A snowmobile is a motorized vehicle that is intended for travel on showy terrain. It can be used for many different applications, including the following:
- Work-related tasks;
- Military uses;
- Recreation; and
In recent years, snowmobiles have become popular or used in winter sports, including extreme sports that involve jumps and competitive race courses. When snowmobiles were first introduced for public use, they had an average top speed of approximately 20 to 30 miles per hour.
However, newer competition snowmobiles may reach speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. A drag-racing snowmobile may reach a speed of 200 mph.
What Are Some Common Snowmobile Accidents and Injuries?
As discussed above, snowmobiles are now capable of moving at very high speeds, resulting in snowmobile accidents and injuries that are similar to accidents involving motorcycles.
In some situations, a snowmobile can be difficult to control because it often uses ski mechanisms rather than tires, and snow conditions can be slippery. Common accidents involving snowmobiles include:
- Tip-overs and rollovers;
- Falling off of a ledge or precipice;
- Collisions with other snowmobiles;
- Collisions with skiers or others not in a vehicle;
- Collisions with trees, buildings, and other stationary objects;
- Accidents resulting from:
- other tricks.
Injuries may include injuries to the following:
What Are Personal Injury Accidents?
Personal injury accidents occur when an individual suffers some form of harm or injury because of another individual’s disregard or carelessness. Following an accident, the injured individual may be able to file a personal injury claim against the party who was responsible.
The individual who is injured can use civil court proceedings to obtain compensatory damages for the injuries they suffered. It is important to note that personal injury law is different from criminal law.
When an individual files a personal injury claim, it is a lawsuit that is filed in civil court. Criminal charges might be filed as separate charges if the incident that led to the personal injury was criminal in nature.
Personal injury claims may fall into one of three categories, each of which has a separate set of elements that must be proven in order for a plaintiff to prevail, including:
What Kind of Injury Does a Personal Injury Claim Involve?
If an individual suffers a personal injury, it may damage their emotional health, physical health, or both. Mental health consequences may involve emotional pain and anguish that resulted from the accident.
Physical injuries may include the following injuries to the individuals:
- Other parts of the individual’s body.
The individual’s injury does not have to manifest itself instantly. Some injuries will develop over a period of time.
What Are Some Common Legal Issues Associated With Snowmobile Accidents?
In some cases, snowmobile accidents involve legal liability. These types of claims often involve elements of negligence or recklessness.
For example, if an individual drives a snowmobile at high speed into a crowded area, such as near a ski lodge where individuals may be gathered, they would likely be liable for their reckless actions.
Another form of legal liability may involve product liability. Product liability may arise when there is a defect with the snowmobile.
A criminal violation may arise when a driver of a snowmobile is under the influence or does not obey the speed limit laws. Property damage may also be a major factor in certain snowmobile accidents.
A snowmobile accident case may result in a damages award for the injured party or for the individual who incurred financial loss resulting from the accident.
What Are Compensatory Damages in a Personal Injury Claim?
When an injured individual, called a plaintiff, files a lawsuit, they will typically request some type of financial compensation from the party responsible for causing the injury, called the defendant. These damages are referred to as compensatory damages because they are intended to compensate the plaintiff for the injuries they suffered.
When Are Compensatory Damages Awarded?
Compensatory damages are typically awarded to restore the injured party to the position they were in before they suffered the harm or loss that occurred. These types of damages are awarded in cases where loss or injury occurred.
There are, in general, two categories of compensatory damages, including special damages and general damages. Special damages are provided in order to restore the plaintiff to the position they were in before the injury or loss.
This category of damages typically includes damages that can be easily calculated, such as the following:
- Medical expenses;
- Property damage;
- Loss of wages or earnings;
- Other quantifiable losses.
General damages are a category of damages that are awarded for the types of losses that are not as easily calculated, which may include the following:
What Do I Need to Prove to Get Compensatory Damages?
In order for a plaintiff to receive compensatory damages, an individual is required to prove certain elements. These elements may include that a loss did occur and the defendant caused that loss.
In other words, the plaintiff is required to show that the defendant’s conduct caused their injury or loss. In most cases, the plaintiff’s injury or loss is caused by the defendant’s negligence.
One common example of negligence is when an individual is negligent while they are driving and they cause an automobile accident that injures another individual. For example, when an individual drives over the speed limit.
The injured individual will need to gather and preserve certain forms of evidence that may be used to support their claim, including the following:
- Statements from any witnesses;
- Photos or videos which are connected with the incident;
- Various documents, including medical bills and police records;
- Physical evidence, including the following:
- broken glass;
- other damage;
- Any other evidence that can assist the court with calculating damages.
How Are Compensatory Damages Calculated?
When a court is calculating the amount of compensatory damages a plaintiff should receive, it will typically consider many different factors that are related to the case, including the following:
- The background of the victim, which includes their age;
- The type of injury and the extent of that injury;
- Any costs that were associated with treatment or rehabilitation for the injured party;
- Any differences or losses in the plaintiff’s ability to earn wages before and after the incident;
- Any actual loss of income;
- Whether there was any property damage that resulted from the incident;
- Any other ways the incident impacted the victim’s quality of life.
It is important to note that there may be some circumstances in which the plaintiff’s damages award may be limited or reduced. For example, if a plaintiff contributes to their own injuries, it may cause their damages to be reduced under contributory negligence laws.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help With Snowmobile Accident Legal Issues?
A snowmobile accident may involve serious injuries and major property damage. If you have been involved in a snowmobile accident, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
Your lawyer can provide you with legal advice regarding the laws in your state and what damages you may be able to recover. Your attorney will also represent you in court throughout the process.