Popular in many rural and non-densely populated areas of Ontario, snowmobiling activity – and the frequency of related accidents – is common during the winter months. Many of these accidents result in serious injury, and sometimes even death. Common lawsuits related to snowmobile accidents include:
- Operator Error: This covers mistakes or bad judgment made while operating the vehicle, as well as allegations that the driver took a risk not agreed upon by a passenger and was careless in operating the machine. Often, these cases are hard to prove, as a level of risk is accepted once a passenger participates in the activity.
- Collision: Many snowmobile accidents are the result of collisions with another vehicle or an object. Lawsuits can be pursued in both cases: the former due to negligence or careless operation of the vehicle, the latter including negligence of goods and/or materials improperly placed or discarded on the trail or road.
- Manufacturer Defect: When a snowmobile accident is the result of defective machinery or parts, there may be grounds for legal action against the manufacturer in a products liability claim. In this case, it must be proven that the manufacturer was negligent in production, a design defect existed, a defective part was installed or an inadequate warning was provided. There may also be claims against the retailer or distributor of the snowmobile under provisions of Ontario’s Sales of Goods Act.
Limitations for Snowmobile Accident Claims
If you seek compensation for damages resulting from a snowmobile accident in Ontario, it is important to understand the time limitations. You have:
- 7 days to inform insurance companies of the accident
- 30 days to file for Accident Benefits once you’ve received the application
- 2 years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party
While Snowmobiles are not considered motor vehicles, under the provisions of the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, they must be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy that includes third party liability coverage and coverage for Statutory Accident Benefits (No-Fault Benefits). As snowmobile accidents often result in serious and catastrophic injuries including: brain injuries; spinal cord injuries; fractures; other orthopaedic injuries and neurological injuries, access to Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits under the No-Fault scheme and a potential tort claim against the at fault party(s) is vital.
At Futerman Partners LLP, our experienced team with over 30 years of experience can help you receive the compensation you deserve from your snowmobile accident. Call us today at 1-866-925-4100.