Eau Claire UTV/ATV/Snowmobile Accident Attorneys
A fun hobby and weekend adventure for some and a necessary tool for landowners and farmers; many households in Wisconsin and within Eau Claire own ATV, UTV, and snowmobiles. Eau Claire is home to over 180 miles of snowmobile trails that attract residents and visitors alike in the winter months. However, these motorized recreation vehicles can pose a risk to the safety of the public and the riders.
Injuries and fatalities in ATV, UTV, and snowmobile accidents are common and often avoidable. If another party injured you or a loved one in an accident involving one of these vehicles, you may recover compensation under the law. Contact our Eau Claire UTV/ATV/Snowmobile Accident Lawyers to learn about your legal options.
A Team of Attorneys Who Can Protect Your Rights-Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
At Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are a legal team dedicated to protecting the rights of the members of our community within Wisconsin and surrounding areas. Injuries and accidents can happen at any time and leave you and your family with difficult financial burdens and injuries and conditions that can affect your way of life. Our goal is to help our clients reach a positive resolution in their case so that they can move forward in their lives and recover from the losses they have suffered.
Results for Clients of Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
Some of our results include:
- $500,000 for the victim of a side by side accident.
- $475,000 for a family injured while riding UTVs.
- $175,00 for a woman injured in a UTV accident.
While we guarantee no outcome, the attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers work tirelessly to help ensure that our clients pursue the compensation they deserve for the injuries they have sustained.
Dangers of UTV, ATV, and Snowmobile Accidents in Eau Claire
Utility vehicles and snowmobiles are a common sight in Eau Claire and throughout Wisconsin. Families and members of the community use these forms of motorized transportation for work and recreation. Wisconsin has registered close to 200,000 snowmobiles. UTVs and ATVs are also a popular option and owners must register them if using them on public lands, roads, and trails; those that operate their ATVs and UTVs on private land do not need to register them with the state. In a given year, Wisconsin reports over 400,000 ATVs and UTVs combined.
While it is a common pastime for the community and convenient transportation for farmers, the widespread use of these devices can also be a danger to drivers and passengers aboard. These vehicles allow for swift maneuvering and traction on rough or snowy terrain, but also increase the risk of injuries and death to the riders. These vehicles are prone to rollovers and the ejection of riders and passengers in a collision.
While driver error causes some ATV, UTV, and snowmobile accidents, the negligence of other drivers, landowners, or the manufacturer of the vehicles cause others. If you or a loved one are injured while on an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile you may be eligible for compensation against the parties responsible.
How Can a Lawyer Help You if You or a Loved One Is Injured While on an ATV, UTV, or Snowmobile in Eau Claire?
An accident can affect you or a family member. Young children, teens, and young adults are often victims of accidents that involved an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile. Victims may face serious injuries and long-term difficulties from the losses they have sustained. If another person’s actions cause an accident, a lawyer may help you seek recovery for your damages. A UTV, ATV, and snowmobile accident lawyer can evaluate your case and discuss your legal options. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today. An attorney can help in the following ways:
To establish an action for damages after an accident involving one of these vehicles, an individual must show that the losses and injuries stemmed from the negligence of another. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case and discover all potential liability in your case.
You can hold individuals, groups, or organizations responsible for your injuries if
you establish the elements of negligence:
- That a party owed you a duty of care.
- The duty of care was breached through their actions or inaction.
- You were injured or suffered a loss of some kind.
- The breach of the duty of care caused your loss and damage.
The liability in ATV, UTV, or snowmobile accidents can be complicated in some cases and may not always be apparent to someone without legal experience. A personal injury attorney understands the common causes of these accidents and how to reveal who may be responsible for your injuries.
Those that may hold liability for a UTV, ATV, or snowmobile accident include:
- The driver of the UTV, ATV, or snowmobile - If you were a passenger at the time of the accident and the driver of the device acted recklessly or negligently that endangered your life and caused you injuries, they could be liable to you for your losses.
- The driver of a motor vehicle - Although the access to public roads by ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles can be restricted and limited, there are many areas where motor vehicles and these recreation-type vehicles will travel in the same areas. If a motor vehicle driver encroaches on your right of way and injures you, you may seek compensation.
- The owner of a UTV, ATV, or snowmobile - if another driver of one of these recreation devices and vehicles injures you, they may be liable to you if their negligence contributed to the accident. This is common where an owner allows an inexperienced or minor child to operate the device with no supervision or guidance.
- The party responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the device - If you use an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile that is not your own, the parties that provide you with the vehicle must maintain and repair it responsibly. If a lack of upkeep or maintenance led to the accident, even if you were the one behind the wheel, the other party may be liable for your damages.
- The owner of the land where the accident occurred - If you are given permission to ride on private land, but the dangerous conditions of the land cause an accident and your injuries, the owner of the premises may be liable to you for your losses.
- The manufacturer of the vehicle - Defective parts can make an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile an unexpected deadly trap for riders. If a malfunction or defect injures you, you can hold the company responsible for your losses.
Negotiate a Settlement for You
Several parties can have an interest in the outcome of an injury claim or lawsuit in an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile accident. A lawyer on your behalf can negotiate with the at-fault party, the insurance companies, and any other party that may be liable to you to attempt to resolve your case in a settlement. When a determination of negligence is clear, a case will likely resolve at this stage. However, if there are conflicts in a negligence determination, insufficient insurance coverage for the losses suffered, or a disagreement as to fair compensation, it may be necessary for the case to proceed to trial.
Protect Your Rights
Your personal injury lawyer can work to represent your interests throughout the process of an injury claim or lawsuit. An attorney would fight for your legal rights each step of the way to reach a positive outcome in your case. Your legal team would manage your case and apply their resources and knowledge to help you gather the evidence available, communicate with all interested parties, and advocate for your rights and the compensation for the damages you have suffered.
What Is a UTV versus ATV versus Snowmobile?
While often grouped together, these motorized recreation vehicles differ and the rules that apply to the safety and operation of each can also be very different. While Wisconsin law recognizes various vehicles within each subtype, you cannot register numerous vehicles or vehicles with modifications. Wisconsin restricts them to private land. Registration in Wisconsin allows recreational vehicles on specified public trails.
A Utility Terrain Vehicle as defined by Wisconsin law has a steering wheel, 4 wheels, includes a roll bar, weighs no more than 2,000 pounds, and is less than 65 inches in width. If a vehicle does not meet the definition of an ATV, per the statute, you might register it as a UTV depending on its specifications.
As per the statutory definition under Wisconsin law, an ATV consists of a vehicle of 3 or more wheels that must be straddled by the operator for use. The vehicle cannot weigh more than 900 pounds and must measure 50 or fewer inches. Certain modifications and capabilities can disqualify a vehicle from designation as an ATV.
Wisconsin’s law defines a snowmobile as a vehicle designed with the sole purpose of traveling on snow that measures less than 48 inches in width—including snowmobiles designed specifically for use by children.
Wisconsin Statistics for UTVs, ATVs, and Snowmobiles in Eau Claire
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources creates a yearly review of all incidents as well as the outcome in accidents that involve ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles. Surprisingly, nearly all accidents of ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles end in either a fatality or injury.
In a given year, Wisconsin reports approximately:
- 114 ATV accidents, which resulted in 96 injuries and 16 fatalities.
- 49 UTV accidents, which resulted in six fatalities and 37 injuries.
- 159 snowmobile accidents, which resulted in 125 injuries and 19 fatalities.
Safety Risks to UTV, ATV, and Snowmobile Riders on the Roads
UTV, ATV, or snowmobile riders face unique dangers while on trails, roads, and lands. Beyond the inherent risks of these adrenaline-filled activities, there are hidden and not so hidden dangers a rider can encounter during their travels that can cause accidents, injuries, and death. Particularly young drivers and passengers are at the highest risk of injuries due to their limited experience and development, which can affect their reaction and response times. In many instances, drivers as young as 12 may operate these vehicles on their own; younger children are often passengers with adults or young drivers.
Safety concerns that can cause accidents for drivers include:
- Paved roads
- Hazardous terrain
- Reckless or Impaired Drivers
- Defective equipment or parts
Common Injuries in UTV, ATV, and Snowmobile Accidents
With few safety features and the high likelihood of ejection in an accident, victims involved in an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile accident are at high risk of suffering severe to fatal injuries. For survivors of these accidents, they can face life-altering changes to their ability to function, work, and maintain their daily needs and responsibilities.
Injuries that are common in UTV, ATV, and snowmobile accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding and damage to organs
- Broken bones and fractures
Damages Available Against an At-Fault Party
If an Eau Claire UTV, ATV, or snowmobile accident injured you or a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you could seek damages for the losses you have suffered. The losses available to you would largely depend on the extent of your injuries, the expenses and costs you incurred, and the long-term impacts of your injuries on your daily life now and in the future. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Eau Claire for a free case evaluation as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
Common damages in an accident involving an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile can include:
- Medical costs
- Income losses
- Lost wages
- Long term impacts on income
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Quality of Life
- Property damage
If an accident involving an ATV, UTV, or snowmobile injured you or a loved one, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (715) 226-6149 or through our contact page to discuss your legal options.