To ski in Colorado comes with legal responsibility. The Colorado legislature established the Colorado Ski Safety Act in 1979, stating that certain dangers and risks are inherent in the sport of skiing. To receive protection from lawsuits, ski resorts depend on liability waivers. Either agree to release the resort’s liability, or you don’t get to buy a pass. At the core, you sign away your rights to sue for negligence, no matter the situation.
If you signed a season pass and didn’t read the fine print, you may not have waived all of your rights. Under Colorado law, “a skier assumes the risk of any injury to person or property resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing”. Yet, there are no police on the mountain to investigate accidents and to determine who is at fault, if more than one party is involved. During the 2015-2016 winter ski season, there were 45 catastrophic injuries and 39 fatalities in the United States and at Ramos Law, we strive to fairly represent you in unique cases.
Colorado Ski Collision Accident
All participants on the mountain share responsibilities in Colorado according to the Ski Safety Act. Many of these responsibilities are guidelines to enforce safe skiing. For example, skiers approaching from uphill must yield to downhill skiers and if you are traversing the mountain, merging skiers must yield to skiers crossing downhill. All skiers need to recognize their ability and ski within the appropriate terrain while avoiding reckless behavior, which may harm others or yourself. If you are involved in a ski accident, neither party may leave the collision scene before giving personal information to ski patrol. Often times, skiers have insurance that will cover them for their fault but it is important to gather their information. If another person is at fault for the collision, contact us at Ramos Law and we will take the necessary steps for you.
Other Accidents at Colorado Ski Areas
Ski resort employees, particularly those with operation duties, have liability protection written into law but they also include limitations. Ski areas do have legal requirements related to chairlift operation, grooming machines, snowmobiles, and the installation of manmade features and boundary ropes. Failure to abide by the legal requirements, for both resorts and skiers, constitutes as negligence and the situation can end up in the courtroom.
Steamboat Resort is committed to promoting safety on the mountain in which skiers and riders must comply with the Colorado Ski Safety Act, Your Responsibility Code, and the Colorado law. They also take pride in their SlopeWise policy, prohibiting reckless skiing, offensive behavior and any violations, to ensure safe conditions. If any rules or laws are violated, uniformed personnel are reserved the right to terminate privileges on a first offense.
In Case of Injury
If you are with an injured participant, do not remove their skis or snowboard, otherwise, they risk of sliding down the mountain. Instead, place your own equipment in a cross form, uphill from the patient. Most importantly, do not move them unless necessary and contact Ski Patrol with information of the exact location, the number of the phone from which you are calling, and the description of the injury.
Members of the Ski Patrol are easy to spot in red uniforms with white crosses on them. Their main responsibilities are to provide pre-hospital care for injured guests, safe skiing education and guest services. If you need help, do not hesitate to call Patrol or stop a patroller to ask questions, directions, or for other information.
Steamboat Ski Patrol Locations:
- Patrol Headquarters (PHQ) is at the top of the Sunshine and Sundown lifts; feel free to stop in to warm up or ask questions.
- Mountain Dispatch is in the Thunderhead Building at the top of the gondola to the right as you walk down to the snow.
- Fetcher Base, for general first aid and transport, is located in One Steamboat.
- Yampa Valley Medical Center provides emergency care 24 hours a day. Call 970-879-1322
- Ski Patrol: 970-871-5911
- Steamboat Security: 970-846-1055