Winter time is upon us, and with winter comes all the fun of ski lodges—warm
fires in the lodge, great fine dining with your beloved, and, of course,
the excitement of hitting the slopes on skis and snowboards. Unfortunately,
along with these activities come a lot of injuries that occur on the slopes,
and there are legal issues that go along with them.
Not every injury on the slopes entitles you to compensation, but some certainly
do. Learn everything you need to know about skiing and snowboarding accidents,
how you can collect damages, and why you need a personal injury lawyer.
Injuries on the Slopes
There are so many different kinds of injuries that happen on ski slopes,
one could write a medical journal just on them. From skinned elbows to
bone fractures, to shattered knees, to serious spinal and traumatic brain
injuries and more. Of course, the most serious of these can be debilitating
and deadly. As these two sports enjoy a rise in popularity, so do the
injuries associated with them.
For the most part, these injuries arise from four types of incidents:
- Falls or collisions with other people on the slopes, or with inanimate
objects like fences, trees, barriers, etc.
- Accidents involving chair lifts
- Incidents resulting from poor instruction
- Incidents related to personal equipment failure (bad skis, poles, snowboards, etc.)
Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries and Negligence
When someone seeks compensation for a personal injury, they have to demonstrate
that negligence was involved on someone’s part, and that negligence
was the cause of (or greatly contributed to) the accident. When it comes
to skiing injuries, there are several different ways this could happen:
1. Another skier or snowboarder was behaving recklessly and caused your collision
2. The slope you were skiing had inadequate signage or warnings
3. Your instructor allowed you to ski terrain beyond your level
4. The equipment at the slope (ski chairs, for example) was poorly maintained
5. Your personal equipment had a manufacturer’s fault that caused
it to fail
Each of these above situations yields varying levels of responsibility
to varying individuals. In the first situation, the other skier was negligent.
In the second and fourth, the resort was potentially negligent. In the
third, the instructor (and potentially the resort) holds some blame. Finally,
in the fifth, the manufacturer could be liable under product liability statutes.
Assumption of Risk
It’s also important to understand that when you engage in a dangerous
physical activity like skiing or snowboarding, you assume a certain amount
of risk under the law. This means that you are not entitled to compensation
if you are injured in an activity that could be considered within the
normal scope of the sport.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Because injuries from snowboarding and skiing can be so complicated, and
there are so many different scenarios that can determine responsibility,
it’s important, if you’ve been hurt and it’s not your
fault, to get in touch with a qualified personal injury lawyer.
An attorney can sit down and discuss the details of your case, with no
cost and no obligation, and let you know where you stand. When it comes
to getting the maximum compensation allowable under the law,
an attorney is your best bet. They can fight insurance companies and non-payment tactics and protect
your rights. If you’re in this situation and need help, call Dunnion