Brisk winter conditions, combined with miles of trails from Holland to East Aurora to Clarence, make Western New York a snowmobiler’s paradise. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time, even when you are being careful. Many snowmobile accidents are considered preventable and often involve the consumption of alcohol, riding after dark, riding on thin ice, or a combination of these factors. Snowmobile accidents often result in serious bodily injury or death, even if the riders involved were wearing helmets. Accidents may cause riders to be thrown from their sleds, resulting in serious trauma such as concussion, spinal cord injuries or fractures.
When snowmobiles crash, it is often with fixed objects, such as trees or rocks, after the snowmobiler loses control of his sled and leaves the trail. Crashes with other snowmobiles, cars or trucks, however, are not uncommon.
Even though they are used primarily for recreational purposes, New York State Law requires that snowmobiles be insured. If you are in an accident while riding your snowmobile you may be entitled to accident benefits through your insurance company. You may also be entitled to sue another person who is responsible for causing the accident. This may be another rider who caused the accident by consuming alcohol, driving at night without lights or driving recklessly. You may also be able to sue the owner of the property on which you were riding if the accident was caused by a hazardous condition on the property.
The law dealing with snowmobile accidents can be complex and may differ significantly from the law dealing with a regular motor vehicle accident. In New York State, the operator of a snowmobile is required to register the sled with the Department of Motor Vehicles if it is going to be used on property other than the owner’s. You are required by law to wear a helmet. You must operate your snowmobile at a safe and prudent speed, with the headlights on.
There are time limits to file for accident benefits and to begin a lawsuit, so consult an experienced snowmobile accident lawyer as soon as possible.
For help with your snowmobile accident case in Holland, East Aurora, Arcade, throughout WNY and beyond, contact us at 716-714-4109. We are standing by to help.