The Colorado Ski Accident Lawyers
Skiing and snowboarding are risky sports. One wrong move on the slopes and a rider can suffer a serious injury. They must always be careful to stay safe, but sometimes it is out of their hands. Some injuries come from other riders not staying under control and some injuries are caused because the ski resorts haven’t done their job to keep riders safe. We even see some injuries caused by intoxicated riders.
When we get involved, we fight to hold the wrongdoers accountable! Dr. Ramos and the team at Ramos Law understand your injuries and what they mean for your future. We achieve high-value results for our clients because we understand not only personal injury law, but the medicine behind these cases.
Types of Colorado Ski Resort Accidents
Ski accidents are so common, the state of Colorado has laws in place to make sure that everyone, from riders and ski resort owners to rental companies and equipment manufacturers are responsible for their actions. Some of the most common types of Colorado ski accidents include:
If a rider fails to look out for downhill riders and crashes into another rider causing injury or damages they are responsible for the other rider’s injuries and damages.
Ski equipment can be expensive. Most people choose to rent equipment from rental companies or ski resorts, trusting that the equipment is safe and adequately maintained. However, sometimes, rental companies and resorts are negligent and fail to maintain equipment, leading to equipment-related accidents on the slopes.
Ski Resort Negligence
Ski resorts are required to maintain a safe and hazard-free environment for skiers to enjoy. However, if a ski resort is not maintained and has debris or other potentially hazardous objects, a skier could suffer injuries, for which the resort can be held liable.
Ski Lift & Machinery Accidents
Ski lifts and other machinery should be regularly inspected and maintained and operated by trained professionals. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, equipment isn’t maintained, leading to malfunctions and injuries to those using the lifts or who have come into contact with other malfunctioning machinery – if you were injured due to hazardous machinery at a ski slope or resort, the resort could be held responsible for your injuries and damages.
Common Ski Accident Injuries
Skiing and snowboarding involve high speeds, slick slopes, and special equipment, plus basic knowledge of how to ride and keep yourself and others safe on the slopes. That being said, if another rider doesn’t exercise the same level of caution, all it takes is one slip up to cause an accident that might injure other skiers or snowboarders. The most common types of ski and snowboarding injuries include:
- Shoulder dislocations or fractures
- Spinal injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken legs
- Knee, ankle, or foot injuries
- Wrist, hand, or thumb injuries
Ski resorts have safety requirements related to snowmobiles, grooming machines, chairlift operation, and the installation of boundary ropes and manmade features. Failure to abide by the legal requirements constitutes negligence, especially in cases where serious or catastrophic injury occurs.
To protect themselves from lawsuits, resorts rely on liability waivers in which you sign away your rights to sue, no matter the situation. However, if you signed a season pass but didn’t read the fine print, you may not have waived all of your rights. No matter what the waiver says, no entity is allowed to indemnify themselves completely for their own negligence, so it is worth talking to a personal injury lawyer at Ramos Law to see what we can do for you!
If you have been injured on the slopes through no fault of your own, you are going to want to move quickly to protect yourself. The investigation is important. Preserving evidence is important. Getting information from the resort is important. At Ramos Law, we can help you do these things while you work on healing from your injuries.
What to Do After a Skiing Crash With Another Rider
If you are involved in a skiing crash with another rider, neither party should leave the accident scene before giving personal information to the ski patrol and to each other, and obtaining a copy of the ski patrol incident report. In many cases, riders could have insurance that will cover them for their fault. If the other person was at fault for the collision, contact Ramos Law and we will handle the rest!
Learn more on our “Abide By Colorado Ski Laws” blog post.
Ski Accident Statistics: Snowboarding and Skiing Deaths
A fun day at the slopes can quickly turn ugly when accidents occur. The unfortunate reality is that catastrophic injury or death might be more common than you think, and it doesn’t only happen to beginners.
According to the National Ski Area Association, the average person to die in a skiing accident in 2016 was an intermediate-advanced male skier between the ages of 21-30 years old who was involved in a collision on the slopes.
In Colorado alone, there’s an average of 11 deaths every year according to Colorado Ski Country USA.
The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) reports during the 2019-2020 season:
- There were 42 reported fatal skiing/snowboarding incidents (which is higher than the 10-year industry average of 39 skier/snowboarder fatalities per season).
- Over 83% of all skier/snowboarder fatalities were males.
- Skiers accounted for 33 fatalities compared to only 11 snowboarder fatalities.
- Approximately 66% of skiers/snowboarders involved in fatal collisions were wearing helmets.
Learning about the statistics behind ski accidents is not meant to scare you, but to help make you aware that life can change in the blink of an eye. When it matters most, you have lawyers who care on your side. Contact us for the Ramos Law advantage.
Colorado Ski Safety Act
Skiing or snowboarding in Colorado comes with legal responsibilities under the Ski Safety Act. Colorado’s Ski Safety Act (§ 33-44-101) is designed to hold all skiers and snowboarders accountable for their own actions and requires riders to recognize their own ability level and ski within their appropriate terrain and avoid reckless behavior that may harm themselves or others.
Many skiers injured on the slope assume that they cannot pursue legal action against another rider or the resort for their injuries. While ski accident cases are complex, with an experienced ski accident attorney on your side, you could be eligible to recover financially for your injuries and damages.
Colorado Skiing Accident Frequently Asked Questions
After serving skiing accident victims in Colorado for many years, the Ramos Law has received many questions about skiing and snowboarding injuries and the associated laws. To help you understand the law and the circumstances where financial recovery may be an option, we have included below some of the most commonly asked questions.
If you were involved in a skiing or snowboarding accident, the first thing to do is to report your injury to the ski resort and make sure everything is documented. If it wasn’t your fault, be sure to get any information (Names, contact information of all parties involved, written reports, etc.) clearly to the resort. Go into details about what happened and what the person that hurt you did wrong. The downhill rider is almost always in the right.
Next, take care of yourself! It’s important to make sure you get checked out right away medically and to have your injuries documented. Afterward, we do recommend getting a legal opinion before signing anything from your or the other skier’s insurance companies. Remember, it’s important to preserve any information gathered because if you end up hiring an attorney, they will need to know who did this to you and their contact information.
We wish you a fun and safe winter sports season…and certainly don’t want you to experience any sort of injury. Should you experience a worst-case scenario and need to talk to an attorney, Ramos Law is here to help with a complimentary evaluation of your accident. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions and/or concerns.
In general, injuries that occur while skiing are associated with the knee while those in snowboarding include shoulders, wrists and ankles. Both can also have concussions and injuries to the spine.
For the experienced skier or boarder, the chances for injuries on the slopes decrease significantly as long as the skiing or riding is done under control and in the absence of alcohol or drugs. The wildcard that can cause injuries to even the best, most careful rider is a collision with another rider who is out of control, not paying attention, or under the influence of a substance, either legal or illegal.
When two bodies collide, the list of possible injuries includes virtually any body part due to the forces that the two bodies inflict on each other. When this happens, soft tissues like tendons and ligaments can get torn and bones can fracture.
The key following any injury is to seek treatment right away so that the injured tissues can begin to heal. The more severe the injury, the more specialized treatment is necessary. If you’ve been injured in a skiing or snowboarding accident and it wasn’t your fault, call our law firm to talk about your case…and ask to speak with someone from our office who can talk about your injuries as well!
According to the Ski Safety Act, the uphill skier (the skier higher up on the hill) is presumed to be liable in a collision with a downhill skier (the skier lower on the hill). Learn more about this on our “Abide By Colorado Ski Laws” blog post. Skiers and snowboarders can often cause injuries by riding out of control and/or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The laws for ski resorts are complex. Typically, the resort cannot be held responsible for slope-related injuries, but occasionally, there are circumstances that can create liability for them.
Every personal injury case that occurs at a resort is different, and the facts need to be looked at closely before a lawyer familiar with these cases can determine whether the resort is responsible for your injuries.
A personal injury attorney who understands the laws involved in these types of cases can hold the at-fault rider responsible, and their homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance should cover your losses. Again, every case is different, so it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. Ramos Law is available anytime to answer your questions. Contact us today for a complimentary evaluation of your accident.
Waivers are a part of the industry and they can often be enforced. When it comes to injuries on the slopes, it is all about the details and understanding the law. Waivers don’t always apply to every situation.
If you have questions about a liability waiver you have signed, please give Ramos Law a call. We can tell you all you need to know if you were injured on the slopes by no fault of your own.
As it concerns personal injury cases in Colorado, the circumstances of your injury can affect the time you have to file a case.