Snowmobile Accidents: Who is Liable?

November 28, 2015

With winter coming in less than a month, outdoor enthusiasts throughout Ohio are preparing to switch out their ATVs for their snowmobiles and enjoy some high-speed fun in the snow. While snowmobiling can be a good time for riders both young and old, it is a very dangerous activity. In fact, in 2014 snowmobile and ATV crashes resulted in a higher fatality per crash rate in Ohio than any other type of vehicle, including motorcycles.

When snowmobile accidents and injuries occur, who is responsible? As with all personal injury and wrongful death claims, the answer is that it depends on the particular situation. Below are a few of the most common liable parties in an Ohio snowmobile accident.

Negligent Operators

Any time multiple vehicle operators share the same space, negligent vehicle operators and drivers place others at risk of injury. This is no different on the road or off-road. Snowmobile operators may eschew safety in favor daredevil thrills, have a few drinks while out on the trail, or simply not give the path ahead the attention required. Whatever the reason, negligent operation of snowmobiles can lead to deadly results.

Defective Snowmobiles

Like any consumer product, snowmobiles are often put on the market with dangerous defects. Just this week, snowmobile manufacturer BRP recalled 2,800 Ski-Doo snowmobiles due to a potential fire hazard. And, earlier this year, Yamaha recalled certain 2015 Viper snowmobiles because of a defect that can lead to break failure during use. Given the risks involved with snowmobile operation, manufacturers owe it to operators and riders to refrain putting such dangerous and defective snowmobiles on the market.

Inspection and Maintenance Failures

Many riders this season will rent, rather than purchase, their snowmobiles. A rental facility’s failure to properly inspect and maintain snowmobiles offered for rental can result in serious bodily harm to unsuspecting renters and can serve as the basis for liability in a civil lawsuit. Even those who have signed a liability waiver or release agreement should consult with a personal injury attorney if they or their loved ones have been injured following a snowmobile accident injury.

Ohio Snowmobile Accidents Require the Help of an Ohio Accident Attorney

Consequences of snowmobile accidents can range from whiplash to death, and in all cases should be treated seriously. If you have suffered as the result of a snowmobile accident, ATV accident, or other outdoor injury, contact an Ohio accident attorney at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA now to discuss your claim.

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