Snowmobile Accidents

Colorado’s location in the Rocky Mountains makes it a hugely popular destination for winter sports, including snowmobiling. Snowmobiling offers people an opportunity to experience the Colorado outdoors in an exhilarating and exciting way. With proper training and safe riding, snowmobiling allows Colorado residents and visitors to experience all of Colorado’s scenic beauty in the winter. Unfortunately, snowmobiling can be dangerous, especially when riders are inexperienced, driving recklessly, or are driving under the influence. 

How Can Snowmobiles Be Unsafe?

Snowmobiles, or motorized sleds, have two steering skis in the front, but actually move on a tread much like a tank does. If there isn’t enough snow underneath it, if it’s taken over thin ice, or if it’s taken over uneven terrain, there can be accidents. Snowmobiles may be ridden at night, but it creates a risk hazard if they are.[1]

Snowmobiling can also be dangerous where there are hazards hidden by the snow, such as rocks or branches, holes, or the false appearance of densely packed snow when there’s really just a drift.[2] Other times, snowmobiles can be involved in collisions with cars and other snowmobiles when they’re used on roads or trails. Snowmobiles also have no enclosed spaces and no seat belts, leaving the rider exposed to the elements. There’s no speed limit for snowmobiles, either.[3] Many who take snowmobiles out also may not recognize a potential avalanche or know how to avoid triggering one.

Thus, snowmobile accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. Injuries include broken bones, knee and back injuries, spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injuries, frostbite, and crush injuries resulting from the rider being pinned between the snowmobile and the ground.

However, aside from registering the vehicle and putting a muffler on it, there are no other regulations for snowmobiles in Colorado, which means no mandatory insurance, either.[4]

Who’s at Fault for Snowmobile Injuries? 

There could be numerous parties at fault. In a collision with another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle could be at fault for negligent or careless driving. The park may have failed to warn about potential dangers of snowmobiling in certain areas. Snowmobile manufacturers may be liable for design flaws or manufacturing defects that cause the snowmobile to malfunction. A snowmobiler could also, unfortunately, cross paths with a hunter or a hunter’s bullet or arrow on what was thought to be a safe snowmobile trail. It could be a combination of some or all of these factors.

What Should You Do If You’re in a Snowmobile Accident? 

The first thing you should do is seek medical attention or seek help and/or shelter if possible, especially if you’re outside. Second, you should get any information you can about the other driver and the other vehicle. You may not be able to make a claim against a snowmobile insurer, but you could have one against the other driver’s homeowner’s insurance.

Our snowmobile accident attorneys have handled cases involving serious and catastrophic injuries and know what must be done to prove your right to the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a snowmobile, our lawyers are here to help. Call us at 303-393-6666 to speak with an attorney.

[1] 2 CCR §402-a.

[2] CBS Local. Backcountry Adventurers Work Against Clock To Save Snowmobiler.

Backcountry Adventurers Work Against Clock To Save Snowmobiler

[3] Colorado Parks and Wildlife. CHAPTER P-4 – SNOWMOBILE REGULATIONS INDEX. http://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/RulesRegs/Regulations/ChP04.pdf.  

[4] supra, note 1.

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“After I was injured in a serious auto accident, I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know what to do. Having been involved in her own accident several years earlier and hired Kidneigh & Kaufman to help her, my girlfriend told me I needed to speak with attorney Jennifer Crichton. I’m so glad I did. I had a great experience with Kidneigh & Kaufman and Jenny was there by my side all the way. Kidneigh & Kaufman is definitely a 5 star law firm. I certainly got my money’s worth by going to Kidneigh & Kaufman.”

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Firm Overview

What to Expect for Your Case

You Are Involved in an Accident

You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

Contact An Attorney

Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

Litigation

You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

Trial

What happens in a trial?

The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.

  • 1You Are Involved in an Accident

    You Are Involved in an Accident

    You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

    You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

    Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

    What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

  • 2Contact An Attorney

    Contact An Attorney

    Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

    An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

  • 3Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

    You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

  • 4Litigation

    Litigation

    You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

    When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

  • 5Trial

    Trial

    What happens in a trial?

    The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.