SKI EQUIPMENT MALFUNCTION INJURY
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Skiing is a popular wintertime activity enjoyed by millions of people across the country each year. Not only is it a lot of fun to glide down the mountain, but it is also a great workout. However, for as thrilling as skiing can be, it is important to remember that it is a fairly extreme sport that comes with a serious set of risks. One of these risks stems from the fact that skiers are wholly dependent on the proper functioning of their equipment. After an accident because of a broken binding or a snapped ski, the best way to fight for the compensation that you may be entitled to might be to speak with a ski equipment malfunction lawyer.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A SKI EQUIPMENT MALFUNCTION
The time after a skiing injury can be very scary and stressful. On top of trying to recover from your injuries, you might start receiving calls from insurance companies and attorneys who want to get you to talk about the accident. Given this, it is important to have a basic idea of the steps that it is important to complete after your accident.
1. Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, it is important to address your pressing medical needs. This is important for more than one reason. First, certain injuries might not be immediately apparent due to adrenaline or symptoms appearing later on, so going to a doctor can help catch those injuries and prevent them from becoming worse.
2. Document the Accident
A personal injury case will require documentation and evidence. While you might not know exactly what to collect and keep for future reference, it is better to be overprepared than underprepared. After a ski equipment malfunction, some things that might become important are the actual pieces of equipment that malfunctioned, any reports that law enforcement or ski patrol filed, and medical reports.
3. Contact an Experienced Attorney
After the accident, you should be sure to hire the right attorney. The right attorney for you will take the time to learn about you and what your concerns are, have the necessary experience to be able to fight for your interests, and have the time available to be able to give your case the attention that it deserves.
COMMON SKIING INJURIES
Though it can be very fun and a great source of exercise, skiing can lead to certain injuries if you are not careful. Even if you take all of the necessary precautions, however, injuries can still occur. Some of the more common types of injuries include:
Head injuries can occur when a skier is flying down a mountain at high speeds, even if they are wearing a helmet. Collisions with other skiers on the mountain can occur, as well as collisions with inanimate objects like rocks or trees. Head injuries pose a particular threat to your health because symptoms might be confused for something less serious or might not appear at all, so it is important to see a doctor quickly if you believe that you may have sustained a head injury.
For skiers, because your feet and ankles are strapped into a rigid boot and binding, you may be at a higher risk for lower-body injuries. One of the most severe lower-body injuries a skier can sustain is an ACL tear. Typically, accident victims who tear their ACL will hear a popping sound and notice immediate swelling in the affected area.
Wrist fractures happen more commonly for snowboarders, but they can also happen for skiers. To avoid wrist fractures, it is important that skiers know how to fall correctly. Beginner skiers will often attempt to break their falls by sticking their hand out towards the ground, which is commonly how wrist fractures can occur. Wrist fractures will usually require a splint or a cast to fully heal
WHO IS LIABLE?
When it comes to analyzing any personal injury case, one important question to answer is who might be liable. Establishing liability is a necessary component of a personal injury case because without it, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover any compensation from another party. Liability is simply the legal term for fault, and the party who is at fault for your injuries may be responsible for paying for any damage that they caused.
When your ski equipment malfunctions, one of the parties who might be liable for your injuries is the manufacturer of that equipment. There are a few different ways in which they may be held responsible.
Products may have design defects, meaning that even if the manufacturing process went exactly according to plan, the product would still be defective because something was wrong with the plan in the first place. For example, the way a certain boot is designed might cause it to slip out of the bindings too easily. In cases of design defects, the defect will typically exist across the entire product line because they were all made according to the same faulty plan.
In the case of a manufacturing defect, something will have gone wrong at some point along the process of manufacturing the product. An example of a manufacturing defect could be a ski being made with the wrong kind of material, causing it to be structurally weaker than it was designed to be. Manufacturing defects typically do not exist along the entire product line, but only in smaller batches of the product.
Failure to Warn
Certain dangerous products may be safe for a consumer to use so long as there is an adequate warning attached. Warnings must be clear to the person buying the product and they must be clear about exactly what the potential dangers are. If a manufacturer of ski equipment doesn’t have a sufficient warning on their product and this failure to warn ends up causing an injury, then they may be on the hook to pay you damages.
WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?
One of the first things that most ski and snowboard accident victims want to know is what their case could be worth. There is no generic answer that will apply to every single case, but there are a few categories of damages available in ski or snowboard accident cases.
Economic damages are objective, tangible damages that can be quantified, such as medical bills, lost wages from being unable to go to work, and the cost to replace your personal property that may have been damaged or destroyed. Economic damages are usually proven with things like bills, receipts, and paychecks.
Non-economic damages are a bit more fluid than economic damages. They are subjective damages that include pain, suffering, and emotional anguish. These sorts of damages are not tied to any sort of objective indicator like economic damages are, but generally speaking, the worse an accident and resultant injury are, the higher this number can be.
While the first two categories of damages are intended to restore the victim to the state that they were in before the accident, punitive damages are intended to dissuade the liable party and others not to behave in reckless and purposeful ways. Punitive damages are rare, but if the party responsible for your injuries acted in an extremely reckless or purposeful way, then you may be eligible to receive punitive damages.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
At the outset of your claim, it is important that you understand your claim’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have, starting from the date of your accident, to file a claim. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years.
There may be certain exceptions to the statute of limitations that are available to you. For example, if the victim in an accident is under the age of majority, the statute of limitations might be paused until they reach adulthood. This may also be true if certain injuries do not become apparent until some time after the accident itself. However, it is best not to bank on the application of an exception—speak with an attorney as soon after your accident as possible.
CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
Hiring the right attorney is critical for the success of your ski equipment malfunction injury lawsuit. Zinda Law Group has an experienced group of attorneys who carefully manage their caseloads so they can give each case the attention it deserves. We believe accident victims shouldn’t need to worry about their ability to afford legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis —you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.