Snowmobile Accidents in Colorado
Along with skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling is a popular winter pastime in Colorado. With proper training and driving conditions, operating a snowmobile can be a fun and safe activity. That being said, snowmobiles do pose a risk. These machines can weigh over 500 lbs, which means they have the potential to cause severe injury or even death if an accident occurs. Read our article to learn more about snowmobile accidents in Colorado and what to do if you or a loved one is injured.
Colorado Law Regarding Snowmobiles
Colorado sets strict regulations regarding snowmobile usage. In addition to registering the vehicle, all drivers must attend a training program prior to driving their snowmobile. The following traffic laws also apply for snowmobiles in Colorado:
- Snowmobiles are not permitted on interstate highways or freeways.
- In order to drive on a public road, a snowmobile must have a muffler, brakes, a white lighted headlamp, and a red lighted tail lamp.
- Snowmobiles cannot exceed 20 mph
Do I Have to Report a Snowmobile Accident?
If the accident results in more than $1500 in damages or caused significant bodily injury or death, you are legally required to report the accident to the authorities. You can do this by notifying a state patrol officer or contacting the county sheriff’s office.
What Causes Snowmobile Accidents?
Again, snowmobiles are large, heavy vehicles that require training to operate. Even drivers who have received adequate training and are operating the vehicle safely can have an accident for reasons beyond their control. Some of the most common causes of snowmobiling accidents include:
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on phone, etc.)
- Intoxicated driving
- Reduced visibility
- Swerving to avoid wildlife
- Collision with an object, such as a tree or rock
- Collision with another snowmobile
- Faulty/poorly maintained equipment
Do I Need Snowmobile Insurance?
Snowmobile insurance is not required in the state of Colorado. However, it is highly recommended and will be especially helpful if you get into a collision with another snowmobile. Your motor vehicle insurance does not extend to your snowmobile, so this specialty insurance will help cover you in the event you are partially responsible for an accident.
What To Do After a Snowmobile Accident
Snowmobile accidents can be serious, especially if the driver is thrown from the vehicle or trapped beneath it. Your first priority after an accident should be to get yourself and any passengers medical attention. Head and neck injuries are quite common after snowmobiling accidents, so you will want to see a medical provider right away to rule out trauma.
Once you are being treated for your injuries, you will need to decide if you are in a position to pursue legal action. If the accident was directly or partially due to the negligence of another, you will want to speak with a personal injury attorney.
The exact course of action will depend on a few factors. For example, if the accident occurred as a result of faulty or poorly maintained equipment, you have the option to sue the manufacturer under product liability law. If the vehicle was leased to you, you may also seek damages from the company that rented a poorly-working snowmobile.
Snowmobile Accident Attorney Colorado
If you or a loved one is injured in a snowmobile accident in Colorado, contact Dave Roth with The Roth Group. Dave is a skilled and compassionate attorney who represents his clients fervently, both in and out of the courtroom. Call or go online today to schedule your free consultation.