California has the largest population of any U.S. state, and the San Bernardino Mountains provide easy access to a number of popular ski resorts in Southern California, like Bear Mountain, Mountain High and Snow Summit. With the large number of skiers and snowboarders who flock to the state for skiing and other outdoor winter activities, the rate of ski and snowboard accident injuries in California is unfortunately high. Ski and snowboard injuries often occur as a result of collisions with other riders, ski area neglect, chairlift accidents or equipment malfunction, all of which can be avoided. If any of these things happen to you while skiing or snowboarding in California, and you believe the ski resort or another rider to be at fault for your injuries, you may be entitled to seek damages from the at-fault party. Our personal injury lawyers at DAG Law Firm are dedicated to protecting the rights of ski and snowboard accident victims in Long Beach and across Southern California and can help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Affordable Long Beach Ski & Snowboard Accident Attorney
Following a serious ski or snowboard accident in California, victims should be given time and space to recover from their injuries without having to deal with filing an insurance claim or figuring out how to cover their medical bills and any loss of wages due to their inability to work. One of the first things you should do after being seriously injured in a CA ski slope accident is hire a reputable personal injury lawyer with experience handling ski and snowboard accident claims in California. Laws governing skiing accidents vary state by state, and many states have specific statutes that establish safety standards, legal responsibilities, immunities and liabilities for damages for ski and snowboard accident injuries. That is where having a California ski and snowboard accident attorney on your side comes in handy. Our lawyers at DAG Law Firm understand the complex intricacies of California law and a thorough review of your case by our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you decide whether your injury claim is worth pursuing in court.
Injuries Resulting from a Ski or Snowboard Accident
Skiing and snowboarding can be fun and exciting, but these activities can also be dangerous, and it is the responsibility of skiers and snowboarders, chairlift operators and ski area operators to take reasonable precautions to avoid causing injuries to others. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and when they do, the resulting injuries can lead to significant losses for the injured individual and his or her loved ones. Some common injuries resulting from ski and snowboard accidents in California include:
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Knee and leg injuries
- Shoulder and arm injuries
- Neck injury
- Internal bleeding
- Wrongful death
Causes of Ski & Snowboard Accident Injuries
Skiing and snowboarding are not contact sports and suffering serious injuries while skiing or snowboarding in California should not occur. Unfortunately, tragic accidents do occur on the slopes, often because of the negligence, carelessness or impatience of another person or party. Some common causes of ski and snowboard accident injuries include:
- Collisions with other skiers
- Collisions with obstructions on the slopes
- Improperly marked boundaries
- Chairlift accidents
- Instructors teaching unsafe techniques
- Defective ski equipment
- Improperly marked trails
California ski and snowboard accidents can happen to anyone regardless of their level of expertise and can occur virtually anywhere at the resort, from the slopes to the ski lift. In fact, one study examining injury patterns in recreational snowboarders and alpine skiers found that 8% of all ski and snowboard accident injuries occur while loading and unloading from chairlifts, an area where riders would reasonably expect to be safe from harm. Some of these accidents are the fault of chairlift operators who fail to stop the lift at a spot where riders can disembark safely, which is a violation of their duty of care.
Determining Liability in Ski and Snowboard Accidents
Chairlift operators, ski area operators and other ski resort staff have certain responsibilities under California law to provide a safe environment that is reasonably free of known safety hazards. In the aftermath of a ski or snowboard accident, it is important to be aware of the ski laws in California and understand how these laws apply to your specific situation in terms of proving liability and seeking compensation. For instance, you should know that California law recognizes a legal doctrine known as “assumption of risk,” which means skiers and snowboarders assume a risk of harm inherent in the activity of skiing or snowboarding. This doctrine may prevent an injured personal from obtaining an injury-related insurance settlement or winning a personal injury lawsuit, if the defendant can show that the injured person voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risks inherent to the activity of skiing or snowboarding. For instance, if a skier falls and suffers injuries on the slopes and tries to hold the resort liable for his injuries, the courts will likely say that the skier assumed the risk of falling when he or she decided to participate in the activity.
Seeking Compensation for Ski and Snowboard Accident Injuries
There is an exception to the assumption of risk doctrine under California law which may apply to instances in which a skier or snowboarder was injured because of the negligence or recklessness of a ski resort operator. If the injured skier can prove that the ski resort violated a specific law or safety regulation, if the ordinary risks associated with skiing or snowboarding were escalated because of the reckless or careless conduct of the ski resort operator, or if the accident was caused by negligent acts that the skier should not be expected to anticipate, the injured party may still be able to pursue a successful compensation claim against the resort. For example, if a skier in California is injured in an accident caused by defective equipment he or she rented from the resort, an issue the skier should not be expected to anticipate, the resort may be liable for damages. Ski or snowboard accidents caused by negligent or careless acts on the part of other skiers or snowboarders may also make for successful personal injury claims if the injured person decides to sue the negligent rider.
Free Ski and Snowboard Accident Consultation in Long Beach
Ski and snowboard accidents happen every day all over the country, resulting in catastrophic and life-threatening injuries to innocent people, and many of these accidents could have been prevented had the proper safety precautions been taken by ski resort operators, chairlift operators, ski equipment manufacturers and other riders. Skiing and snowboarding may be seen as inherently dangerous activities, but it’s often the negligence of other people that make them so dangerous. If you have been injured because of the negligence of another skier or snowboarder, or by a careless or reckless ski lift operator or ski resort operator, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for your injuries. Contact our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at DAG Law Firm today to discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the person or party found at fault in the accident.