Wisconsin Recreational Vehicle Safety During the Winter Months
Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers
Every winter, Wisconsin is blanketed with acres upon acres of soft, fresh snow. This snow cover is ideal for snowmobile enthusiasts who carve out riding trails and enjoy the frozen scenery of winter.
Like other recreational vehicles, such as ATVs and jet skis, snowmobiles can be dangerous. In 2014, a total of 181 snowmobile accident reports were filed in Wisconsin. Of these, 23 were fatal.
If you are involved in a snowmobile accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries.
Safety Tips to Prevent Wisconsin Snowmobile Accidents
You can significantly reduce your chances of becoming injured in a snowmobile accident by taking the following precautions:
- Always stay on designated trails unless you have a property owner's explicit permission to ride on his or her property.
- Be aware of all obstacles such as trees, rocks, waterways, and undergrowth in the areas where you ride.
- Dress for survival. You can be stranded at any time – always be dressed to brave the cold.
- Avoid riding on frozen waterways whenever possible. If you see moving water or are unsure of the ice thickness on a particular pond or river, do not ride a snowmobile there.
- Keep to the right on all trails.
- Do not ride alone.
- Check all local weather conditions before going out on a snowmobile.
- Keep to a reasonable speed, especially when riding at night.
- Never drink and ride or ride with drivers who have been drinking.
If You are Involved in a Wisconsin Snowmobile Accident
Seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor or non-existent. There are a few reasons why having your injury examined by a doctor is the crucial first step after any type of accident.
- Some injuries are not apparent right away. You might feel fine at the scene of your accident, then find yourself facing significant pain and other medical issues in six months to a year. When you catch an injury and seek treatment for it before it progresses, you can increase your chances for a quick, complete recovery.
- In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident that caused the injury. That means that if you are injured in any type of accident in Wisconsin, you must file your claim for monetary compensation within three years of its occurrence. After three years pass, you are no longer entitled to seek monetary compensation.
- Your personal injury claim has a much better chance of resulting in adequate monetary compensation for you if you can show that you have had professional medical care. Start building a paper trail of your interactions with doctors after your injury and document every interaction you have with healthcare professionals through the course of your treatment.
After receiving appropriate medical care, your next step is to contact a personal injury attorney and discuss your accident and injury with him or her. If you plan on filing a claim for monetary compensation, you will need to prove that another party was responsible for your injury. Wisconsin is one of the 33 states that follow the modified comparative fault rule when it comes to assigning responsibility in personal injury cases. This means that when two or more parties are involved in an accident, the party that files for damages must be determined to be responsible for less than 50 percent of the accident to be able to collect monetary compensation. If the filing party holds more than half of the responsibility for the accident, he or she may not collect damages. If he or she is somewhat, but less than half, responsible for the accident, the amount of money he or she may receive is reduced according to the percentage of responsibility the court determines he or she holds for the accident.
Monetary Compensation For Your Injuries
An injury sustained from a snowmobile or other type of accident can cost you and your family thousands of dollars. As a victim, you may face the following costs:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages due to time spent out of work;
- Lifestyle accommodations for your temporary or permanent disability;
- Modified transportation needs;
- Counseling and other psychological care for depression and anxiety caused by your accident; and
- Costs related to scarring, bruising, sprains, and other minor physical ailments caused by your accident.
Do not simply accept the first settlement you are offered without discussing it with a qualified personal injury attorney. You might be entitled to far more than you are initially offered.
Appleton Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a snowmobile or other type of accident, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. at 920-739-7366 or fill out the online contact form to discuss your case with one of our firm's experienced, compassionate Appleton personal injury attorneys. Since 2004, Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. has been voted the best law firm in the Fox River Valley. Our team proudly serves our community by giving every client the personalized legal counsel and representation that he or she deserves.