us a call at (612) TSR-TIME or complete our free online form.

Minnesota Snowmobile Laws You Should Know

Snowmobiles in Minnesota are considered self-propelled vehicles originally manufactured and designed for travel on snow or ice and steered by skis or runners. They are similar, but considered different from all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycle or off-road vehicles equipped with aftermarket skis and tracks.

As outlined in Minnesota’s Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules & Regulations, snowmobile riders have a responsibility to respect the rules of the road and operate their vehicles in a safe manner. This handbook educates riders on licensing and registration, equipment requirements, and how to operate a snowmobile.

Registering a Snowmobile

If you purchase a snowmobile, it must be registered with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for you to legally operate or transport the vehicle. You must be at least 18 years old and submit documentation for purchase verification. A snowmobile registration number, validation decal and registration card will then be issued.

Operating a Snowmobile

Operating a snowmobile requires having either a snowmobile safety certificate or a snowmobile safety certificate indicator that appears on your driver’s license or state ID card. Although the average snowmobile can go as fast as 90 mph or reach upwards of 120 mph, depending on the vehicle model, state law does not allow snowmobile riders to go past the posted speed limit on trails or over 50 mph on public lands or waters.

Other rules of the road for riders includes always passing on the left when trying to overtake another vehicle traveling in the same direction, slowing down and staying to the right when meeting another vehicle, and giving the right-of-way to the operator on the right at an intersection.

Required Equipment

Aside from wearing a helmet, eye protection and proper clothing are also important. Headlights and taillights not turned on in a snowmobile after dark can result in a crash. The brakes also must be in good working condition and the vehicle must a certain amount of reflector material on either side of the handlebars.

The DNR site also provides snowmobile safety tips to help reduce the risk of a crash.

Snowmobile Insurance Coverage

Snowmobile crashes are usually covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Victims may also have insurance policies on the vehicles themselves. Coverages that may be available include:

  • Liability  – This helps cover the other side’s expenses if you caused an crash that resulted in bodily injury or damage to property.
  • Collision  – This helps cover damage to the snowmobile caused by colliding with another object or vehicle.
  • Comprehensive – This helps cover damage to the snowmobile caused by theft, vandalism, fire or an animal.
  • Medical payments – This helps cover medical bills for your snowmobile-related injuries, up to the policy limits.

Our attorneys can also help you determine if an umbrella insurance policy may apply to your crash.

What to Do After a Snowmobile Crash

After a snowmobile crash, there are certain things you can do to keep you safe and gather information you may need before being able to file a claim for compensation. This includes the following:

  • Seek medical care – Receive treatment to protect your health and learn the extent of your injuries. Many injuries may not present symptoms for days or weeks. Getting evaluated by a doctor will help to establish a link between your injuries and the crash because medical records can be hard to refute.
  • Report the crash – Be sure to call the police to investigate the scene and obtain a copy of the crash report. State law requires that you report the crash within 48 hours to the DNR if it resulted in a serious injury, death, or property damage totaling more than $500.
  • Exchange information – Gather as much information from everyone involved in the crash. This includes names and contact information, year, make and model of the vehicle, and insurance details.
  • Document evidence – If you are capable, take pictures with your cellphone of the crash scene, the vehicles involved, your injuries, and anything else deemed relevant.
  • Contact a lawyer – Unlike the insurance company, a lawyer will be focused on protecting your rights and best interests. He or she can walk you through the legal process, communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate for fair compensation.

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Why Snowmobile Crashes Happen

Snowmobiles can be inherently dangerous. These vehicles weigh more than 400 pounds and can travel at high speeds. Unfortunately, snowmobile crashes often happen due to negligence. Examples include:

Speeding or Reckless Driving

It can be difficult to control a snowmobile when riding at excessive speeds. Many crashes occur when operators are speeding or driving recklessly, which can cause collisions with street signs, trees, poles, or collisions with another rider or motor vehicle.

Poor Trail Conditions

Trails that are not properly maintained by property owners and free of hazards can cause a collision or loss of vehicle control. Although an operator is expected to steer with care and use caution against these elements, sometimes negligent caretaking can lead to an injury.

Drug or Alcohol Intoxication

Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another cause of snowmobile crashes. Drugs and alcohol can impair your ability to operate the vehicle safely, along with your judgement and reaction time to an obstacle.

Malfunction or Maintenance Issue

Snowmobiles are also subject to malfunctions and mechanical defects that can lead to an injury or death. An crash could be caused by poor vehicle construction or design, recalled equipment or faulty parts.

Need Help? Contact Our Minneapolis Snowmobile Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a snowmobile crash, you should seek legal help from a qualified lawyer. You may be eligible to pursue compensation for medical expenses and other damages. Our lawyers at TSR Injury Law have been advocating for victims’ rights for more than 20 years and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients in Hennepin County and across the state of Minnesota.

Let us review your situation and determine whether you may have a viable case in a free, no-obligation consultation. There are no upfront fees for our service. We only get paid if you obtain compensation.

Our office in Bloomington is located about 25 minutes from the Minnesota United Snowmobile Association.

Contact our legal team today by calling (612) TSR-TIME.

Bloomington Snowmobile Accident Attorneys

Riding a snowmobile can be a lot of fun, but the fun can quickly end when riders, passengers or others are careless or negligent. Crashes can occur and leave victims with severe or even life-threatening injuries, and recovery could take a long time, if a recovery is even possible.

After a crash, it is important to talk to a licensed attorney about compensation that may be available for your injuries. The Bloomington snowmobile accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law have extensive knowledge of the causes of these crashes, damages that may be available, and how to build a strong case on behalf of our clients.

Our firm has recovered $300 million on behalf of our clients over more than 20 years. We represent accident victims throughout the state and do not charge fees up front. We do not get paid unless we secure compensation for our clients. The initial consultation is also free, and you decide whether to take legal action if we determine you have a case.

Our phone lines are open 24/7. Give us a call to learn more about legal options. (612) TSR-TIME

How do I Know if I May Have a Case?

Generally, it is recommended that crash victims talk to a licensed attorney about whether they may have grounds for legal action, which may include an insurance claim or lawsuit.

At TSR Injury Law, we are prepared to give our assessment of your situation in a free initial consultation. There are many things we may want to know about your crash to determine if negligence was involved and how it may have caused your injuries, such as:

  • What you remember about the crash, including the events leading up to the crash
  • Evidence you may have about the at-fault rider or driver being drunk
  • Whether any equipment failed leading up to the crash
  • Where the crash occurred (on or off a snowmobile trail, on property you were not legally allowed to be on, on a mountain, on a road while you were crossing, etc.)
  • When the crash happened
  • Whether the trail you were riding on was marked properly

Our Bloomington snowmobile accident attorneys need to determine if another party had a duty of care to take action to avoid causing harm, whether that duty was breached, and whether the breach could be directly connected to your injuries and damages.

We have more than two decades of experience building cases for negligence for our clients and recovering compensation on their behalf.

Compensation for Snowmobile Crash Victims

The purpose of a personal injury claim is to recover financial compensation for the victim’s damages. Compensation is meant to help put the victim into the position he or she was in prior to the crash.

The value of each case depends on the damages suffered, how long those damages may last, and other factors you can discuss with one our trusted attorneys.

If you have a valid case, you may be able to seek compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages, such as:

  • Surgery
  • Treatment of frostbite or hypothermia
  • Hospitalization
  • Prescriptions
  • Appointments with doctors
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of your earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • MRIs and X-rays
  • Wheelchairs, crutches or other medical equipment doctors may prescribe

At TSR Injury Law, our goal is to recover maximum compensation for damages to give you the chance to make the best recovery possible.

Call today to set up your free consultation to learn more. (612) TSR-TIME

How Long do I Have to File Legal Action?

It is best to get the legal process started as soon as possible. The sooner you get started, the sooner you may be able to recover compensation and begin trying to move forward with your life.

There are also deadlines to consider. Our attorneys may be able to file an insurance claim on your behalf and insurance companies often have their own deadlines for claims. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your opportunity to seek compensation from the insurance policy.

The other deadline that may apply is Minnesota’s statute of limitations. You have six years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. Claims filed after that date will likely be dismissed in court, even if you are seriously injured.

There are various exceptions to this deadline, depending on the details of your case, which can be discussed with a licensed Bloomington snowmobile accident lawyer in a free consultation.

Who Could be Held Liable for a Snowmobile Crash?

Fault for a snowmobile crash can be complicated and it depends on the specific situation. At-fault parties may include:

  • Snowmobile operators
  • Drivers
  • Government entities
  • Private entities with snowmobile trails
  • Product manufacturers

For example, if you were in a collision with another snowmobile, the other snowmobile operator may be at fault. If you were injured as a passenger, the driver of the snowmobile on which you were riding may be liable. In a crash with an automobile, the driver may be at fault.

Motor vehicle operators are not the only ones who may hold liability for these crashes. For example, snowmobile trails in state parks and other government property must be properly maintained and free of hazards that could create an unreasonable risk of a crash. If your crash resulted from hazardous conditions, or lack of signage, you may have a claim against the state of Minnesota and/or its Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The manufacturer of the snowmobile or its components may hold liability if the crash resulted from defective or malfunctioning equipment. These kinds of defects could result in collisions with trees or other fixed objects, fires and explosions or high-speed crashes.

Unsure of who may be liable? Call TSR Injury Law today at (612) TSR-TIME.

Are Snowmobiles Covered by Insurance?

Snowmobiles are usually insured by homeowner’s insurance or a separate insurance policy on the vehicle. A snowmobile insurance policy can include some of the same types of coverage you will find in your car insurance, such as:

  • Collision – If your snowmobile is damaged in a collision with obstacles like rocks, trees or ice, you may file a claim for compensation for repairs to your vehicle.
  • Bodily injury liability – If you are found at fault in a crash, this coverage may pay the medical bills of the victim. If you in a collision with another rider who has this coverage, your attorney may be able to file a claim against it.
  • Property damage – This pays for damage to another’s property in an crash that was your fault.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage – If you have insurance but the other rider does not, you may be able to use this coverage to pay for your damages.
  • Comprehensive coverage – This coverage applies to losses caused by fire, vandalism or theft.

There may also be umbrella insurance policies that could apply to your claim.

Our Bloomington snowmobile crash lawyers are prepared to manage the insurance claims process on your behalf. The lawyers at our firm have many years of combined experience negotiating for fair compensation with insurance adjusters. We know how to protect the full value of a claim.

We have the resources to launch a thorough investigation of the crash and can consult industry experts when necessary to bolster your claim. We can take steps to preserve evidence and seek out evidence you may not have been aware of, such as video footage of the crash.

We are also prepared to go to court when necessary to pursue full compensation.

Riding Snowmobiles in Minnesota

A snowmobile is also called a motor sled, motor sledge, skimobile, Ski-Doo or snow machine. These are motor vehicles specially designed to travel on snow and have runners on the front and caterpillar tracks in the back.

For the most part, snowmobiles are used as recreational vehicles. However, they are also used as rescue vehicles in the winter. They can also be used for checking forest land and repairing power and telephone lines. Snowmobiles are also used in winter fishing and hunting, and there is professional snowmobile racing.

These vehicles are usually ridden on trails or open terrain and can reach speeds of more than 80, 90 or 100 mph. However, Minnesota prohibits snowmobile riders from traveling over 50 mph on public lands or waters. You are also prohibited from exceeding the posted speed limits on the trail. You must also slow down to a safe speed based on the terrain and visibility.

Regulations for Snowmobile Riders

Our state has many regulations on snowmobiles meant to keep riders and others safe and allow the state to regulate the operation of these vehicles. These are explained in the DNR publication Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Law, Rules and Regulations.

Registering Snowmobiles in Minnesota

Generally, it is illegal to operate or transport an unregistered snowmobile in Minnesota. You must be at least 18 years old to register a snowmobile and the registration fees are mostly used to pay for grant-in-aid trails, trail maintenance, grooming and easement acquisition. Your registration number must be displayed on the vehicle in the space provided by the employer or on each side of the upper half of the front.

However, there are exceptions to this requirement. For example, these vehicles do not need to be registered if they are being used to groom a state or grant-in-aid trial.

Am I Required to Wear a Helmet?

Anyone under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet, unless they are in a parade or on land that belongs to a:

  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling
  • Uncle
  • Aunt

The helmet must display the Department of Transportation (DOT) symbol, indicating it conforms to DOT motor vehicle safety standards.

However, even if you or your loved one were not wearing a helmet during a crash, you may be able to pursue compensation for damages suffered. The other party may try to use Minnesota’s comparative fault law to reduce the value of your claim.

Our snowmobile accident lawyers in Bloomington have detailed knowledge of this law and are prepared to build a strong case to try to make sure the law is applied fairly in your case.

Required Equipment

Snowmobiles must have appropriate lights, brakes and reflector material to keep riders and others safe. If your crash was caused by another operator whose vehicle lacked the proper equipment, he or she may be liable for your damages.

Headlights and taillights must be on when riding in the dark and headlights must reveal people and vehicles within 100 feet. Taillights must be visible for 500 feet from the rear of the snowmobile. Every snowmobile must have a minimum of 16 square inches of reflector material on all sides in front of the handlebars.

Rules of the Road

Anyone born after December 31, 1976 is required to complete a snowmobile safety training course to legally operate a snowmobile in the state.

There are certain places and times you can ride a snowmobile:

  • The bottom or outside slope of a ditch of a county or state road
  • The same direction as road traffic one half hour past sunset to one half hour before the sun rises
  • State and local grant in aid trails
  • Iced-over waterways
  • Public lands open to motorized vehicles
  • Land with posted signs saying snowmobiles are allowed

In Minnesota, it is against the law to operate a snowmobile in a careless, reckless or heedless manner endangering the operator or property of another or causing injury or damage. You also cannot use a metal traction device on paved public trails that have been closed by state or local government.

Violations of many snowmobile rules and statutes are considered misdemeanors and may carry fines of up to $1,000 and jail for up to 90 days.

Operating a Snowmobile While Intoxicated

The legal blood alcohol limit is .08, just as it is for driving a car. If refuse a chemical test of your blood alcohol concentration, or are convicted or drunk operation of a snowmobile, your driver’s license will be revoked and your snowmobile, ATV or motorboat privileges will be suspended for one year.

You can be charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony level Driving While Intoxicated. Penalties may include fines between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the offense, along with jail time.

Schedule a free consultation with a Bloomington snowmobile accident lawyer today. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME

Protecting an Injury Claim After a Crash

When a snowmobile crash causes an injury that needs medical attention, death or damage valued at more than $500, you are legally required to report the crash to the DNR within just 48 hours. There is an official accident report form on the DNR website.

Seeking medical attention is also very important after a crash. You need to get an accurate diagnosis of your injuries so appropriate treatment can be provided. Going to the doctor immediately helps to link the crash to your injury.

Make sure you follow the doctor’s orders about physical limitations and attend follow-up appointments. Failure to do so could result in the other side attempting to devalue your claim.

When possible, crash victims should try to collect evidence at the scene, such as pictures of their injuries and the scene. Talk to eyewitnesses about what they saw and get their contact information.

There is limited time to take legal action, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Our lawyers are available to determine if you may have a case and what it may be worth.

What Causes Snowmobile Crashes?

According to Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, the top contributing factors in snowmobile crashes are speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. However, there are many other reasons crashes may occur.

  • Poor maintenance of a snowmobile trail
  • Reckless operation of a snowmobile, such as in a collision with another snowmobile
  • Reckless driving, such as in a crash with a car on a snow-covered roadway
  • Avalanche
  • Crashing into a fixed object
  • Defective parts on the snowmobile
  • Going off a trail
  • Obstacles on the trail
  • Fires or explosions
  • Falling through ice over a lake

Contact Our Bloomington Snowmobile Accident Lawyers

When people ride recreational vehicles like snowmobiles, they tend to much less careful than they might be if they were driving a car. That is why snowmobile crashes are often the result of reckless behavior and decision-making.

If you were injured in a snowmobile crash, either as a rider or passenger, or someone who was not on a snowmobile, our experienced attorneys may be able to help you.

Schedule a free initial consultation to learn more. If you have a case and hire our firm, there are no upfront fees. Co-founder and managing partner Steven Terry is a resident of Bloomington and a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.

Our Bloomington snowmobile accident lawyers are ready to help you and answer your questions. (612) TSR-TIME