Snowmobile Accidents and Insurance: What to Know
Riding a snowmobile is an exciting way to experience Wisconsin’s landscape in the winter. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), it is one of the most popular winter activities in the state, with over 200,000 registered vehicles hitting over 25,000 miles of trails every year.
However, riding snowmobiles can also be a dangerous activity. It’s vital to ensure you understand the risks of snowmobile accidents and how to protect yourself with the right insurance coverage.
Learn the basics of snowmobile insurance and how an experienced snowmobile lawyer from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help if you get into an accident.
According to statistics compiled by the Wisconsin DNR, the state saw 16 fatal snowmobile crashes in 2022. Previous DNR reports show Wisconsin snowmobile accident fatalities in the past five years have ranged between 13 and 19 per year.
Three specific statistics are tracked for each reported accident on the DNR’s reports. These stats correspond to the three most common causes of snowmobile accidents:
- Lack of a Wisconsin snowmobile safety certification.
- Failure to wear a helmet.
- Riding under the influence of alcohol.
Other common causes of snowmobile accidents include:
- Excessive speed, often causing rider ejections.
- Rider inexperience and mishandling due to unfamiliarity.
- Inattentive riders failing to negotiate curves or notice traffic signs on time.
These vehicles are generally much lighter and faster than the typical motorcycle, exposing their riders to many risks and dangers. Having proper insurance coverage is critical for all snowmobile owners.
While snowmobile insurance is not mandatory in Wisconsin, it is recommended by the DNR and the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to protect yourself and others from damage- or injury-related expenses. Typical snowmobile insurance includes the following coverage:
- Collision coverage: Covers repair costs in case of collision, such as if another vehicle hits you.
- Liability coverage: Covers bills for injuries and property damage caused during snowmobile riding.
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers the costs of repairs or replacement due to theft, vandalism, and weather-related damage, such as hail impacts.
The costs of an average snowmobile insurance policy may vary depending on the coverage you need, your driving history, your snowmobile’s model year, make, model, performance, and many other factors that vary from provider to provider.
Getting into a snowmobile accident can be as stressful and traumatizing as a crash in any other motor vehicle. If you are involved in a snowmobile crash, follow these steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights:
Snowmobile enthusiasts are at risk of sustaining severe injuries in an accident, such as whiplash or a TBI. You may not feel the effects of these injuries until several days later.
If you are involved in a snowmobile accident, call for help immediately and get the medical attention you need, even if you don’t feel pain.
If the accident involves another vehicle, such as a collision with another snowmobile, ensure you get the other driver or rider’s details, like their contact information and the make and model of their vehicle.
Gather evidence at the scene by taking photos of the accident. These pictures help you document the state of the trail and the damage to your snowmobile.
Keep all documentation relevant to your injuries, such as medical records, written diagnostic statements, X-rays, CAT scans, prescriptions, etc. These documents help prove the extent of your injuries.
Snowmobile accidents involve many of the same types of vehicular damage and injuries as motorcycle crashes. Evaluating the circumstances and navigating snowmobile-specific laws and regulations requires unique skills from experienced snowmobile accident lawyers.
Seek legal representation from a team of experienced lawyers specializing in snowmobile accidents from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers. We have the resources and knowledge to represent your interests, protect your rights, determine the at-fault parties, and obtain the maximum compensation for your damages.
Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers has been serving Wisconsin communities since 2018. Our team of expert Wisconsin snowmobile accident lawyers specializes in representing injured snowmobile riders after an accident, ensuring they get the financial recovery they need.
Call us today for a free case review. Our team is available 24/7 to help you get started. With our No Fee Guarantee, you don’t need to pay us until we have a settlement or verdict for your claim.