How To Prove Liability In A Holiday Ski Accident

man skiing
Madeleine Jones
January 19, 2021

Skiing is one of the most popular activities during the winter holiday season. Resorts across the United States provide beautiful views and accommodations that attract thousands of people every year. With the ski season in full swing, many people in Nevada decide to hit the slopes. Most people will stay at a ski resort, ski, and go home without any incidents. However, many skiers will suffer from a ski accident while staying at a ski resort. If you’re thinking of pursuing compensation for your injuries, who do you think is responsible?

man skiing

Types of Ski Injuries

The injuries that can result from a ski accident can range from mild to severe injuries that can alter your life. The most common injuries include:

  • Knee injuries
  • Leg injuries
  • Wrist sprains
  • Brain injuries
  • Skull fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • And, in the worst cases, death

As skiers try to go harder and faster with more challenging moves, the number of injuries are on the rise.

Causes of Ski Accidents

Your own actions play a big part in who could be at fault for your ski accident. However, as long as you follow all the rules and pay attention and ski cautiously, any ski accident and injuries could be someone else’s fault.

The most common causes of ski accidents include the following:

  • Ski lift accidents
  • Poorly maintained slopes
  • Skier collisions
  • Defective equipment
  • Lack of supervision or training
  • Lack of warning signs

Keep Your Eyes Open For Liability Waivers

The resort you’re staying at may ask you to sign a liability waiver. If you’re not staying at one, when you buy a season pass, part of the papers you sign can include one that would absoslve the ski resort of any responsibility for any injuries suffered even in past seasons too. It is very important to read any and every document the resort requires you to sign.

Can I File a Lawsuit For a Ski Accident?

Every person injured in a ski accident has the right to file a personal injury claim for money damages. Most personal injury casses are based on negligence law. So, in order to prove a case for negligence, a plaintiff (the person who is injured) must prove:

  • The person sued owed a duty of care to the resort visitors
  • That person breached that duty of care
  • This breached duty of care was the direct cause of the injury
  • The plaintiff suffered from monetary damages because of their injuries

If the person injured can show that the person sued was negligent in causing the injuries, the person sued will be responsible for the victim’s damages.

Recklessness In A Ski Accident

Not all states use the negligence standard to determine fault. Some stated use a recklessness standard. Actions considered reckless asre more unreasonable than negligent actions. A reckless action takes place when a person knows that their action is unsafe and goes ahead and does it anyway. In a state using the recklessness standard, you can’t recover damages from another skier unless you can prove they acted recklessly.

An example of recklessness would be an experienced skier heading straight down at full speed on a begginer slope and a beginning skier gets run down by them. This is a reckless action because the experienced sskier should have known that beginner skiers have a hard time skiing and will often stand on other people’s way. The experienced one should have given the beginner skiers enough room to ski.

If you got injured in a collision with another skier and think it was the other skier’s fault, you should call a lawyer to advise you if your state uses recklessness or negligence standards.

What Damages Can I Get In a Ski Accident?

Just like in any other car accident case, if another skier acts recklessly or negligently and it results in your injuries, you are entitled to damages. This damages may include medical bills, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

What To Do After A Ski Accident?

If you get injured in a ski accident odds are you are not in a condition to collect evidence. But, if your friends are with you, ask them to take pictures of the accident scene. They should take them from every angle possible. They should also have something in the picture that can be used as a reference for size.  For example, if you are taking a picture of a tree, then put a ski next to it, so there is some perspective on the size of the tree.  They should also take pictures of any damage to your skis and any other equipment. It is important to look for any witnesses who might have seen what happened and get their names and contact information.

How Your Insurance Coverage Can Affect Your Case

Even if the person that hit you was at fault, it doesn’t mean that you can recover damages from them. If that person doesn’t have insurance or assets, they won’t be able to pay you damages. While motor vehicle insurance doesn’t cover ski accident injuries, homeowner’s or renter’s inssurance usually will. The bad thing is that not everybody has this type of insurance.

If the person responsible for your injuries has no insurance you generally can’t file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance for this kind of injury. 

Get Help From The Experts

Personal injury lawsuits for ski accidents can be very complex. The outcomes really depend on the local statutes, regulations, and rules, and they differ from state to state. The wisest thing to do is to consult with an expert personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will be able to advise according to which state your ski accident took place To get help, call Cogburn Law at (702) 748-7777 and get a free consultation. 

Do you want to learn more about the personal injury claim process? Add your email below and we will send you our guide free of charge. It includes useful tips on things to avoid when going through a personal injury claim and how you can give yourself the best chance of winning it.

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