With the winter season upon us, many people are also preparing for skiing and snowboarding season. Skiing and snowboarding can make a great vacation and is also a great way to stay in shape over the colder months. However, it is also important to exercise caution on the slopes. While hitting the slopes is fun, it also carries risks. Therefore, safety precautions should be taken any time you plan a skiing or snowboarding outing.
According to statistics provided by the National Ski Areas Association, 41.5 people have died per year over the last ten years due to skiing or snow boarding accidents. Additionally, 44.7 people per year sustain serious injuries from skiing and snowboarding accidents including paralysis, head trauma, and other serious injuries.
Skiing and snowboarding injuries can arise in a number of ways. Collisions between skiers or snowboarders; venturing away from the trail or designated area; lack of signage; inadequate training or instruction; or negligently kept trails are all factors that can lead to injury. Broken lift chairs can also lead to safety issues. Although resorts will usually have an individual sign a waiver acknowledging that they are participating in a dangerous activity, you may still be able to sue the resort for negligence if its action, or inaction led to your injury. Medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering may be recovered.
You may also be entitled to compensation if any equipment used while skiing was defective. In that case, both the resort and manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries that arose due to that factor. Additionally, if your injuries were caused by the negligence or recklessness of another skier or snowboarder, you may be able to recover.
Some safety tips for skiing and snowboarding this winter season:
- Always wear a helmet- this can reduce the risk of injury by up to 50%
- Be aware of the other skiiers around you, and pay attention to signage
- Use proper equipment and make sure it fits correctly
- Wear sunscreen, eye protection, and appropriate clothing
- Take a lesson before hitting the slopes
- Only ski or snowboard on a slope that matches your ability level
- Stop when you become tired
- Stay hydrated
If you have suffered from injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, contact a personal injury attorney who can best advise you of your legal remedies and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171.