Winter in New York can be long and hard, and many people engage in winter sports to have some fun during this season. Among the recreational activities in which Upstate New Yorkers engage is snowmobiling. Unfortunately, however, there can be many serious injuries and fatalities as a result of snowmobiling in the winter. Some snowmobile operators feel invincible on the trail and assume there are no consequences for how they operate the machine. Some snowmobilers stop to drink between trails, which can alter their reaction time, especially when visibility to low. Accidents are often the result of speeding and trail conditions. If you were injured in a snowmobile accident caused by someone else, you should consult the seasoned Syracuse recreational vehicle accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys.Legal Representation to Recover Damages for a Snowmobile Accident
Many snowmobile manufacturers sell models of these vehicles that go over 120 mph. Accidents can occur because of simple speeding by the operator, but sometimes, they are the result of an operator going too fast for weather conditions or their experience level. They may leave the trail and hit an object, or even another snowmobile, resulting in serious injuries to occupants of the snowmobile. An accident victim may suffer injuries to the head, arm, hand, legs, hips, shoulders, or elbows.Liability for Snowmobile Accidents
In order to establish that you are entitled to recover damages for a snowmobile accident, we will need to establish liability. In many cases, this requires us to show a snowmobile operator was negligence. This requires us to show: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty of reasonable care, (3) the breach caused your injuries, and (4) you suffered actual damages as a result. Snowmobile operators may breach the duty to use reasonable care by:
- distracted driving,
- texting while driving,
- failing to obey traffic signs and signals,
- failing to yield to someone with the right of way,
- failing to pay attention to changing weather conditions,
- nighttime operation of the snowmobile, or
- driving it while under the influence.
Sometimes operators put a passenger into a snowmobile designed only for one or try to fit three in a snowmobile designed for two, one driver and one passenger. This can result in catastrophic accidents. After an accident in which you were an injured passenger, you may feel anxiety about suing a negligent snowmobile operator who is your friend; in many cases, there is insurance to cover expenses in case of injuries arising out of an accident in which a driver was negligent.
As seasoned Syracuse snowmobile accident lawyers, we will investigate to determine all contributing causes to the accident. Sometimes, the cause of an accident that results in injuries is not a negligent driver, but some other actor. If there is a defect in a snowmobile, for instance, it may be appropriate to bring a product liability lawsuit. There are situations in which a property owner fails to repair or issue warnings about a dangerous property condition that causes a snowmobile accident; in that case, it may be proper for our lawyers to bring a premises liability lawsuit.Recovering Damages
Under section 24.25, it is illegal to operate a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition to being held criminally liable with fines and imprisonment, the operator of a snowmobile who injures you while under the influence may be held accountable for punitive damages. These are damages intended to punish and deter egregious wrongdoing, including drunk driving, rather than simply compensate for injuries. The amount awarded by the court would depend on the severity of circumstances, as well as what it would take to punish the defendant.Seasoned Recreational Vehicle Attorneys Serving Syracuse
After a snowmobile accident that results in injuries, you should seek legal representation. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys, our trustworthy lawyers represent snowmobile accident victims in and near Syracuse, along with Rochester, Utica, Cooperstown, Lyons, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Watertown, Lowville, Delhi, Oswego, Herkimer, Norwich, Ithaca, Binghamton, Oneida, Auburn and Elmira. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or complete our online form.