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Can I Recover Damages for a Michigan Snowmobile Accident?

 Posted on February 11, 2021 in Personal Injury

Kent County, MI personal injury attorney snowmobile accident

Recent snows in the Grand Rapids area have inspired many residents to bring out their snowmobiles and engage in this popular recreational activity. However, it is important to note that along with the enjoyment of snowmobiling comes an important responsibility to ensure personal and public safety. Unsafe riding can often result in serious accidents and injuries, and injury victims may need to look to compensation from negligent parties through a personal injury claim to alleviate their medical expenses and other damages.

Common Causes of Snowmobile Accidents

Snowmobile accidents can happen for many different reasons and may involve a variety of parties, from snowmobile operators and passengers to pedestrians, to drivers of motor vehicles. Some of the most common causes of accidents that result in injuries include:

  • Unsafe speed - Some snowmobiles are capable of speeds similar to that of a car or other motor vehicle, but traveling at such a speed can be dangerous in congested areas or on rough terrain.

  • Alcohol intoxication - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources forbids the operation of a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, but some people choose to ignore this rule. Alcohol is an especially common factor in fatal snowmobile accidents.

  • Inexperienced operators - Younger operators and those who have little experience operating a snowmobile may have greater difficulty controlling the snowmobile, especially if they have not been through a snowmobile safety training course.

  • Poor judgment - Some accidents are caused by a simple lapse in judgment, such as misjudging one’s speed, the terrain, or proximity to another vehicle, person, or object.

Personal Injury Cases Involving Snowmobiles

Recovering compensation for injuries from a snowmobile accident is possible, but it can be challenging. One reason for this is that snowmobiles are not considered motor vehicles under Michigan law, meaning that operators do not have the same access to no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as drivers of cars and trucks. If a snowmobile operator or passenger is injured in an accident with the negligent driver of a motor vehicle, it may be possible to pursue compensation through that driver’s PIP coverage. However, if the accident involves only snowmobile operators, passengers, and pedestrians, compensation would likely have to come from other sources.

Additionally, due to Michigan’s comparative fault law, the injured party’s available compensation may be reduced if his or her behavior contributed to the injuries. This means that for those who are injured while operating their snowmobile unsafely, in a location without the property owner’s consent, or in violation of Michigan snowmobile regulations, their options for compensation may be limited.

Contact a Grand Rapids Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a Michigan snowmobile accident and someone else is at fault, Attorney John D. Tallman can thoroughly review your case to help you understand your options for pursuing compensation. Attorney Tallman will build a strong case to give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call our diligent Kent County personal injury lawyer today at 616-361-8850 to schedule a free consultation.






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