Ski Resort Accidents
Millions of people all over the world participate in skiing every year. It’s not just a great form of exercise, it’s a lot of fun too. Many people make it a family activity, which serves for an enjoyable way of getting everyone together. These reasons and more drive hundreds of thousands of people to ski resorts in this country and others every single year. Unfortunately, things can go wrong. When they do, it’s important to know that a lawsuit may be an appropriate way of proceeding.
Skiing Is a Safe Sport
It’s easy for people to characterize skiing as a dangerous sport. While there are certainly extreme versions and many popular videos show skiers partaking in dangerous activities, this is hardly representative of the whole.
According to the NSAA (the National Ski Areas Association), 54 skiers died for every one million who visited a ski area between 2011 and 2012. Keep in mind, too, that this includes those who were partaking in behavior that clearly placed themselves at greater risk or were otherwise acting negligently.
To put this in perspective, in 2009, 8,600 people died from slipping and falling in a public area. 2,400 people drowned in public swimming areas. Even bicycle riding is more dangerous than skiing, with 800 people dying from it in 2009.
Laws Regarding Skiing
Of course, this doesn’t mean people don’t get injured while skiing and a lot of times these accidents can be blamed on the resort where it happened. The Pennsylvania Skier’s Responsibility Act and Skiing Responsibility Act are two important laws that come into play where skiing accidents are involved. However, both are extremely favorable for the resorts. Every state with these resorts has some version of the Skiing Responsibility Act on the books.
When Negligent Skiers Are to Blame
However, should you wind up injured because of another skier sharing the slopes, the resort won’t necessarily be involved in the suit. Instead, you would simply file charges against the responsible party, most likely for simple negligence. Usually, the defendant’s homeowner’s insurance covers the accident.
Factors in a Ski Resort Claim
The aforementioned laws as well as the presence of other skiers combine to make it quite difficult to file ski resort claims without an experienced attorney on your hand. While there is a statute of limitations, the clock begins ticking as soon as the accident occurs more so because your attorney must interview all the witnesses as soon as possible. The second after your accident happens, their memories may begin fading, which is why you must act fast.
On top of that, unlike with a traffic accident, there are no license plates to be used for tracking these witnesses. Your attorney will need to be diligent in finding those who can help your case.
Speaking of which, they might have to bring in the services of a ski resort liability expert. Assuming your accident wasn’t completely due to negligent skiers, suing the resort will be nearly impossible without an expert on hand to help with the proceedings. These experts usually have some kind of experience working at or for a ski resort. They may have been a former employee, designer or an engineer.
Finally, it bears mentioning that ski resorts are familiar with these kinds of claims. They wouldn’t be in business if they weren’t prepared for them. The same goes for their insurance companies. Both parties will know the relevant laws like the back of their hands.
This is why you must contact an experienced ski resort accident attorney ASAP if you end up hurt on the slopes or anywhere else owned by the company. Going at it alone, not seeking damages or hiring a lawyer who is inexperienced where this type of law is concerned should simply not be an option you consider.