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Injuries Resulting from Snowmobile Accidents: Legal Recourse for Victims

Snowmobiling can be exhilarating. It can also be dangerous, given the speed, weather, treacherous terrain, and other conditions that can lead to serious snowmobile accidents.   

There is legal recourse available if you or a loved one has been injured in a snowmobile accident. The avenues for seeking compensation and the amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive will depend on several factors, including who was at fault for the collision and the severity of the injuries sustained. Let’s have a look at common snowmobile accident injuries and the legal options for those who have been hurt.   

snowmobile accident

Commonly Seen Snowmobile Accident Injuries  

Snowmobiles are very fast and very heavy. A snowmobile’s operator and passengers are more exposed than a driver or passenger in a car or truck, leaving them more vulnerable to serious injuries. Snowmobiles can flip and land on a person. A person might be thrown from the snowmobile when a collision occurs, or struck by a tree branch, fence, or other obstruction.  

Snowmobile injuries tend to be severe, at times resulting in death. Common snowmobiling injuries include: 

Legal Recourse for Snowmobile Accident Victims 

There are legal options if you have been injured in a snowmobiling accident, or if your loved one has been hurt or killed in snowmobile accident. A snowmobile accident victim can recover compensation similar to a person hurt or killed in a car accident. Ontario law (the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.44) requires operators to carry insurance if they are going to drive their snowmobile anywhere off their own private property. The Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. I.8 and its Regulations create an insurance scheme that includes coverage for snowmobile accidents.  

Depending on how the accident occurred, your legal options may include:  

  • A statutory accident benefits claim to cover various out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, treatment costs, and caregiver expenses. This type of claim is typically brought against your own auto insurance policy and is available regardless of who was at fault for the snowmobile accident. Provided there is a policy in place, you have coverage for this type of claim, even if you were at fault for the collision or you were injured in a single-vehicle snowmobile accident.  

  • A personal injury lawsuit if someone else’s fault or negligence caused the accident (e.g., another snowmobile, a car or truck driver, the operator of a snowmobile on which you were riding as a passenger). In this type of claim, you can seek additional compensation for damages such as physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, future wage loss, and future care expenses. Family members of the accident victim may also be able to bring a lawsuit against the person who caused the snowmobile accident. 

  • If the snowmobile involved in the accident was not insured, or it was a hit-and-run accident involving an unidentified driver, you may have a claim for compensation against Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund

There are strict deadlines that apply to each type of claim, and specific paperwork that must be prepared and filed to start the claim. For example, to make a claim for statutory accident benefits, you must notify the insurance company within seven days of the collision, and you must submit a completed SABs benefit application to the insurance company within 30 days of receiving the application forms. In comparison, the basic limitation period for starting a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident (though there are exceptions), and the court action is commenced by preparing, filing, and serving a Statement of Claim on the wrongdoer.   

Missed limitation periods and mistakes in the paperwork can be fatal to any type of claim. Any person who has been hurt should consult with an experienced snowmobile accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn about their rights and the steps they’ll need to take to get full compensation.  

Speak with a Snowmobile Accident Lawyer in Barrie 

At Littlejohn Barristers, we understand the complexities of snowmobile accidents and can help you navigate the legal process. If you or a loved one have suffered a debilitating injury in a snowmobile accident, one of our lawyers can help you claim accident benefits or file a lawsuit to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.  

To set up a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced snowmobile lawyer, or to learn more about the services offered by our personal injury law firm, we welcome you to contact us today


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