Skiing and snowboarding are very popular winter activities for individuals and families throughout Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Over the past 10 years, about 41 people died on ski slopes as result of skiing and snowboarding accidents, according to the U.S. National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). During the 2011-12 season, 54 fatalities occurred. 39 were skiers and 12 were snowboarders. The NSAA reported 510 serious injuries that season as well.
In the past few years, the laws related to skiing injuries have undergone many changes. Ski resorts cannot simply use the defense that skiing is inherently dangerous, especially if negligence can be proven on the part of the resort or another skier or snowboarder.
Although skiers and snowboarders take extra precaution through the use of helmets and proper equipment, it is still a dangerous sport. Ski resort accidents, including snowboard crashes, can cause a wide range of injuries, from knee injuries and various fractures to sprains and concussions. Often times, ski accidents result in much more serious injuries, such as traumatic head and brain injuries, back and spinal injuries, paralysis, and death.
Many of these injuries may require extensive medical care. Skiing and snowboarding accidents can result in physical therapy and long-term care needs, costly medical bills and lost wages.
Causes of skiing and snowboarding accidents can include:
- Collisions with other skiers or snowboarders
- Collisions with objects, including barriers or trees
- Reckless or out-of control skiers and snowboarders
- Downhill Accidents
- Ski equipment malfunction
- Ski lift chair accidents
- Ski lift operator error
- Poorly lit or poorly located signs
- Slope maintenance
- Inadequate instruction from ski or snowboard instructors
- Slope obstructions
Depending on the type and circumstances of your ski accident, the resort, equipment manufacturer or another skier may be responsible for your injuries.
Skier and Snowboarder Collision
Skiing is not a contact sport, and being hit by an out-of-control skier or snowboarder going at a high rate of speed, should not occur. While you assume risks for yourself while skiing, you do not assume the risk of another skier or snowboarders negligence. Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death for skiers and collisions are a primary cause of that type of injury.
Ski Lift Accidents
Ski lift accidents and injuries are common at ski resorts, with many of them occurring during loading or unloading. Skiers are sometimes injured as a result of a faulty or improperly maintained lift, as well as falls from lifts at sometimes deadly heights.
Ski Resort Negligence
Ski resorts have a responsibility to provide a safe ski environment, which includes well-designed and maintained trails and slopes, maintenance of lighting for night skiing, well-marked slopes and other visible signage. This also includes keeping machinery and other things at risk for the collision at a safe distance from slopes. Ski resort employees may also be at fault for an accident, such a when a ski lift operator fails to turn off the lift in an emergency situation.
Faulty ski and snowboarding equipment, such as defective skis, poles, boots or bindings can also cause injury and may be subject to a product liability suit.
Contact Our Ski Injury Lawyers
Skiing and snowboarding lawsuits can be complex. A fatality on the ski slopes may even warrant a wrongful death lawsuit. For an injury claim or wrongful death suit to have merit, negligence must be present. Personal injury lawyers at Fellerman Ciarimboli can help determine the responsible parties and the damages.
You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process. If you or a loved one has been injured in a skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing accident, it’s important to take action quickly. Personal injury lawyers at Fellerman Ciarimboli Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve for your ski resort injuries. To schedule your free consultation to discuss injuries sustained in a ski trip accident, call our Wilkes-Barre office at 570-714-4878 or our Philadelphia office at 215-575-9237.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.