If you were involved in a skiing or snowboarding accident that resulted in injury or death, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Skiing and snowboarding injuries can be mild, such as knee injuries, lower leg fractures, and wrist sprains. However, some injuries are life-long or even result in death.
Accidents from skiing and snowboarding have become more frequent as the sports have increased in popularity. Accidents and severity of accidents have also increased as participants pursue greater speeds and more complicated moves. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions reported in a recent study that there has been a dramatic increase in traumatic brain and spinal cord injury as a result of skiing and snowboarding accidents. with children and teens being most affected. Snowboarding alone has caused more injuries than any other outdoor activity.
The most common types of snowboarding and skiing accidents involve:
- collisions with other skiers or snowboarders
- falls or collisions with objects such as trees, fences, barriers, or signs
- chair lift accidents
- accidents due to inadequate instruction from a skiing or snowboarding instructor
- accidents due to skiing or snowboarding equipment failure
As with any personal injury lawsuit, there has to be negligence involved in order for you to have a case. Negligence means that one party acted without reasonable care, and that carelessness caused your injury. The negligent party is held responsible for the accident.
Negligence is usually involved if your injury was caused by any of the following:
- you collided with a skier or snowboarder who was behaving carelessly or recklessly
- the mountain terrain on which you were skiing or snowboarding was poorly maintained, marked, or designed.
- your skiing or snowboarding instructor led you to terrain that was beyond your capability level.
Skiing and snowboarding accidents can also be caused by defective products. If your injury was caused by a dangerous or faulty product, such as a defective chair lift or ski binding, you may be able to receive compensation from the companies that manufactured or distributed the product.
A common defense against snowboarding and skiing accident lawsuits is the “assumption of the risk” defense. Skiing and snowboarding are known as potentially dangerous sports. Because these activities are known to be dangerous, the person you are suing could use the “assumption of risk” defense. This defense basically states that since you chose to take part in an activity that you knew was potentially harmful, you are not entitled to compensation.
Damages, meaning monetary awards, are provided in a personal injury case
to compensate the injured party for their losses. The damages you could
win depend on the nature of your accident and the severity of your injuries
and medical treatment received. Typically, damages include reimbursement
for medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Skiing and snowboarding accident lawsuits can be very complex, since their success can depend on local statutes, rules, and regulations in each state. If you have more questions about your snowboarding or skiing accident, or need help getting your case together, always enlist the help of a personal injury attorney.