Park City Attorneys for Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents
If You Were Injured on the Slopes, You Could Be Able to Hold a Negligent Resort Liable
At the base of the Rocky Mountains, Park City is the perfect place for an avid skier or snowboarder to live or visit. No matter your level, you can find challenging runs and generous amenities to keep you busy all winter. However, as with most sports for thrill-seekers, both skiing and snowboarding accidents can cause serious, sometimes even fatal, injuries.
No one wants to think their next visit to the mountain might end with a trip to the hospital, but it does happen. Around 600,000 skiers and snowboarders are injured on the slopes each year. If you or a loved one ends up in this position, it’s important to know your legal options. Utah laws restrict the situations in which ski resorts may be held liable for injuries, but they do not close the door to legal action entirely. Our attorneys can review your case and help you determine whether you might be able to recover compensation through a lawsuit.
Call Dodd & Kuendig at (435) 296-7434 to schedule a free consultation with our skiing and snowboarding accident attorneys. We want to see if we can help you.
Injuries Caused by Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents
Traveling at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, skiers and snowboarders are likely to sustain serious injuries from falls or collisions. Protective gear, including helmets, may help reduce the severity of an accident but is unlikely to prevent all harm. Common injuries suffered on the slopes include:
- ACL injury
- Shoulder dislocations or separations
- Spinal injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrist, hand, or thumb injury
Aside from putting you out for the rest of the season, these injuries could potentially require surgery and rehabilitative therapy—and some might never fully heal. Having to face the resultant costs on your own might strain your finances. It’s important for anyone in this position to understand whether they have a right to compensation to aid in their recovery.
Utah’s Inherent Risks of Skiing Act
In recent years, our state legislature has made a point of clarifying when ski resorts can and cannot be held responsible for injuries that happen on their grounds. The Inherent Risks of Skiing Act puts forth a legal assumption that downhill skiers and snowboarders are (or should be) aware of the implicit hazards they face as participants in these sports. Therefore, if you suffer an injury due to a known and expected danger, you have no grounds to recover compensation from a resort operator.
What Are the “Inherent Risks?”
The following factors are considered “inherent risks” both skiers and snowboarders should be aware of.
- Weather conditions
- Snow/ice conditions
- Surface conditions (bare spots, trees or stumps, etc.)
- Danger caused by natural or modified terrain
- Collision with stationary objects
- Collision with other skiers or snowboarders
- Training injuries
- Accidents caused by attempts to master too-hard runs or courses
Commercial ski areas should warn about such risks, but in almost all cases will not hold any liability for injuries caused by one of the above.
Risks Caused by Negligence
However, a ski operator is also required to take reasonable action to protect guests. Any hazards that are either man-made or could be removed with little effort therefore can open the facility up to liability. Other causes of accidents and injuries that may allow you to sue include:
- Unsafe or malfunctioning ski lifts
- Mistakes or negligence by ski lift operators
- Defective ski equipment
- Lack of warning for known dangers
- Lack of markers denoting ski area boundary
- Substandard slope maintenance
In some cases, an accident’s cause is rooted much deeper than the surface factors witnesses can easily identify. We can launch an investigation to determine the underlying causes of your injury. If your accident could have been prevented, you might be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
You Don’t Have to Go Through This Alone
After suffering a skiing or snowboarding accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a lawyer can help guide you through your treatment as well as your efforts to receive compensation. We know how difficult it can be to find yourself laid up with a significant injury that has disrupted your whole life. That’s why our caring team offers comprehensive support for those in this situation. Our top goal is to help you, and sometimes that includes more than just fulfilling the legal requirements on your behalf. If you are looking for a law firm that will make you a constant priority, we invite you to come meet our team for a free consultation.
Call our Park City attorney team at (435) 296-7434 to explore your legal options. We offer consultations by phone or in person.