Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Skiing Accident

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The wind in your face, the rush of navigating hills…It is not hard to see the appeal of skiing. An adventurous winter sport, it provides you with a thrill that is hard to compare with anything else. However, part of this thrill comes with the potential for danger. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, no matter how skilled of a skier you are.

When you choose to ski, you also choose to take on a certain level of personal liability. However, there are certain accidents where the fault may lie with others. In such cases, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim. In this blog post, we will provide you with a brief overview of the basics of filing a personal injury claim after a skiing accident.

Who Can Be Held Liable for My Skiing Injury?

It is important to know that some states even have laws specific to skier safety. This is especially true in states like Colorado, where skiing is particularly popular. Because state laws can vary so much, the specifics of your particular case are best left to discuss with a seasoned personal injury attorney.

Every time you make the choice to ski, you take on a certain amount of personal liability. In other words, you choose to ski knowing that it comes with certain risks and that your actions may lead to an accident. However, if you get injured while at a ski resort, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim.

Depending on how your injury occurred, you may have the right to pursue legal action against the person responsible for your accident. You may even be entitled to sue another skier for negligence if they are the responsible party. If you believe that your injuries were caused by the ski resort, however, your legal rights may be a bit more limited.

Most states with booming ski industries have laws to minimize the chances of a skier suing a resort. While every state’s set of laws is different, most =of them disallow a skier from suing a resort if an accident is borne from the “inherent risks” associated with skiing.

Such risks are generally defined as the “reasonably obvious, expected, and necessary” aspects of skiing. In other words, just as you choose to take on personal liability every time you choose to ski, you choose to recognize that there is always the potential for an accident while on the slopes.

Thus, most ski resorts will be protected from claims of negligence. And since every personal injury claim must be based on a breach of duty of care, it can be hard for any plaintiff to argue their case. This is especially true since the following occurrences may be covered under the “inherent risks” of skiing: 

  • A skier failing to ski within their own ability
  • A skier skiing outside the designated area
  • Any accidents related to how the ski resort laid out its trails
  • Any accidents related to how the ski resort grooms or does not groom its trails
  • Any collisions between two or more skiers

Whether or not certain activities are covered under “inherent risk” depends on the state in which the accident occurs. Many states also have ski laws pertaining specifically to how the ski resort is supposed to do certain things, such as signage on the trails. In order to have the best possible understanding about whether or not you have a case, consult a trusted attorney.

What If I Get a Non-Skiing Injury at a Ski Resort?

Of course, it is always possible that you get injured while at a ski resort but off the slopes. If this happens to you, then you can rest assured that no “inherent risk of skiing” laws apply. In fact, if your accident occurred as a result of the ski resort’s negligent or otherwise wrongful behaviors, then it is likely that you have a personal injury claim on your hands. If you have a slip-and-fall accident on the grounds of a ski resort, for example, and you can prove that they were responsible for your injuries, then they may be deemed liable for any damages you have suffered.

Can Another Skier Be Held Liable for My Skiing Injury?

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Skiing AccidentAs we mentioned earlier in this blog post, you may be able to pursue legal action for another skier in a personal injury claim. However, whether or not you have a successful case really depends on the specifics of your particular case. Not every person who runs into you on the slopes is liable to you for damages. Rather, you must be able to prove that there was some degree of fault. In other words, whether or not you have a case depends on whether or not you can prove that the other skier caused your accident by acting negligently. 

You may be asking yourself how you can prove such a thing. The NSAA Skier Responsibility Code is a good place to start. If you have been at a ski resort before, you have probably already seen at least bits and pieces of the Skier Responsibility Code. There are seven points to the code:

  • Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.

If you find that the offending skier violated any part of this code, then you may have a viable personal injury claim on your hands.

Seeking Legal Help

Though it is undeniably exhilarating, skiing comes with a certain amount of risk. While these risks usually work to enhance the thrill, unfortunate accidents do occur. If you have recently been a victim of a ski accident or simply any sort of personal injury on a ski resort, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is here to assist victims all across the United States. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our qualified nationwide personal injury attorneys. Let us fight for you.

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