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Vermont Snowmobile Accident Lawyer
Snowmobile Injury Claims in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Florida
Snowmobiling is a popular winter pastime throughout the state of Vermont. Yet, this exciting activity can turn dangerous if those operating a snowmobile don’t follow applicable safety regulations or if a defective snowmobile malfunctions.
If you or someone you know was involved in a snowmobile accident in Vermont, Shillen Mackall & Seldon Law Office can help. Our team of Vermont snowmobile accident lawyers has over three decades of experience negotiating and litigating cases on behalf of locals and tourists who are injured in all types of accidents. We can help you receive the compensation you need to pay for your medical expenses, snowmobile repairs, attorney fees, and more.
Interested in learning more about how we can help? Contact us now to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation with an attorney at our firm.
How Common Are Snowmobile Accidents?
Snowmobile crashes are a regular occurrence in Vermont. According to the Vermont Department of Health, snowmobiles are responsible for approximately 200 fatalities and 14,000 injuries in the United States every year. In the state of Vermont, 12% of annual recreational vehicle injuries are related to snowmobile accidents. Reports of Vermont snowmobiling accidents that lead to injuries and death are not uncommon in the news, so we urge anyone going for a ride to do so as safely and responsibly as possible.
When Are Snowmobiling Accidents Most Likely?
Most fatal snowmobile accidents occur sometime between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. This is mainly due to the low visibility of night combined with the increased likelihood that people will drive while intoxicated after dark.
Can You Sue for a Snowmobile Accident?
If your snowmobile accident occurred due to a negligent or careless act done by someone other than yourself, you can most likely file a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, you must be able to provide proof that someone’s behavior—or lack of action—caused a crash that led to actual injuries.
To best protect your claim, document the accident scene immediately following your snowmobile crash. Take pictures of the area, get contact information from witnesses if there were any, and write down how you remember the crash happening while the memory is recent.
Next, head to a doctor. Even if you feel unhurt, seeking medical attention is important because a doctor’s diagnosis as well as your medical records can be used to back up your claim should you decide to sue.
Who Is Liable in a Snowmobile Accident?
To file a lawsuit, there must be a defendant—the person or company you are suing for compensation. As the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit), you must identify who is at fault and provide evidence to back up your claim.
Who is liable for a snowmobile accident depends on the cause of the crash. According to the University of Vermont, the three main causes of snowmobile accidents in the state are natural obstacles, speeding, and alcohol intoxication. So, if you were enjoying a snowmobile ride when suddenly you were struck by a drunk driver operating another snowmobile, you can sue the individual who was driving while intoxicated.
Other examples of snowmobile accident liability include:
- If a mechanical defect leads to an injury or death, you can sue the snowmobile’s manufacturer for damages
- If you rented a snowmobile that wasn’t properly maintained and the lack of maintenance led to an accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the rental company
- If you crashed a snowmobile due to a trail that was not maintained properly, you can possibly sue the owner of the property where the trail is located
To determine liability more accurately in your specific case and find out whether you can legally file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, consult with a Vermont snowmobile accident attorney.
Common Snowmobile Crash Injuries & Causes
We mentioned the three major causes of snowmobile accidents above, but there are actually many ways in which a crash can occur.
Factors that often play a part in Vermont snowmobiling accidents include:
- Collision with deer and other wildlife
- Collision with a fixed object
- Collision with a motor vehicle
- Collision with another snowmobile
- Ice and water hazards
- Improper snowmobile maintenance
- Improper trail maintenance
- Lack of driver experience
- Manufacturing defects
- Reckless driving
Injuries that are often associated with snowmobile crashes are:
- Amputation (especially in cases of frostbite)
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Knee and back trauma
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Wrongful death
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a snowmobile accident, we recommend reaching out to a local snowmobile accident lawyer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim in Vermont is three years, but the sooner you start the claims process, the easier it will be to collect evidence and prove your claim.