It should go without saying that we are extremely blessed with wonderfully diverse winter weather of Arizona. I mean c’mon! Where else in the world can one enjoy a refreshingly mild morning in the desert and then spend that same afternoon skiing or snowboarding? Torgenson Law encourages everyone to get out and take full advantage of such a great opportunity.
With that said, winter sports present their fair share of personal injury risks. Regardless of your skill level, injuries from falling or colliding with others while skiing or snowboarding are relatively common. Of course, there are always certain precautions you and your loved ones can take in order to avoid personal injuries while skiing or snowboarding. However, if you do suffer injuries on the mountain, do you have a potential personal injury claim? Our Phoenix injury lawyers are here to share its insight…
The Arizona legislature has defined various duties of ski resort operators as well as skiers themselves in A.R.S. §§ 5-701–5-707. In short, these statutes recognize the inherent risks associated with winter sports. For the most part, resort owners generally are unlikely to be liable for injuries caused by a skier’s loss of control or collisions between individuals on the mountain. The reason being that the skier or snowboarder assumes the inherent risks of the sport.
With that said, resort owners remain responsible for creating a safe environment for those that visit its property. The resort owners specifically have certain duties to:
(i) Maintain appropriate signs, warnings, and notices regarding slope difficulty, boundaries, and hazardous terrains
(ii) to maintain equipment and facilities on the property, particularly ski lifts, gondolas, and also the ski lodges themselves.
(iii) Ultimately, like any personal injury claim, if a resort owner breaches its duties and you suffer injuries as a result, you may have cause of action
In addition, snowboarders and skiers owe duties of reasonable care to other mountain users. If an individual’s reckless skiing or snowboarding causes your injuries, they may be liable.
First and foremost, there are a few safety tips you should always follow anytime you hit the slopes:
Head injuries are among the most common winter sports injuries. Given the speeds you can achieve going down a hill, a simple fall could lead to a major concussion. Even those of you that are skilled skiers or snowboarders, you cannot control others around you. An unexpected collision can happen at any moment. It is simply not worth it to risk a traumatic brain injury.
Olympic athletes like Shaun White and Chloe Kim make snowboarding tricks look easy. But, let’s face it, you are probably not a gold medal skier or snowboarder. If you are a beginner, there is absolutely nothing shameful about sticking to the bunny slopes. If you want to develop your skills or challenge yourselves, by all means, move on to the more difficult runs, but make sure you are mentally and physically prepared and don’t be afraid to take things slow. At the end of the day, only you know your limits, so always use good judgment on the slopes.
Mountain rules and warning signs are designed to keep you safe. Stay off closed trails or runs and be aware of the difficulty levels assigned to certain slopes.
If you are skiing with friends and family, use the buddy system. Skiing or snowboarding alone can be dangerous, as it might be difficult for you to contact the proper medical personnel if you are injured. It is also easy to get separated on the mountain. Before beginning a run, it is always good at the very least to have a plan on where to meet.
At Torgenson Law, we handle all types of personal injury cases. Our primary goal is to make sure our personal injury clients receive the compensation they deserve. Regardless of whether your personal injury happens on the road or on the mountain, do not hesitate to call your Arizona Injury Lawyers at (602) 726-0747 for information about your injury rights.