Sundance Mountain Resort Skiing and Snowboarding Injury Lawyer
Skiing and snowboarding are popular activities in Utah, especially with the many mountains and ski resorts in the state. When you book your next ski trip, the last thing you will be thinking of is getting hurt. It is important to remember that skiing and snowboarding, while fun, are dangerous sports.
Following proper safety rules can help keep you safe on the slopes, but that does not always work. Sometimes, we cannot prevent ourselves from being injured. That is when people consider suing. In Utah, though, there are somewhat confusing limitations on when you can sue a ski resort.
When Can You Sue a Ski Resort for Injuries from Skiing or Snowboarding?
Skiing and snowboarding are huge tourism attractions in Utah, and a big business. If skiers and snowboarders were allowed to sue the ski resort for any injury received while skiing or snowboarding, it would be too expensive for resorts to stay open. Because of this, Utah has limited when those injured skiing or snowboarding are allowed to sue the resort for their injuries. The Utah Code does not let people sue based on injures related to the “inherent risks of skiing,” meaning the built-in dangers involved in skiing.
The Code lists many examples of inherent risks, including:
- Changes in weather
- Snow or ice conditions, even if they are manmade
- Surface conditions, including trees, rocks, cliffs, etc.
- Changes in terrain
- Manmade terrain, such as jumps, half-pipes, etc.
- Manmade features, such as lift towers, signs, fences, etc.
- Crashes with other skiers
- Special events
- Skiers skiing beyond their own abilities
Because this list is not exhaustive, a court could find that other similar risks are also “inherent risks of skiing,” and those cannot be the basis of a lawsuit, either.
This does still leave one huge area where ski resorts are still open to lawsuits: negligence. Many types of personal injury lawsuits deal with the defendant’s negligence, and personal injury for skiing and snowboarding is no different.
For a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence to work, there are four elements than any negligence case must meet:
- The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty
- The breach of duty caused the plaintiff harm
- There is a harm that can be redressed (called “damages”)
If these elements exist, and are not based on any of those inherent risks of skiing or snowboarding, then they are a good foundation for suing a ski resort for injuries.
What Injuries do People Get Skiing or Snowboarding?
Skiing and snowboarding can leave people with a wide range of injuries. Simple scrapes, bruises, and cuts may not be too bad, but broken bones and torn ligaments are also common. Being out in the cold, especially if you sustain another injury and cannot get to help, can lead to frostbite or hypothermia.
Sudden stops and starts, as well as falls and crashes, can lead to back, head, and neck injuries. Whiplash may be the least severe, but you could receive a herniated disc leading to prolonged lower back pain. You could even land in a way that might injure your back so severely that it leaves you paralyzed. Strong blows to the head can also leave you with a broken skull, broken facial bones, or severe brain injuries.
In the worse cases, injuries sustained while skiing or snowboarding may even lead to death. Because of this, it is important to always follow safety rules on the slopes. Always wear safety gear like goggles and a helmet, and make sure that your skis and snowboards are in working order, including the locking mechanisms.
Our Utah Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help if You Are Injured Skiing or Snowboarding
The good news is, if you have been injured skiing or snowboarding, there are options, and people who are willing to help. Certainly, you should seek medical care for your injuries, but what happens when those bills are too expensive or you need to miss work? An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you get financial compensation for injuries received in a skiing or snowboarding accident.
Medical bills can be expensive today, especially for severe injuries. Even broken bones can be expensive to repair. More severe injuries may require surgery or ongoing care for a long time. Paralysis would require intensive rehabilitation and medical care, possibly for the rest of one’s life. These are the kinds of things you may be entitled to reimbursement for.
Additionally, treatment of injuries may require you to miss work. If you miss work due to injuries, or if you are no longer able to work because of your injuries, you might be entitled to seek lost wages from the ski resort where you were injured.
Pain and suffering, so-called “non-economic damages” are also available. It is difficult to put a price on how much something hurts, but the law tries to do just that. There are ways to get reimbursed for your pain and suffering due to skiing and snowboarding injuries.
If you want to talk to a personal injury lawyer who handles skiing and snowboarding injuries, call (801) 895-3143. Darwin Overson is an experienced personal injury attorney who handles cases involving skiing and snowboarding injuries at Utah ski resorts. If you have been hurt, call today.