From broken bones to traumatic brain injuries to catastrophic spine injuries resulting in permanent impairment or death, ski and snowboard accidents can be physically painful, economically devastating, and life changing. But there is hope. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Ski and snowboard injury law is complicated and differs from state to state. Regardless, to obtain compensation for your injuries, you must act quickly and retain experienced lawyers to gather and preserve the evidence and timely bring your claims.
Common Ski and Snowboard Accidents and Injuries
Ski and Snowboard Collisions
Collisions between skiers and/or snowboarders are the most common accidents on the slopes. Most states’ laws assign responsibility to the uphill skier to avoid colliding with skiers or boarders below them. A skier or boarder injured in a ski collision may secure compensation for his or her injuries from the uphill skier’s homeowner’s insurance policy and/or umbrella liability insurance policy.
Ski Resort and Equipment Manufacturer Liability
Ski resorts also may be liable for ski and snowboard injuries. For example, if you rented your skis or snowboard from the ski resort and it fails because of poor maintenance or a defect and you are injured, the ski resort (and the equipment manufacturer) may be liable for your injuries. Ski resorts also may be liable for injuries resulting from faulty chairlifts and negligent chairlift operators during the loading and unloading process. Ski resorts also may be liable for damages due to poor teaching from instructors, poorly groomed slopes, and inadequate signage on the slopes. In short, ski resorts are responsible for their ski slopes, ski lifts, rental equipment, and employees’ actions.
Skiers and boarders may suffer a wide variety of serious injuries in an accident on the slopes, including:
- Head injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, loss of consciousness, concussions, and death.
- Neck and shoulder injuries. Whiplash, fractures, torn rotator cuffs, shoulder dislocation/separation.
- Back and spine injuries. Herniated disks, traumatic spinal injuries, including paraplegia and death.
- Knee injuries. Meniscus tears, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, fractures.
- Hand injuries. Skier’s thumb, wrist sprains, finger fractures.
Compensation for Ski and Snowboard Injuries
If you are seriously injured in a ski or snowboard accident and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages and employee benefits
- Physical impairment
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium/loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment/quality of life
- Loss of life
- Household expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses for home and vehicle modifications
- Punitive damages (if the party causing your injuries acted intentionally, recklessly, or was grossly negligent)
But you must act quickly. Evidence must be gathered and preserved. Experts must be hired. And your claim must be timely filed. Most states have a two-year a statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for compensation for an injury resulting from a ski or snowboard accident. There also could be a shorter time period to file a claim with your insurance company. If you don’t meet the applicable deadlines, you will be forever barred from bringing your claim.
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If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a ski or snowboard accident due to the negligence of another skier or snowboarder, a ski resort, or an equipment manufacturer, we stand ready to help you and your family. Please contact us for a free case evaluation. If we take your case, we will represent you on a full contingency basis, advancing all litigation expenses and court costs on your behalf. There will not be any out-of-pocket cost to you. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.