The Upper Midwest is known for its outdoor recreational activities. Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” also has the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and Lake Superior. The abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams presents a limitless opportunity for water experiences, from kayaking to fly fishing remote streams to basking on a houseboat, especially during the summer months. Many residents and tourists spend their summer on the water fishing and boating, tubing, jet skiing, and water skiing. There is also plenty of country to explore – on foot or by ATV.
Most people make water safety a top priority. But sometimes things go wrong. Watercraft collide and alcohol has been known to play a role in boating accidents. Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources reports that 30 percent of fatal boat accidents involve alcohol.
Accidents may also occur when too many passengers overload a boat. Furthermore, if a boat driver makes an unsafe maneuver, injuries may result. Such negligence leads directly to innocent people being injured or killed in water recreation vehicles every year.
Recreational Vehicle Accidents
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility task (or terrain) vehicles (UTVs), and snowmobiles are popular, fun, and exhilarating recreational vehicles across the United States. But like all vehicles, these machines can be dangerous when operated by careless or reckless drivers or when they have design flaws.
A Consumer Product Safety Commission Report states that:
While statistics reflect reporting that recreational vehicle injuries and fatalities have decreased in recent years, these types of accidents are not uncommon. Every year snowmobile accidents account for approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries.
When Someone Is Negligent
Many of these incidents are caused by negligence or recklessness. Victims and families of victims have the right to claim compensation for their injuries, pain, and emotional suffering caused by this negligence or recklessness. If the driver who caused the ATV, UTV, or snowmobile accident was drinking at the time of the crash, your personal injury lawyer may be able to help you to receive additional compensation in the form of punitive damages.
Product defects can be a frequent cause of ATV, UTV, and snowmobile accidents. In the case of product liability, your personal injury attorney will require evidence to prove that the defect existed and that it caused or worsened the accident. Manufacturer-issued recalls may serve as evidence that potential risks were known to the manufacturer.
The personal injury and wrongful death attorneys of Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm represent the victims of these tragic events across Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Many of our employees are experienced watercraft operators, water-skiers, and fishing enthusiasts, giving us insight into the character and possible cause of these accidents. We understand the emotional trauma suffered because of being injured or losing loved ones in boating disasters.
If you or a family member has been victimized by a boating or recreational vehicle accident, contact the skilled personal injury attorneys of Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm at (763) 406-7000 for a free consultation to learn how we can help recover compensation for injuries and other damages.