Colorado is the perfect place for skiing. Unfortunately, whether you’re a native of Colorado who lives on the slopes or you’re visiting the state for a ski trip, accidents can still occur. When it comes to skiing, certain risks are inherent regardless of how trained or experienced you are as a skier. Many times, accidents are simply unfortunate occurrences that aren’t anyone’s fault. Other times, ski resorts put their patrons at risk by not taking care of potentially hazardous situations.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Colorado resort skiing accident, it’s essential to speak with a personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with skiing accidents. Your attorney can help you determine if it was the ski resort’s carelessness or negligence that led to your accident. If so, you could potentially have a case against the ski resort where they’ll be required to compensate you for any injuries or damages.
What Are Your Colorado Resort Legal Rights?
Colorado’s ski industry usually has substantial protection against ski accident civil claims. Colorado employs an inherent risk doctrine, or an assumption of risk, that protects ski areas and resorts against claims that arise from inherent hazards of both snowboarding and skiing. Colorado ski accidents are governed by the Ski Safety Act. This act grants ski areas or resorts immunity from injuries that result from any inherent risks and dangers of skiing.
However, ski resorts still have to mark trail lines and properly maintain their ski equipment and lifts. If the negligence of a resort in these areas led to an injury that you sustained, you should speak with a Colorado personal injury lawyer right away for the best chance of recovery.
The Ski Safety Act places a lot of responsibility on the skiers for their own safety and that of others. According to the Ski Safety Act:
- Skiers must avoid reckless behavior that can put themselves and others in harm’s way, ski within their ability, and maintain a lookout.
- Skiers are presumed “at fault” when an accident occurs.
- After an accident, the involved skiers need to stop, provide help, and exchange names, identification, and permanent addresses. They must notify ski patrol of any injuries, and all skiers that are involved must provide a statement.
According to the act, all skiers expressly accept and assume all legal responsibility and risk of any injuries to individuals or property that results from any of the inherent risks and dangers of skiing. However, ski resorts and other people may still be at-fault if their negligence was the cause of the accident.
Types of Ski Accident Claims in Colorado
If you sustain an injury from a snowboard or ski accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be worth your effort to pursue a legal claim. The primary types of Colorado ski accident claims are:
- Claims made against other skiers or snowboarders
- Claims made against a ski resort
Depending on why and how the accident occurred, another skier’s or ski area’s insurance may be able to compensate you if they’re at fault. It’s important to collect as much information as possible if you’re thinking about filing a claim or contacting a lawyer.
Is a Colorado Resort Liable for Your Accident?
In order to help avoid nonstop litigation, Colorado ski resorts have protection from most accidents that occur on their premises since injuries and accidents can regularly occur. Even though this protection is in place, Colorado skiers should still know their rights, as not all injuries will be their fault and could be due to:
Other Individuals on the Mountain
Skiers are responsible for avoiding other snowboarders or skiers, according to Colorado law. If another snowboarder or skier is acting recklessly and it results in your own personal injury, you could hold them accountable for their reckless behavior.
The Machinery and Lifts
Mountain machinery, like ski lifts, makes it possible for skiers to have an amazing experience on the mountain. Sadly, they can also become very dangerous if they’re not maintained and operated properly. If the maintenance company or resort contributes to an injury you sustained, they may be liable for your injuries.
The Ski Resorts
Because ski resorts are protected by Colorado law, it’s hard to hold them liable even if they don’t properly maintain their slopes or other areas of the resort properly. Because of this, skiers often feel like they have no legal recourse if they sustain an injury. But by reaching out to an experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer who knows ski laws, you have a higher chance of a successful outcome.
What to Do After a Colorado Resort Ski Accident
Following a ski resort accident, gather as much information as possible from other involved parties, such as contact information and statements. It’s also extremely helpful to take photos of the accident scene and trail. When the ski patrol arrives at the scene, request a copy of the accident report as well.
You’ll have to give your attorney the address, identity, and insurance policy of any individual you collided with. You’ll also need to provide them with the types of injuries you have, your health insurance company, and if your injuries caused you to lose income. It’s also helpful to let your lawyer know if your injuries are affecting your loved ones, your home life, and your day-to-day activities.
Contact the Experienced Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers at Mintz Law Firm Today
Here at Mintz Law Firm, our Colorado personal injury lawyers can help you determine if a Colorado ski resort or another party is liable for your accident. We’ll inform you of all legal action you may be able to take. If you receive compensation for your injuries from the at-fault party, it could help pay for costly medical bills and other types of financial repercussions from the injuries you sustained from the accident.
Our personal injury lawyers will use their extensive experience and expertise to fight on your behalf for the compensation you may deserve. Call us today at (303) 462-2999 or fill out our contact form on our site to set up your free consultation.