There’s no point in denying it: snowmobiling is one of Canada’s most popular and fun winter sports. It is not, however, without its risks, and a snowmobile accident – ranging from a collision to a wipe-out to falling through ice – can cause serious personal injuries requiring weeks of recovery, sometimes in isolated areas with little access to immediate medical care.
The most common personal injuries after a snowmobile accident are:
- Bruising and muscle strains causing pain, most often in the extremities, chest, and head.
- Broken and fractured bones, particularly in the legs and arms.
- Dislocated shoulders, which can cause extreme pain and take months to heal.
- Head injuries that can include surface level damage such as cuts or bruises, or deeper damage such as concussions.
- Internal injuries such as fractured ribs, organ damage, and internal bleeding. These are some of the most dangerous and life-threatening injuries, and must be treated immediately.
When Do I Need a Lawyer After a Snowmobile Accident?
In Ontario, many of your medical expenses after suffering a personal injury in a snowmobile accident are paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or OHIP. But, there are costs that it does not cover, such as drugs, long-term expenses, caregiver costs, or loss of income during your recovery time.
Due to the nature of snowmobiling as an outdoors winter sport, most compensation would come from your insurance company. If you do not have a specific insurance policy for a snowmobile, you can draw upon your auto insurance for compensation. In rare cases, if you were snowmobiling on land you did not own and the owner was negligent in clearing environmental hazards from the trail, you can gain compensation from the property owner.
However, even if you have purchased a snowmobile insurance policy, your insurance company may assess you as requiring less compensation than you actually need. In a worst-case scenario, your insurance provider might declare you to be entirely at fault for the accident or reject your claim on a technicality, leaving you without support. If your claim has been rejected, you could find yourself trapped in an appeals process long enough that the two-year statute of limitations expires, preventing you from filing a lawsuit against them.
The best protection against this is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified personal injury lawyer can ensure that your insurance documents are in order and your claim is filed on time, that you are receiving the correct amount of compensation if your claim is accepted, and if your insurance claim has been rejected, represent you in court and get you the compensation you need.
What Should I Do After a Snowmobile Accident?
For best results after suffering a personal injury in a snowmobile accident, there are a number of steps you should take as soon as possible:
- Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries you may have suffered, and ensure that they are documented. Since exposure is a danger in any outdoors winter sport, also ensure that you get someplace warm as soon as possible.
- Gather as much information as possible. This includes documenting the scene and the accident as best you can, including taking pictures. If there is another snowmobile involved, this includes the contact information and insurance provider of its owner.
- Inform your insurance company of the accident and file a claim.
- Document how any personal injuries you have suffered have impacted your life after the accident. This includes any pain and suffering, no matter how small, as well as any impairment to your daily routine, from work to recreation.
Why Lerners after a Snowmobile Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury after a snowmobile accident, Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Our qualified lawyers have the experience with insurance and insurance law you need help navigate your insurance claims and the legal landscape, and help you get the compensation you need and deserve. And if you cannot come to us – if you are recovering in the hospital or at home and are unable to travel – we will come to you, as well as provide a free initial consultation.