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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Who is Responsible for Ski Accidents?

Gliding quickly over the snow as the cold air rushes by is an exhilarating feeling; it is no wonder that skiing is such a popular form of recreation in New York state. As with all activities that involve high speeds, serious injuries are possible in the event of a skiing accident. Catastrophic injuries may result if a skier falls while skiing or collides with a stationary object. Skiers may sometimes also collide if they are skiing too close to each other or where trails intersect. People injured in preventable accidents on ski trails have the right to seek compensation through personal injury lawsuits. If you have suffered serious injuries in a skiing accident, contact a New York slip, trip, and fall attorney.

When the Premises Owner is Responsible

Ski resorts, like other businesses, have a legal duty to keep business invitees safe from preventable hazards that could cause injury. This means that they should clearly mark the boundaries of ski trails with signs and, if appropriate, install ropes that can prevent skiers from veering off the trail. They should also clearly indicate the level of difficulty of each trail.

A legal issue that sometimes arises in lawsuits related to accidents on ski trails is the skier’s assumption of risk in choosing a trail of the appropriate level of difficulty. In 2003, an appeals court ruled against a man who sued a ski resort after he collided with a tree while skiing and suffered severe spinal cord injuries. The plaintiff had started out on an intermediate ski trail, which was consistent with his skill level but moved to an expert trail at an intersection, and the accident occurred while he was on the expert trail. The court ruled in favor of the defendant after it successfully argued that the boundaries between the trails were clearly marked.

Premises liability laws also apply if preventable accidents occur because of malfunctions of a chair lift. The operators of ski resorts must ensure that chair lifts are in working order when the ski slopes are open to visitors.

When One Skier Collides With Another

Lawsuits have also occurred when one guest on a ski trail collides with another, and the injured skier claims that the accident resulted from the other skier’s negligence. If you are making this claim, then the legal principles are similar to the ones that apply when an injured person sues the at-fault driver after a car accident. You must determine what percentage of the fault belongs to the skier who failed to observe caution and what percentage, if any, belongs to the operator of the ski trail.

Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC About Ski Accident Cases

A personal injury lawyer can help you if you are injured when you fall on a ski trail or collide with another skier or a stationary object. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC in Brooklyn, New York, or call (212)671-1110 to discuss your case.


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