Posted in Blog on March 20, 2015
Skiing is meant for enjoyment, and many people look forward to the winter months when they can dust off their snow gear and hit the powder. While all are anticipating a time of fun activity and leisure, many do not consider the potential dangers associated with skiing. After all, if we did, we likely wouldn’t participate in the sport.
The fact is that, although a wonderful activity, skiing has a certain amount of risk associated with it, and injury sustained during the winter sport is particularly relevant to residents of Colorado, a state known for its world-class ski resorts. Although a healthy form of exercise, skiing carries its own sets of challenges and risks. The high speeds reached, particularly in downhill skiing, along with the potential for crashes, falls and bumps, make injury or death possible.
Before skiing, it behooves people to understand common safety tips, gain a solid knowledge of the laws pertaining to the slopes, and knowledge of what to do in the event of a skiing accident. Following safe practices, hopefully, avoids any accident.
In the unfortunate event an accident occurs, it serves the skier well to know exactly what to do. The best tips for avoiding accidents are to ski within your skill level and ability, making sure that you do not ski in areas that are too difficult for you to handle.
You should also stay within designated ski borders. It is crucial to wear proper safety gear and protecting clothing. Ski resorts receive many legal protections from liability insurance, and will cite a skiers’ personal failure to take precautions, so knowing and following safety regulations is critical before you hit the slopes; otherwise, it is you who might be accountable for any injury you receive.
Ski injuries are not always the fault of the skier, however. Defective ski lifts, poor quality rental skis, or flawed or poorly marked ski runs can certainly cause problems that are not the result of the skier’s behavior. Careless acts of others skiers sharing the slopes may also cause injury and/or death. If another skier or snowboarder is reckless, there is certainly argument that the careless skier should be held accountable for any injuries and/or related damages.
For example, according to Colorado law, the uphill skier is responsible for avoiding others downslope. All skiers have duties to keep other skiers safe and must not interfere with their activities or deceive them into a dangerous situation. This means that if an uphill skier collides into you, gives you false directions, or acts in immature ways that harmed you, that skier can be held liable for your damages. Improper maintenance of ski resorts means that the resorts can be held responsible.
For instance, an improperly maintained chair lift is the fault of the resort, not the skier. Personal injuries sustained from skiing accidents must be properly reported to the ski resort management and documented right away, including obtaining witness statements.
If necessary, local authorities should also become involved, as should emergency personnel. Victim(s) of skiing accidents have rights, and it is always wise to consult with an attorney well versed in the laws surrounding winter activities to ensure your rights are protected in the even you are injured in a skiing accident. Learn more at: www.zanerhardenlaw.com.