Skiing and snowboarding are some of the riskiest sports one can attempt, and injuries are bound to happen. While a lot of accidents can be chocked up to simple clumsiness, there are much more dangerous factors at play that can result in catastrophic injuries. Don’t let a ski accident ruin your health and happiness. Reach out to one of our expert ski attorneys at Rocky Mountain Injury Law for a free consultation.
While it may seem that a ski accident would be very similar to, say, a car accident, this is not the case. Liability laws and accident dynamics play a large part in the litigation processes for ski injury lawsuits. Insurance coverage is also much trickier in ski accident cases than a motor vehicle accident.
Though many skiers and snowboarders vaguely understand the risks inherent in their sport, few know some of the more specific details.
Skiers account for three times as many fatalities as snowboarders.
Collision cases in Colorado make up about 5% of all skiing and snowboarding injuries. While many ski accidents result in minor injuries, a high-speed collision between skiers or snowboarders can cause severe, sometimes catastrophic, injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a ski or snowboard collision, you’ll want an expert ski injury attorney on your side. Call Rocky Mountain Injury Law for a free consultation.
Ski lifts are created with the idea that getting the rider to the top of the mountain safely is the top priority. While there is no need to feel nervous when using a ski lift, injuries are not unheard of. There are two main causes of ski lift injuries: rider error and equipment failure.
There is not much to be done from a litigation standpoint in the case of the former. However, in cases like equipment failure, inadequate ramp or snow maintenance, and/or failure to stop the lift are all ways in which the lift operator may be liable for the injuries of the rider.
The Colorado Ski Safety Act was enacted in 1979 to protect ski area operators from lawsuits by skiers and snowboarders, arguing that most cases being brought against them were injuries caused by “the inherent dangers of skiing.” However, recovery can still be obtained from ski operators for injuries caused by hazards that are not these “inherent dangers.”
Improperly designed or unmarked trails, parked machinery around a blind corner, and open excavations are a few examples, though not an exhaustive list, of ski resort negligence.
While many Coloradans own their own equipment, rentals are still used all over the slopes. Rental companies and the resorts themselves are responsible for maintaining the equipment to ensure that they are safe to use.
Yes! Damages are often recovered through the insurance company of the at-fault party, typically through the liability coverage on their homeowners insurance or personal umbrella liability policy.
Medical expenses, including future medical expenses, are the most common damages recovered in a ski or snowboard lawsuit. However, it is also not uncommon to seek recovery for loss of income, property damage, or lost earning capacity.
Waivers are often enforceable, especially in Colorado. However, they will not apply to every situation. This is why having a personal injury attorney is essential to understanding your case and getting you the settlement you deserve.
In the case of a collision between two (or more) skiers or snowboarders, the fault almost always lies with the “uphill” skier or snowboarder. “Uphill” refers to the positioning of a skier or snowboarder as coming from higher on the mountain when the collision occurred.
Think of it like being rear-ended in a car accident. You are responsible for not hitting the cars in front of you, and you are also responsible for not hitting the skier or snowboarder ahead of you on the mountain.
Though not required by law, insurance can be extremely useful in the event of a ski accident in terms of recouping medical costs. Health insurance and travel insurance are both available for self-protection.
In the event of a collision with another skier or snowboarder, the at-fault party’s liability coverage, either through homeowners insurance or a personal umbrella liability policy, is often how we will seek recovery for damages.