Skiing is a popular activity for many D.C. residents. When winter comes and the snow begins to fall in mountains, many people head to resorts in the Poconos, Virginia, West Virginia, or up to New York or Vermont. Over the winter holidays, residents may use their vacation time to check out some of the country's premier ski resorts in California, Colorado, or Utah.
While skiing is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors, it can also be dangerous. Thousands of people are injured every year in ski accidents, often caused by other skiers, snowboarders, or dangerous resort conditions. If you were injured in a ski accident, talk to your D.C. personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your injuries, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular wintertime activities in the country. In 2015, more than 11 million skiers and snowboarders took to the slopes in the U.S. The number skiers has continued to rise in recent years. Unfortunately, many of these skiers are injured in collisions or other ski accidents.
According to the National Ski Areas Association, skiing is still safer than many other high-energy participation sports. During the 2011/2012 ski season, there were 54 skier and snowboarder fatalities. 39 of those fatalities involved skiers. While helmet use may reduce the likelihood of serious head injury or fatality, the majority of those killed were actually wearing helmets at the time of the accident.
During the same season, more than 500 people were seriously injured. Serious injuries include paralysis, serious head injury, or other serious injuries. Thousands of other skiers suffer minor to moderate injuries, including broken bones, knee injury, back injury, and broken ribs.
Common Causes of Ski Accidents
Many of these injuries involve the same group of people who generally engage in perceived high-risk behavior, namely males between their late teens to late 30s. This group represents the majority of those who are fatally injured in ski accidents. Most fatalities involve above-average skiers, skiing at high speed on intermediate trails.
There are a number of reasons why people are injured in ski accidents. While many skiers think of colliding with inexperienced skiers or snowboarders is a major cause of accidents, it only represents a small percentage of serious or fatal accidents. In 1993, a study found that 7.7% of ski injuries were caused by skiers running into other skiers, and 2.6% of ski injuries were caused by skiers running into snowboarders. The best way to avoid colliding with another skier is to look uphill and yield before starting downhill. Skiers should also respect slow zones and intersecting areas of the slopes.
Many ski accidents involve a skier colliding with a stationary object, such as a tree or a chair lift pole. Other accidents involve skiers running into snow machinery, or poorly marked boundaries that fail to protect skiers from dangerous conditions. Dangers, such as rocks or equipment hidden by the snow may also cause a skier to crash.
Ski Accident Claims
Ski accidents can be attributed to another individual's negligent activities on the ski slopes. This could cause a collision, injuring one or multiple skiers. If one of the skiers is skiing recklessly, fails to yield the right of way, is skiing at an excessive speed given the crowd and conditions, or is skiing while intoxicated, they may be responsible for causing the accident.
If another skier fails to ski with reasonable care which causes an injury accident, they may be considered liable for the injuries caused. They may be responsible for compensating the injured individuals for their medical care, hospital bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In some cases, the ski resort or resort employees may be responsible for the accident. Many resort employees are seasonal workers who have very little training in operating equipment, including ski lifts or snowcats. If a skier is injured by a negligent employee, the resort may be liable for the employee's actions.
Some ski accidents involve dangerous conditions on the slopes that the ski resort company should be aware of. If they do not take steps to remedy dangerous conditions or properly warn skiers of the dangers, this could lead to a serious injury. When a ski resort negligently causes an injury, including failure to warn skiers of dangers, they may be liable for the skier's injuries.
Ski Accident Lawyers in DC
If you or a loved one was injured in a skiing accident, you should talk to an experienced D.C. personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Even if you were injured in Pennsylvania, Virginia, or another state, your Washington D.C. attorney will be able to advise you of your options, help you through the claims process, and get you compensation for your injuries. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.