Common Causes of Ski & Snowboard Accidents
What, or who, causes a ski or snowboard accident? There are several different possible answers. The cause could be another skier or snowboarder whose behavior caused a collision. Or it could be a trail that hadn’t been marked properly that caused the skier or snowboarder to make a mistake.
It’s possible that an instructor indicated the skier or snowboarder was prepared for a certain trail—but that trail was too advanced for their level. Additionally, a product defect such as malfunctioning equipment—including chair lifts—may also cause these accidents. Both recklessness and negligence are key factors in all of these situations.
Types of Accidents
No matter who or what caused it, the consequences of any ski or snowboard accident can range from mild inconveniences to severe injuries. A mild injury may be a knee or wrist sprain. Severe injuries could be life-changing and include serious head injuries, spinal injuries, and others. In the worst-case scenario, a loved one may pass away from their serious injuries.
The Colorado Ski Safety Statute
The Colorado Ski Safety Statute covers a wide variety of topics relevant to keeping skiers safe. It includes provisions regarding:
- duties of passengers
- duties of ski area operators (required signs and notices)
- duties of skiers (penalties)
- many other provisions
To learn more about how the Colorado Ski Safety Statute applies to your specific case, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you know you need guidance.
Who Is Liable?
Determining who is liable, or responsible, for the accident is an important part of ski and snowboard personal injury cases.
It’s very common for the Skier Responsibility Code to be posted all around ski areas, in chair lifts, on lift tickets, and other places. This code outlines the guidelines that all skiers must follow, such as giving the people ahead of the skier the right of way.
If a ski collision happened because one of the skiers was not obeying the Skier Responsibility Code, that indicates that they were acting with negligence—and it’s possible that they may be able to be held liable for the accident.
Sometimes, ski or snowboarding accidents are caused by products rather than people. For example, if a chair lift was defective, you might be entitled to compensation from the company responsible for that chair lift.
In some cases, it’s important to show that the at-fault skier or snowboarder was more than just negligent—they were reckless.
Reckless actions are considered more unreasonable than negligent actions. More specifically, a reckless action is when the person knows that he or she is acting unsafely but continues to act in that way. Skiers and snowboarders who act with recklessness should be held liable for their actions.
Filing a Claim
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is complicated. The process goes far beyond simply filing the right paperwork with the right court. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you throughout the process, including keeping track of all of your medical records relating to the accident, or pursuing a wrongful death case if such a claim is warranted.