Colorado is a land of winter enchantment with some of the best skiing in the world. This makes our state a popular winter destination, but it also means that Colorado sees a large number of skiing accidents each year.
If you suffered an injury on the slopes, you might be able to pursue compensation.
Following these tips after being involved in a skiing or snowboarding accident will protect your health and will be helpful in your personal injury case.
A ski accident is somewhat like a car wreck in that you should get the contact information of the other skier. Either write down or save to your phone their name, phone number, email address, and address.
Inform ski patrol of the accident so they can bring any medical help that might be required, and they might want to make their own report. Document your exchange with ski patrol, and any communications you have with resort employees and witnesses.
The faster you receive treatment, the better the chances are that you’ll be able to make a full recovery. Adrenaline can sometimes mask the symptoms of an injury, so it’s best to get evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible following the accident. Prompt medical care will help document your injuries, which will help you prove the damages and compensation you’re requesting.
Even if you don’t think that you’ll have cell reception on the mountain, you should always have your phone with you. Your phone will still be able to take pictures and videos of the scene, so take as many as possible from as many angles as possible. Pay attention to the tracks you made, as well as those made by the at-fault skier. Photograph your equipment and your injuries if possible.
In Colorado, the statute of limitations to take legal action after a ski accident is two years. If you don’t file a lawsuit within that time frame, the statute will expire and you won’t be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and property damages.
When someone is hurt due to another’s negligence, they’re going to incur significant financial losses, which are called “damages.” The lawsuit is filed to recover those damages.
There are two main kinds of damages – economic and non-economic. Economic damages are tangible and may include the money you’ve lost from work, medical bills, property damage, and more.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and include emotional distress, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and more.
Determining who’s responsible for compensating you for your damages can be a difficult task, but here’s a quick look at some of the options available to you in a ski accident lawsuit.
According to Colorado law, the uphill skier is responsible for avoiding others downslope. If another skier or snowboarder behaved recklessly and caused you personal injury, you can hold them accountable for their actions.
Ski lifts and other mountain machinery make it possible to have a fantastic experience on the mountain. Unfortunately, these same pieces of equipment can be incredibly dangerous if not properly maintained and operated. If the resort or maintenance company contributes to an injury, you can hold them liable.
To help avoid endless litigation, Colorado ski resorts are largely protected from liability for most accidents at their resorts, so it can be difficult to hold them accountable when they fail to properly manage the slopes and grounds of the resort.
This imbalance is why skiers think they have no legal recourse when they’re injured; however, with the help of an experienced Denver ski accident attorney, there is a higher chance of success at filing a suit against the resort if they are, in fact, responsible for your injury.
In order for you to successfully recover damages through a ski accident lawsuit, your attorney must prove the following four elements:
So, how will your lawyer go about satisfying all four elements? They’ll do this by conducting a detailed investigation of the accident which will typically include witness interviews, photos of the accident scene and equipment, and more. The sooner the investigation begins after the accident, the better the chances your chances are of getting the proof you’ll need for a strong, successful case.
After your attorney has established that you have sufficient grounds for a ski accident lawsuit, they will then send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This letter will detail the amount of money you’re entitled to receive for your medical bills (now and in the future) as well as your other damages.
Your lawyer will also exchange information with the defendant’s insurance provider, a process known as “discovery.” This will include legal documents, photos from the accident scene, witness statements, and more.
After discovery, your attorney will negotiate with the insurer in an attempt to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf. If a settlement is reached, the case will be over. If you are unable to reach a settlement, the case will proceed toward trial where both sides will present their arguments and evidence, then a judge or jury will determine who wins and how much you’ll receive in damages if you are successful.
Failing to get checked out by a doctor after your ski accident could greatly harm your physical health and your case. You may have much more serious injuries than you think, and delaying medical attention could worsen your injury to the point that you wind up suffering severe complications.
If you don’t seek prompt medical attention, the at-fault party’s insurance company will claim that you either weren’t injured at all in the accident, you aren’t injured as badly as you allege, or your injuries were sustained at a different time, you’re simply hoping that the insurer will pick up the tab.
In either argument, they will dramatically decrease any settlement offers, and it could be a persuasive argument to the jury which could either reduce the amount of damages you receive or could cost you the case altogether.
The attorneys with Zaner Harden Law, LLP work on a “contingency basis.” This means that we won’t receive any money unless we win your case. You won’t pay for your consultation, and you won’t pay us anything out of pocket. This will help you focus on your recovery.
If you choose to work with a Denver ski accident attorney with Zaner Harden Law, LLP, you’ll be working with a true legal expert who knows how to get results. We’ve handled many cases similar to yours and have a long track record of helping our clients obtain the maximum amount of compensation. We will provide you with aggressive, skilled, and confident legal representation at all times.
Our Denver personal injury attorneys can help you determine if you have a viable case for your ski or snowboarding accident to collect damages to help you cover your medical bills and reach financial stability after your accident. Contact Zaner Harden Law, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation by calling (720) 613-9706.
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