As soon as the first snow begins to fall in the Mid-Atlantic, thousands of Maryland residents head out to the Poconos, or the resorts of Virginia and West Virginia to take advantage of the ski resorts that are within a few hours drive. Sometimes the conditions can be surprisingly good, while other times they are rocky, icy, and crowded. Even with great conditions, ski injuries are all too common. Many of them are not due to the skier's abilities but as the result of other negligent skiers, or the negligence of the ski resort. If you are injured in a ski accident, talk to your Maryland personal injury attorney so that you don't have to suffer as the result of someone else's negligence.
Skiing is one of the most popular wintertime sports in the United States. Most people ski for recreation, while others may compete professionally, with a recreational group, or university team. However, every year, dozens of people are killed in skiing accidents and thousands more are injured. Skiing can involve high speed while navigating trees, ski lift poles, and other skiers. Most skiers have little protection from these hazards. Only a small percentage of skiers use a helmet to protect themselves from a serious head injury. Whether a skiing accident is caused by the skier, another skier or snowboarder, dangerous resort conditions, or a defect with the skis, accidents can result in serious injuries. This often leads to expensive medical bills, lost wages, and expensive property repairs.
Causes of Ski Accidents
There are a number of causes of skiing accidents. The most common accidents involve collisions with other skiers or snowboarders, or with a stationary object, such as a tree or chairlift pole. Other common sources of ski accidents involve getting hit by or falling off a chairlift, accidents with snow machinery, and accidents involving poorly marked boundaries.
Many skiers are injured when another skier or snowboarder crashes into them. As an experienced skier, or even as a beginner, you may know that the other person was in the wrong. According to the “rules of the slope,” skiers downhill generally have the right of way, you are not supposed to stop in a place where skiers uphill cannot see you, and you always need to stay in control and be able to stop. However, because the right-of-way on a ski slope is not generally codified into law, it may be difficult to prove they were negligent. This is where an attorney can help identify how the other skier breached their duty of care, causing your injuries.
In may ski accidents, the resort and employees of the resort may be responsible for the accident or injury. These accidents may involve a snowcat driver who hits a skier, or a ski lift operator who does not stop the lift after a skier falls, resulting in a collision. Most ski resort employees are seasonal workers without much training or experience. When they cause an accident or injury, the ski resort may be responsible vicariously, or through negligent training or hiring.
Other accidents involve dangerous conditions that the resort is aware of or should have known about. This may include exposed machinery or rocky patches that are out-of-sight of a downhill skier until it is too late, or poorly marked out-of-bounds areas, that leave a skier exposed to a dangerous fall area. When they do not take steps to remedy these problems or warn skiers of the danger, they may be liable for any injuries caused.
Ski Accident Injuries
Ski accidents can involve all kinds of injuries, including sprained knees, dislocated shoulders, and broken bones. However, the most serious ski accidents usually involve head injuries. Head injuries are the most frequent cause of death and disability in serious ski accidents. Skiers involved in a collision are much less likely to suffer an injury if they are wearing helmets. Despite this, many skiers and snowboarders still go without head protection.
Ski Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in a skiing accident, you should talk to an experienced Maryland 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 Maryland attorney will be able to advise you of your options and help you through the claims process. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.