Snow is falling fast and furious this morning and we can’t help think of all the snowmobile riders who are probably already out enjoying this white weather. In Canada, it is estimated that there are more than 660,000 registered snowmobiles that travel over 1.65 billion km of snowmobile trails. With this many riders and the nature of this activity, undoubtebly accidents will happen. The majority of snowmobile accidents are on private property and typically riders are under 20 years old. The most common snowmobile accident injuries are orthopaedic injuries ( which are broken bones) and head or brain injuries . Ontario and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) reported that head injuries are the leading cause of mortality and serious morbidity. The theory behind this is that most children do not have the strength and skill to control a snowmobile safely. It’s important to note that in Ontario , snowmobile drivers must be at least 12 years old and possess a valid Motorized Snow Vehicle Operator’s Licence (MSVOL) to drive a snowmobile on a trail. Snowmobile drivers must also be at least 16 years old and possess a valid driver’s licence or MSVOL to ride on or cross a highway. Allontario. ca reports on Ontario motorcycle accidents and reported that most injuries (34%) occur in the month of February and that alcohol was reported to be a factor in 49% of accidents that resulted in severe trauma.
Is there snowmobile insurance and compensation ?
In Ontario, snowmobile accidents are usually covered through insurance. Most people who are injured in a snowmobile accident, as well as their family members are able to seek compensation for their losses from their own insurance company through Ontario’s no-fault accident benefits system, as well there may be compensation available to injured parties through a Tort claim. A tort claim results when an injured party sues the insurance company of the person who charged at fault for the accident. Not everyone in a snowmobile accident is entitled to claim compensation from the responsible person who caused the snowmobile accident. Each claim is different and needs to be looked at on an individual basis.
Depending on the nature of the accident, insurance companies may pay out Accident Benefits compensation for benefits such as lost income, housekeeping , attendant care, medical services and rehabilitation. Anyone can apply for accident benefits through their own insurance company. Typically , there are time limits for applying for accident benefits so it’s important that people who have been involved in a snowmobile accident know their rights and contact a snowmobile accident lawyer who can offer a free consultation and walk them through the process, their rights and give an opinion on whether or not they have a case.
If you are involved in a snowmobile accident and believe that the road or property conditions were a cause of the accident, you may also have a claim against the property owner if the accident was caused by a dangerous situation on the property, or if the owner of the knew or ought to have known about the hazardous situation and did nothing to repair or warn people of the hazard and that you are not trespassing on this property and were invited.
If you have been injured in a snowmobile accident in Ontario, our experienced snowmobile accident lawyers can help you.