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Mike Myers
Mike Myers
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Riding High in the Saddle-Mountain Sleds and Washington Law

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Snowmobiles are funny creatures. They are not "motor vehicles" in the traditional sense (at least for insurance coverage). Oftentimes they can fall outside the scope of coverage provided by a homeowner’s policy. But serious accidents often take place on snowmobiles and the people injured in these accidents should be compensated. This issue was brought into focus by a recent story:

An experienced snowmobile rider is in intensive care after taking a nasty spill down a steep mountainside in Southeastern Washington last weekend.

According to KNDO.com, the 58-year-old man hit a tree while cruising in his snowmobile near the Salmon La Sac Sno-Park on New Year’s Day. The crash occurred around 12:30 p.m. Rescuers didn’t reach the injured rider until 4:00 p.m.

Officials say the man lost consciousness and stopped breathing for a brief period of time. They add that he was wearing a helmet and protective snowmobile riding gear.

There are numerous scenarios where snowmobilers are injured. Typically, claims arise out of situations where (1) snowmobiles collide, (2) one snowmobile forces another off a trail or into an obstacle (without a collision) or (3) a passenger is injured as a result of the operator’s negligence.

While these are the typical scenarios, other compensable accidents involve collisions with cars or trucks as well as premises liability (for instance, an unmarked chain across a roadway).

If you’re involved in a snowmobile accident, it’s important to consult with counsel to determine your rights and the various opportunities for obtaining compensation.