Ski and snowboarding weekends are within easy reach of Philadelphia, thanks to the number of ski resorts in the Poconos. As soon as the first snows of winter begin to fall, residents are within a two-hour drive of hundreds of ski runs. When the conditions are good, skiers can enjoy hours of time on the slopes. Unfortunately, by the time many of us make it up to the mountains, the conditions are icy, crowded, or rocky. During any types of ski conditions, skiers are prone to injury accidents. In many cases, ski accidents are caused by the negligence of another skier or even the ski resort.
Causes of Ski Accidents
Skiing is a popular pastime for people across the country. Some of the aspects that make skiing enjoyable also make the sport dangerous. Speeding down a mountain at high speed over snowy or icy terrain has inherent dangers, primarily when a skier crashes by themselves or into another object or person.
There are many common causes of ski accidents, including poor weather conditions, skier inexperience, other reckless skiers, equipment malfunctions, resort employee negligence, or resort negligence. Injuries can be minor or result in life-threatening injuries or even death. The company or individual who caused the accident may be liable for any damages or injuries involved.
One of the most common causes of ski accidents involve collisions with other skiers or snowboarders on the mountain. This can occur when another skier is going too fast for the crowded conditions, is inexperienced for the conditions and cannot control their speed or direction, or swerves to avoid another obstacle, hitting another skier. Other threats come from snowboarders, who may be turning towards their backside, unable to see where they are going.
Most skiers and snowboarders follow the general rules of right of way, yielding to the person downhill and avoiding crossing another person's line unless unavoidable. However, these rules are not always clear. After a collision, one skier may blame the other, or the snowboarder will say the skier was responsible for the accident. It may require a court of law to determine who was at fault for the accident.
Other collisions involve hitting a stationary object like a chairlift pole or tree. When a skier goes off-piste, they are generally aware there may be hazards like trees in the way. However, when a skier is proceeding down a designated run, hazards should be clearly defined, with warning signs or barriers. When a ski resort does not properly protect skiers from these types of accidents, they may be liable for any injuries involved. Similar accidents can occur when a skier collides with snow equipment, park features like rails or benches, or fails to define boundaries allowing a novice skier to go outside the resort runs.
Other accidents involve negligence by the ski resort or resort employees. Most ski resort employees have little training or experience. Many take the job for a single season, to take advantage of free lift tickets. A negligent employee may not know how to safely operate a ski lift, such as failing to stop the lift after a skier falls. While the employee may not have the money to pay for the accident they caused, the ski resort is generally liable for accidents caused by their employees. Additionally, they may be liable for negligently hiring or training reckless employees.
The resort may also be liable when they fail to warn skiers and patrons of dangerous resort conditions. This may include exposed rocks or tree stumps, broken stairs or railings, or uncleared icy patches. When the resort knows or should know of dangerous conditions, they must take measures to fix these hazards or warn customers. If they do not warn people of the hazardous conditions, they may be liable for any injuries that result.
Skiing Accident Injuries
Many ski accident injuries can be reduced through the use of a helmet and other types of body protection. However, most skiers and snowboarders still do not use head protection. Head and neck injuries are some of the most serious types of ski accidents and can lead to permanent disability, paralysis, or even death. The injuries involved in a ski accident often relate to the speed of the collision. At higher speeds, accidents can be more severe. Common injuries include head or face trauma,
Ski Accident Lawyers in Philadelphia
If you or a loved one was injured in a ski or snowboarding accident, you should talk to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Even if you were injured in another state, your Philadelphia attorney will be able to help you through the claims process. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.