Ski Accident and Injury Liability; Skiing Safety Tips

Now that we are in the middle of the winter, activity at ski resorts across the country is in full swing. Skiing remains a popular winter sport for many, but it is, nonetheless, a dangerous activity. The most common injuries occurring at ski resorts include:

  • Collisions with other people or objects
  • Ski lift accidents
  • Resort equipment injuries, including the negligent use of lifts or snow-making machines
  • Injuries from avalanches

When someone is injured at a ski resort, the issue of liability frequently arises. In some cases, the resort may be liable for negligently failing to properly warn skiers of hazards, failing to properly operate its equipment, or failing to adequately prevent unsafe skiing conditions. Injuries can also occur when the lifts are operating despite unsafe weather conditions, in which case, the resort will likely be held liable.
The majority of injuries taking place on a lift occur while the skier is getting on or off the lift. When these injuries occur, liability is generally assessed by weighing the resort’s duty to exercise care against the skier’s duty to exercise caution.

In some cases, someone other than the resort or the injured skier may be responsible for the accident. For instance, if a collision occurs with another skier, that skier may be liable for injuries sustained in the accident and, in some rare cases, the manufacturer of ski lift equipment may be liable for design or manufacturing defects with the product, in which a product liability claim may be appropriate.
If you plan to hit the slopes this winter, you should keep a few safety tips in mind:

1. Make sure you are using the correct gear. Make sure that your equipment and clothing fits correctly. The most important piece of gear is a well-fitting boot and skis that are too long, too heavy or too stiff can cause injuries.
2. Know your limits and abilities. Ski etiquette dictates that you always are responsible for avoiding people in front of you and don’t venture outside of clearly indicated resort boundaries without a qualified guide or the necessary knowledge and equipment.
3. Be prepared and responsible. Before hitting the slopes you should make sure that you are in good physical condition and are prepared to participate in a sport as physically demanding as skiing.
The Chicago ski accident attorneys at Ankin Law Offices have represented a number of clients in personal injury matters. Contact us if you have been injured in a ski accident to discuss whether you may be entitled to recovery for your injuries.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 600-0000 and howard@ankinlaw.com.