Ski Accident Lawsuits: What to do if it Happens to You
Skiing is a popular and widely enjoyed Canadian winter activity. In fact, there are over 300 ski resorts in Canada, with an estimated 4.3 million visitors every year.
But with all that traffic up and down the slopes, it’s inevitable that ski accident lawsuits will happen.
When you’re hurt in a ski or snowboarding accident, sometimes it’s just an accident. But sometimes, someone needs to be held liable.
Accidents do happen. But sometimes it’s someone else’s carelessness that cause them. And when that happens, you do have options. Let an experienced personal injury lawyer, like our team at Conte & Associates, help you understand what you can do in your time of need.
Here is everything you need to know when you need to file a ski accident lawsuit, and how you can make sure you get what you deserve.
The Difficulty of Ski Accident Lawsuits
Ski accident lawsuits can be complicated for the injured skier. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help make sense of your options and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
When you sign up for a pass, many resorts will make you sign a waiver. That waiver protects them from being sued if you hurt yourself while skiing.
Since skiing is based on an individual’s own skill level and training, you are generally required to take responsibility for your own decisions.
But when it comes to accidents that are caused by other people, the lines are a little less clear.
It’s hard to prove that someone else was at fault when you’re up there on the slopes. But it’s not impossible, and you can hold someone liable in certain situations.
Who Can You Sue in Ski Accident Lawsuits?
It depends on who was involved and who had assumed liability for the victim prior to the ski trip.
For example, in 2009, a teenage girl died on a class ski trip to Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ontario. She hit a tree on one of the ski hills and tragically did not survive.
Her family filed a lawsuit against the school board for neglect. They alleged that the school didn’t take enough safety precautions on the school trip, and that the girl was pushed by her teacher to tackle a hill she wasn’t ready for.
In this case, the school was considered liable because they were responsible for their students during the field trip. The gym teacher was also responsible because he was in charge of making sure each student was given the right instructions.
If your accident is caused by another skier who is exhibiting dangerous or reckless behaviour, they are negligent.
You could also be eligible to file a product liability claim if malfunctioning equipment is the cause of the accident. For example, if your ski binding defects and you hit a tree, you could hold the product company liable.
Ski resort liability holds the resort itself liable if your injuries are caused by negligence on their end. For example, if they’ve improperly marked a run, left out construction equipment or hazards, or if the chair lift isn’t functioning safely, they are at fault.
Ski Resort Liability
When it comes to the ski resort itself, there are certain responsibilities they have to take to make sure all skiers are safe. This is known as the duty of care to the guests.
If the resort doesn’t fulfill those responsibilities, they could be held liable under negligence law.
Under premises liability, the establishment or owner of the property has a duty of care to their guests to make sure that their visit is safe and free from any known dangers. In Ontario, improper maintenance is one of the most common causes for these claims.
The ski resort’s duty of care extends to making sure that all ski hills are free from obstacles, ensuring proper and regular maintenance of ski lifts, and checking the safety of all rented equipment.
How to Build a Strong Case
As always in any personal injury case, make sure you’ve taken pictures at the scene of the accident. If you’re skiing with a friend, make sure you’re both prepared to take pictures if there’s an accident.
At the scene of an accident, it can be hard to push past the shock and trauma to think about taking pictures. But those pictures will be vital in court to prove that someone else was negligent.
You also need to make sure you understand the statute of limitations in Ontario. For any accident and personal injury claim, you only have a certain amount of time. In Ontario, this is 2 years for almost all types of accidents.
What to do if You’ve Gone Skiing Outside of The Country
In Toronto and the surrounding area, we are lucky to have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to planning out ski vacation.
For many of us, our ski trip starts by heading across the border to the United States.
When you’re travelling from Canada to the US, whether that’s for a day or a month, you need to be properly prepared with the right travel insurance. If something happens and you end up in an American hospital, you could be looking at a bill for thousands of dollars.
Not to mention, you’d also have a much harder case to build when charging someone for negligence.
So it’s extremely important to make sure that you’re covered under the right travel insurance when you travel to the United States from Canada.
Conte & Associates is Here to Help Get You The Settlement You Deserve
We want you to have a fun, memorable winter vacation. But accidents can happen at any time. Even to the most experienced skiers and snowboarders.
At Conte & Associates, we want you to be prepared in case you’re injured on the ski hill. If someone else’s recklessness causes you to suffer, justice should be served.
We work with the most experienced medical professionals in Ontario to build the best team on your side. This helps us make sure you get the settlement you deserve and the compensation you need to continue living your life.
Contact our personal injury offices in Whitby and Vaughan for your free consultation.