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Compensation for injuries from an Ontario snowmobile accident

Victims of snowmobile-operator negligence should seek legal advice.

We are deep into snowmobile season. Unfortunately, that means it is also the time of year we see serious snowmobile accident injuries and deaths.

Roughly one of every four snowmobile registrations in Canada are in our province, only behind Quebec, according to The most recent data available from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (2016-2017) reveals that Ontario had 177 hospitalizations for snowmobile injuries out of 911 total nationwide.

Snowmobile accident trauma

Snowmobile injuries may include bone fractures, internal injuries, traumatic brain injury, facial injuries, dental and oral damage, and even death. A snowmobile is a heavy, dangerous vehicle that moves at very high speeds over slippery and uneven terrain while carrying vulnerable human bodies, so there is a higher risk of injury when in use.

After a traumatic incident, emotional and mental injuries can also be expected, as well as pain and suffering. For example, cognitive and memory problems from TBI as well as anxiety, depression or even PTSD can result from the experience.

Adequate compensation for such injuries must be carefully assessed. For example, consider these potential expenses and losses:

  • Medical bills, past and future
  • Therapies and medical equipment
  • Modifications to vehicles and homes for severe disability
  • Housekeeping and personal care services
  • Long-term care
  • Lost wages and diminished earning ability
  • Pain and suffering

Legal responsibility

Everyone who operates a snowmobile has a legal duty to drive without negligence, taking only the normal risks expected of a reasonable operator. If an operator takes unreasonable, abnormal, excessive or dangerous risks, thereby causing a collision that hurts another person, the at-fault operator would be legally liable for damages.

When an injured party seeks legal advice, the law firm will launch a comprehensive investigation of the accident, asking these questions:

  • Was the snowmobile properly registered and insured?
  • Were the parties wearing approved helmets as required by Ontario law?
  • Did the operator have proper training and experience?
  • Was the operator speeding above the legal limit or at an unreasonable speed for the conditions?
  • Did the driver use appropriate hand signals?
  • Were obvious or known equipment problems repaired? For example, were all lights working?
  • Did the snowmobile’s owner follow a normal maintenance and repair schedule?
  • Was maintenance and repair done according to proper standards?
  • Was the operator under the influence of alcohol or drugs or excessively fatigued?
  • Did the driver adjust for weather conditions and time of day?
  • Was there a design or manufacturing defect in the equipment?

Anyone injured in an Ontario snowmobile crash can discuss the situation with an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand potential legal remedies.

The lawyers at Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP in Ottawa represent Ontarians and tourists injured in snowmobile accidents throughout the province. We seek comprehensive compensation through insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.

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