Snow has arrived, and with fresh powder on the ground, Albertans all over the province are ready to take advantage of some of Canada’s most popular outdoor playgrounds. From Kananaskis to back roads in Athabasca, Rocky Mountain House, Westlock and other peak recreational areas, outdoor enthusiasts have endless space to explore with the help of their favourite toys, including snowmobiles and more! As a thrilling adventure, snowmobiling is an epic way for Albertans to explore their great big “backyard” and add a little fun to our otherwise long winters.
At James H. Brown and Associates, we love exploring the outdoors and getting out in the community just as much as our clients. We also know that winter sports can pose significant risks to your well-being, with snowmobiling accidents holding the potential to cause life-altering injuries or even death. As a leading firm of injury lawyers, James H. Brown and Associates is just as passionate about prevention and awareness as we are when it comes to representing Albertans when it matters most. With a proven track record of precedent-setting resolutions for personal injury cases and over 250 years of combined experience, you can trust our team to protect your best interests and help you receive the help you need following a major accident or injury.
If you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast and plan on hitting the trails this year by snowmobile, below are a few key factors to keep in mind to avoid injuries, as well as what to do if you are injured while riding. Read on to learn more!
Prevention is Key
High-octane sports like snowmobiling carry inherent risks, with 73 Canadians dying between 2013-2019 due to accidental snowmobile-related events. Men account for nearly 90% of snowmobiling deaths, and 75% of all fatal accidents involve a solo driver. Among the biggest risk factors when operating a snowmobile are:
Operating any vehicle or heavy machinery while under the influence is extremely dangerous and puts your safety, as well as your passengers and fellow riders at risk. 49% of snowmobile fatalities involved inebriated operators, making drugs and alcohol a deadly but entirely avoidable source of danger.
It’s no secret that one of the most thrilling aspects of snowmobiling is zooming across the snow and picking up speed as you go from drift to drift. Unfortunately, excessive speed is also one of the biggest risk components for drivers. To stay safe this winter, always play within your limits and always drive to conditions, just like you would behind the wheel of your own vehicle.
Riding After Dark
Visibility is a huge factor when it comes to safety while riding. While headlights can help to mitigate decreased visibility, navigating unfamiliar terrain and the various factors that come into play when the sun goes down. When possible, try to avoid riding after dark and stick to fun in the daylight!
If it’s your first season riding, always exercise extra caution when operating a snowmobile. Operating any heavy equipment or machinery comes with inherent risk, and all too often, new riders will push their limits to go faster and harder than they are prepared to handle. While it may be tempting to go “all out”, it’s important for everyone’s safety to pace yourself, ride to your ability and be aware of your surrounding at all times.
If You’re in An Accident
Some of the most common causes of collisions or injury are impacts with a stationary object, ejections and rollovers, often caused by the above factors. Not every accident will be fatal, but oftentimes riders face serious injuries that can take days, or even weeks, to appear. If you are in an accident, it’s essential to stop, take the time to recover and reduce further risk of serious injury (if your initial incident is minor) by waiting to resume until you know you are 100% good to go.
Dealing With Injuries
Just like operating a car, snowmobile accidents can be particularly dangerous due to the involvement of heavy machinery. As mentioned above, injuries like whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries can take time to manifest, making it essential to listen to your body and get medical attention immediately. Getting care as soon as possible not only allows you to identify potential risks and hopefully long-term pain, but it also protects you in the event you do need to make a personal injury claim.
Life is stressful, and it’s easy to let pain go untreated and ignored following an accident. Don’t fall into the trap of neglect. If your accident leaves you with lingering aches and pains, prevents you from going to work, causes medical expenses (including chiropractic and physiotherapy costs) to pile up and affects your overall quality of life, you deserve help!
Document everything from right after the accident to any changes, additional physical trauma (cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, etc.), mental/cognition issues, and any emotional distress you notice in the following days, weeks, or months. Doing so will help you and your medical team determine the best recovery track, as well as give you a valuable resource should you need to challenge insurance assessments and/or fight for adequate compensation.
Protect Yourself Legally
If your accident was caused either directly or in part by a third party, partnering with a trusted legal team like James H. Brown and Associates is essential. Albertans are often unaware that they can see legal compensation for recreational vehicle accidents when caused by another party, leading to expensive, life-long struggles. Speaking with an injury lawyer gives you far more possibilities for getting the settlement you need for medical treatment and building the best path forward. Reaching out to a lawyer ASAP, before you speak to insurers, ensures that your best interests are protected and that you won’t be taken advantage of or brushed off when it comes to recovery.
Snowmobile Injury Law with James H. Brown and Associates
At James H. Brown and Associates, our commitment to our clients is to make sure your voice is heard and that you receive fair compensation in the aftermath of a recreational vehicle accident. Our award-winning team of injury lawyers offers over 250 years of combined experience to clients as well as:
- Complete accident investigation services, including evidence preservation, accident reconstruction, and more.
- Multi-disciplinary experts and specialists to fully diagnose your injuries and determine long-term impacts.
- Strong relationships with Alberta organizations ready to assist with rehabilitation and recovery.
- And much more!
Contact Our Team Today
James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers are ready to speak with you right away and are pleased to offer a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation to get you started.
Contact us today to learn more!