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.
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.
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:
- 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:
- Be 12 years or older
- Pass a Minnesota-approved Snowmobile Safety Course
- Get a Snowmobile Safety Certificate
- Operators 18 years and older must also obtain a driver’s license or ID card with a valid snowmobile indicator
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