325 Washington St., Suite 302, Waukegan, IL 60085
Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyers

Snowmobiling can be an exhilarating winter activity for Illinois residents of all ages. But like any other sport, it can be dangerous. Snowmobile accidents can lead to serious injury and even death.

Individuals who are injured in snowmobile accidents may receive monetary compensation for the costs incurred by their injuries. The statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years from the date of the injury. Once this two-year window has passed, you can not receive monetary compensation for your injury. This is why it is so important to seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney for your case as soon as possible after receiving medical care for your injuries.

Under the Snowmobile Registration & Safety Act of 1971, every snowmobile operator is required to file a written accident report if he or she is involved in a collision that results in an injury, a death, or property damage valued at $750 or more.

Illinois Snowmobile Accident Statistics

The most recent accident statistics published by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are for the 2012-2013 winter season. That year, there were 34 snowmobile accidents, three of which resulted in fatalities. Other sources report that during the 2013-2014 winter season, 27 accidents occurred, resulting in five deaths.

If you are involved in a snowmobile accident, regardless of the severity of the accident, seek medical treatment immediately. If you are injured and choose to file a claim for monetary compensation, having a record of medical treatment can support your case and make it much easier to successfully receive the monetary compensation you need. Additionally, leaving an injury untreated can allow it to progress to the point where you need much more extensive treatment than you might have if you had gotten treatment soon after the injury occurred.

Illinois Snowmobile Safety Tips

There are specific ways you can protect yourself while out snowmobiling this winter. By taking the following steps, you can drastically reduce your chance of being injured in a snowmobile accident.

  • Never consume alcohol while operating a snowmobile. Alcohol impairs your judgment, your perception of distance and movement, and your alertness.
  • Be aware of the terrain where you are riding. Know where the rocks, fallen trees, frozen waterways, and other natural obstacles are before heading out, and if you are ever unsure of the terrain, do not deviate from the designated riding trail.
  • Do not ride alone.
  • Do not ride at a speed faster than you can control. This is especially true when riding at night.
  • Always have permission to ride on private property.
  • Dress in layers. If you are stranded, the cold weather can be dangerous and potentially fatal if you are not dressed appropriately for the cold.
  • Stay to the right on trails.
  • Be courteous to all other snowmobile operators, pedestrians, and motorists. Do not harass the wildlife.
  • Do not ride on frozen waterways unless you are sure the ice is thick enough to support your snowmobile's weight. If there is any doubt about ice's thickness, do not ride over it.
  • Check all local weather reports before heading out to the trails.
  • Do not allow children to ride without adult supervision. In Illinois, children under 10 years old are prohibited from operating snowmobiles. Children ages 10 to 12 may operate snowmobiles under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian. Adolescents age 12 to 16 may operate a snowmobile independently if they hold a valid Snowmobile Safety Education Certificate of Competency or if they are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or individual over the age of 16 appointed by their parent or guardian. This course is available online or with a live instructor.

Understand the role you play as a snowmobile operator. By taking these precautions, you can help prevent accidents. However, you can not completely avoid them. If you are involved in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and learn more about your rights and obligations as an involved party.

Waukegan Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a snowmobile-related accident, contact a Waukegan personal injury attorney at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 for your free legal consultation regarding your rights as a victim and how to proceed with your case. You could be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries.

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