Ski and Snowboard Accidents
Vail, Colorado Ski & Snowboard Accident Attorneys
Cold wind in your face, fresh powder beneath your feet: skiing and snowboarding in Colorado epitomize the true essence of the state. Nature and action come together for a recreational activity that you can enjoy best in the mountains we call home.
With skiing and snowboarding, unfortunately, come accidents and injury. As you know, no experienced skier or snowboarder has navigated the slopes without some sort of injury. You constantly put your body at risk when you push yourself to new heights, new tricks, greater obstacles, and faster speeds.
In some cases, the accident and subsequent injury is not your fault. The negligence of others can cause collisions and other types of accidents that can lead to severe harm and ruin an otherwise enjoyable time on the slopes.
When a ski trip turns into a hospital trip, trust a ski accident lawyer in Vail, Colorado from Sears & Associates, P.C. Call 719-471-1984 for a free consultation about your ski accident.
Who is liable for my ski or snowboard accident?
Skiers and snowboarders assume inherent risks under the Colorado Ski Safety Act. “Inherent dangers and risks of skiing” is defined as weather conditions, snow conditions, bare spots, forest growth, rocks, impact with signs and posts, variations in terrain, and other hazards that could cause injury. (Co. Rev. Stat §33-44-103(3.5))
The Ski Safety Act also places certain responsibilities on skiers and snowboarders. For example, skiers are responsible for knowing their ability level and to stay within the limits of their ability. (Co. Rev. Stat. §33-44-109(1)) That is to say, skiers should not attempt the most difficult slopes when they do not have the requisite experience and skill to do so.
Any ski or snowboarding lawsuit will hinge on investigating the accident to establish whether it is the result of an inherent risk assumed by the skier, the skier’s own negligence, or if another party caused or contributed to the accident.
The Ski Safety Act, in addition to placing responsibilities on skiers, clearly denotes the duties of ski area operators. (Co. Rev. Stat. §33-44-107) For instance, ski area operators must:
- Place signs marking the least and most difficult trails and slopes.
- Mark ski area boundaries that are clear and readily visible.
- Mark all hydrants, water pipes, and other manmade structures that are not readily visible.
Our team of skiing accident lawyers investigates your accident and compiles evidence that lets us establish the reckless or negligent actions and inactions that contributed to your accident. Armed with this information, we work to identify the liable parties, which may include:
- Other skiers (e.g., negligent or aggressive skiers)
- Ski lift operators (e.g., improperly maintained ski lifts, broken ski lifts, negligent operators)
- Ski resort employees or owners (e.g., misuse of equipment, improperly trained employees)
- Ski equipment manufacturers (e.g., defective equipment)
If one of these parties failed in its duties set forth under Colorado law to ensure your safety on ski lifts or on the slopes, that party may be liable in a ski accident lawsuit. Our skiing accident attorneys will build your case to establish that your injuries were the result of the defendant’s negligence or recklessness to help you obtain a fair settlement or judgement.
How difficult is it to win ski and snowboard accident claims?
If another party was negligent or reckless and caused your ski accident, that party could be liable for your damages. Proving your loss in another matter. The evidence needed to prove this comes from many sources. Depending on your case, you might need:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Accident or ski patrol reports
- Equipment inspections
- Ski resort employee records
- Weather reports
- Medical records
Succeeding in a ski accident claim requires navigating a labyrinth of ski industry laws and regulations. In some cases, there are multiple parties liable for the accident, which some people who forego legal counsel overlook. The insurance company, ski resort, or other defendant(s) will deploy investigators and lawyers to evaluate the case and build a defense against your claim. Without adequate evidence and case preparation, it becomes exceedingly difficult to fight these well-equipped legal teams.
The difficulty of proving an injury created by another party’s negligence is why many injured skiers turn to our ski accident lawyers in Colorado Springs.
Why should I file a ski or snowboard accident claim?
Skiing and snowboarding injuries can leave you with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. These accidents can even cause long-term injuries such as brain and spinal cord trauma or internal injuries that can add up to millions of dollars in expenses and losses over your lifetime. Even injuries like broken bones, knee injuries, and skier’s thumb can affect earning capacity and require long-term care.
Our lawyers will dig into your case to identify all the physical, emotional, and financial effects of your injuries. Whereas insurance companies may offer settlements addressing short-term damages, we consider your prognosis and the long-term effects of your injuries. Just as we will compile evidence that proves causation and liability, we will collect evidence to establish the value of your short- and long-term damages.
- We acquire and evaluate medical records relevant to your skiing injuries.
- We work with medical experts who may testify about your prognosis and long-term care needs.
- We work with vocational experts who can testify regarding your current and future earning capacity.
- We compile all evidence that illustrates how your injuries reduce your quality of life and other emotional effects of your injuries, including preventing you from engaging in hobbies like skiing or snowboarding.
Choose a Lawyer Who Knows What Skiers Go Through
Colorado is home to some of the best slopes in the United States. Even though ski accidents are somewhat common here, many insurance companies do not treat ski accident victims fairly. If you had a ski lift accident, or any other type of accident that was not your fault, speak with a ski accident lawyer as soon as possible about your options. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can preserve crucial evidence that lets us build a case that establishes the defendant’s liability and the value of your damages.
Over the years, our team at Sears & Associates, P.C. has learned the ins and outs of ski injury claims. We know the laws and regulations governing the skiing industry, and we know common ways that ski resorts and lift operators violate these rules. This experience allows us to anticipate and defend against any bad acts the insurance companies may try to pull on those wrongfully injured.
As a skier or snowboarder, you need someone on your side who understands your rights. We know you are passionate about your recreational activities, and we want to help you seek the damages you need and deserve to get your health, finances, and life back in order.
With over 40 years of experience, the ski and snowboard accident injury lawyers at Sears & Associates, P.C. can help you get back on the slopes. Being injured practicing a sport you love can be devastating. You need someone who will fight for your rights.
If you, a friend, or a loved one has been involved in a skiing or snowboarding accident, contact the Colorado personal injury attorneys at Sears & Associates, P.C.
We have offices located in Vail and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Call 719-471-1984.