I WAS HIT BY ANOTHER SKIER
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH SKI ACCIDENT LAWYERS FOR FREE
A ski accident can be serious and may cause severe injuries. While skiing and snowboarding may be fun, injuries can sometimes happen.
Sometimes ski injuries can happen by accident, but sometimes another person’s negligence causes you to get hurt. When you are injured by another skier, you may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering from the accident, among other types of damages.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Hit by Another Skier?
Skiing and snowboarding are fun outdoor activities and popular during the wintertime, but they both come with risks. Injuries suffered while skiing or snowboarding are not uncommon. If you have been hit by another skier on the slopes, consider the following steps:
1. Obtain Contact Information
If your injury was the result of a collision, then you should try to get the contact information from the other person or persons involved. This includes their name, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information if possible. Take pictures of their ID if they have it available or their lift ticket. Remember to be polite and never admit fault.
2. Report the Accident
Even if your injuries do not seem serious, you should always report the accident as soon as possible. You want to document that an accident happened in case any injuries arise later or if you choose to file a claim in the future. It is important to have the accident recorded and documented for future reference. Reports should be made to the ski patrol office or a park ranger.
3. Take Photographs and Preserve Evidence
To protect your claim in the future, you will want to have photographs of any injuries or of the area to show your attorney or insurance claims adjuster. Be sure to include photographs of the area that may show any obstructions or snow conditions that could have contributed to the collision.
4. Collect Eyewitness Accounts
If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should try to collect their contact information as well. If possible, try to collect a statement from them and record it on your cell phone. If they do not feel comfortable talking to you, ask if they would be willing to give their information and statement to the ski patrol office or other representative or law enforcement.
5. Contact an Experienced Attorney
Reach out to one of our experienced ski accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group. Our attorneys may be able to assist you in your ski accident claim. Our personal injury attorneys may be able to handle every aspect of your case, including collecting evidence and negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement.
6. Limit Communication with Others
Be careful not to speak about your accident with anyone other than your attorney. Avoid posting anything on social media about your accident. These posts may be used against you in a claim and could reduce your damages award. Do not speak with insurance claims adjusters without first speaking with your attorney.
How to Know if You Might Have a Claim
Injuries caused by skiing and snowboarding are often related to human error. Injuries may be caused by a collision or by avoiding a skier or snowboarder below you. Riders are at the mercy of everyone else on the mountain also hitting the slopes. At the same time, all riders hold a personal responsibility to ride with caution and avoid collisions whenever possible.
There Must Be Fault
The general rule in a personal injury claim is that there must be fault. This does not necessarily mean that the skier or snowboarder who collided with you is liable for damages. In sports-related injuries, there must usually be some degree of fault before a person can be found liable for damages to another person. Most states have their own negligence standard to govern the conduct of skiers and snowboarders.
Negligence is the failure to act with reasonable care. Skiers have a duty to act reasonably to avoid causing injuries to other skiers. A skier or snowboarder would not be considered negligent if both parties were riding cautiously down a slope with clear visibility and collided. If both were acting with reasonable care, then there is no negligence.
How do you know if that other person was negligent? The Skier Responsibility Code by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) provides a set of guidelines, including:
- 1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- 2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- 3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
- 4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- 5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- 6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- 7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
It is your responsibility to know and follow the code at all times. The NSAA encourages education, helmet use, respect, and common sense on the slopes.
Recklessness means acting with a disregard for the safety of others. An example of recklessness is if a more experienced skier or snowboarder chose to ride down a slope at full speed during icy conditions when he or she knew that the slope was full of beginners. If the skier or snowboarder struck another person, the behavior and actions of that rider likely demonstrate recklessness.
If your collision was caused by a defective or dangerous product such as a boot binding, then you may be entitled to compensation from the company that designed or manufactured the product. You may also be able to recover damages from the retailer who distributed the product.
An experienced attorney from Zinda Law Group can help you determine whether your state uses a negligence or recklessness standard.
Similar to a car accident case, a skier or snowboarder who acts negligently or recklessly to injure you will be liable for damages. Your damages may include any medical costs, property damage to your equipment, your lost earnings as a result of the injury, pain and suffering in dealing with the accident, and more.
In some cases, the at-fault party’s insurance may be able to cover some or all of your damages. If the other person has no insurance or no assets, then they will not be able to pay for your damages. Sometimes homeowners’ or renters’ insurance will provide coverage for these types of injuries. Check with your insurance to see if your injuries might be covered.
Assumption of the Risk Defense
Skiing and snowboarding are considered to be potentially dangerous activities. There are risks to engaging in these sports. The ski resort owner or the rider who collided with you may raise the assumption of the risk defense. In many cases, riders must sign a liability waiver limiting the responsibility of the resort for certain types of accidents. Raising this defense is arguing that you are not entitled to compensation for damages because you knowingly chose to engage in a dangerous activity. Our experienced lawyers are prepared to handle this defense and may be able to help you if this defense is raised.
Injuries suffered as a result of being hit by another skier or snowboarder can range from mild to severe. Mild injuries could include sprains or strains, injuries to the knees or legs, or injuries to the wrists when preventing a fall. Severe injuries could include head and spinal injuries which could cause lasting damage or death. In 2008, the CDC rated snowboarding-related accidents as the highest percentage of injuries requiring emergency department visits.
Common causes of injuries while skiing or snowboarding include:
- Collisions with other riders
- Collisions with objects such as trees, fences, or signs
- Chair lift accidents
- Accidents due to defective products
Zinda Law Group May Help You Seek Damages
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Denver personal injury lawyers help clients who were hit by another skier. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and help seek the best possible outcome for your case.