Skiing and snowboarding are two popular outdoor sporting activities among Californians, and with the state’s dense population and abundance of popular ski resorts, like Bear Mountain, Snow Summit and Mountain High, California skiing and snowboarding accidents happen more frequently than you might think. If you have been involved in a ski or snowboard accident in Southern California, you may be suffering from serious injuries, emotional trauma, costly medical bills and other losses, possibly including an inability to work or a loss of future earning capacity. Contact our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at DAG Law Firm today to find out how you can recover damages from the person or party found at fault in your ski accident.
Affordable Orange County Ski and Snowboard Accident Attorney
Many people injured in ski and snowboard accidents try to settle with the negligent person or party privately or decide to file a claim with the person’s insurance company without bringing an attorney into it, and that is your prerogative. Keep in mind, however, that neither the person who injured you, nor their insurance company, have your best interests in mind. Insurance adjusters are trained to settle claims as quickly and for as little money as possible, and injury victims often end up with less money than they are entitled to. A personal injury attorney, on the other hand, will represent you and you alone. No matter how you or your loved one has been hurt, our personal injury attorneys at DAG Law Firm can help you recover from your injuries and move on with your lives. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you in your time of need. Our lawyers have experience protecting the rights of ski and snowboard accident victims in Orange County and throughout Southern California, and we will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Injuries Resulting from an Orange County Ski Accident
Even as an experienced skier or snowboarder, as soon as you hit the slopes, you are putting your life in the hands of everyone else on the mountain, including other skiers and snowboarders, ski lift operators, and even the company that manufactures your equipment. If anything goes wrong in any of these areas while you’re skiing or snowboarding, the consequences can be devastating. Among the most common injuries resulting from ski and snowboard accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Leg or knee injuries
- Arm or shoulder injuries
- Neck injury
- Lacerations and bruises
- Internal bleeding
- Wrongful death
Serious injuries resulting from a ski or snowboard accident can significantly diminish your quality of life and affect your ability to perform your normal daily activities, either temporarily or permanently.
Common Causes of Ski and Snowboard Accidents
California ski accidents can happen to anyone regardless of their level of expertise, especially if another person or party acts in a way that is negligent or reckless and puts the safety of other skiers and snowboarders at risk. For example, one place where ski and snowboard accidents can occur is on the chairlift when a skier or snowboarder is getting on or off the lift. If the chairlift operator fails to stop the lift at a spot where riders can disembark safely, he is violating his duty of care and is putting the safety of everyone on the lift at risk. Every ski and snowboard accident is different, but there are some types of accidents that happen more frequently than others. The most common causes of ski and snowboard accident injuries include:
- Collisions with other skiers
- Improperly marked trails
- Collisions with obstructions on the slopes
- Improperly marked boundaries
- Instructors teaching unsafe techniques
- Defective rental equipment
- Chairlift accidents
- Poorly designed ski course
Determining Liability in Orange County Ski and Snowboard Accidents
There are many ski and snowboard accidents that occur because of another person’s careless or reckless behavior, and if this is the case, filing a personal injury lawsuit is often the only way for a ski or snowboard accident victim to obtain full recovery for his or her injuries. If you have been injured physically or emotionally due to another person’s irresponsible or careless actions, you may have a personal injury claim against that person. Personal injury is an area of the law that deals with mental or physical harm suffered by one person as a result of another person’s negligence, or failure to use reasonable care. Proving negligence in a ski or snowboard accident involves the plaintiff proving that the other person or party:
- Owed a legal duty to the plaintiff;
- Breached that duty by failing to act with reasonable care;
- Caused an accident involving the plaintiff; and
- Harmed or injured the plaintiff as a result.
Navigating the intricacies of California personal injury law can be complicated, and it’s always better to have an attorney on your side who has experience in this area, so you can ensure that your legal rights are protected. A skilled attorney can help you determine who is responsible for the accident, so you can hold that person liable for your damages. The person or party found at fault in your ski accident may be a negligent skier or snowboarder, the resort owner, the chairlift operator, or even the manufacturer of your ski equipment. Even if you are found partially at fault for the accident, California’s comparative negligence law states that you can still recover damages from the other at-fault party. Your total reward will simply be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
Seeking Compensation for Ski and Snowboard Accident Injuries
Pursuing compensation for injuries resulting from a ski or snowboard accident in Southern California isn’t easy. A common defense used in skiing and snowboarding accident cases is “assumption of risk,” meaning those who ski and snowboard understand the inherent risks associated with these activities and are therefore barred from bringing a claim over injuries caused by such a risk. Furthermore, the resort where you ski or snowboard may require you to sign a waiver or release of liability before you can use the facilities, but keep in mind that signing a waiver doesn’t necessarily mean you have no legal recourse. This is especially true in cases where your injuries were caused by another person’s actions that were grossly negligent or reckless.
Skiing and snowboarding can be fun and exhilarating, but these activities can also be extremely dangerous. “During one hour on the slopes and trails of California ski areas there is five times or greater risk of death than during one hour behind the wheel of an automobile and 15 times or greater risk of injury,” says Dr. Daniel Gregorie, founder and president of the SnowSport Safety Foundation (SSF) in San Francisco. Victims of ski and snowboard accidents in California can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for damages related to their accident, including medical expenses, hospitalization, rehabilitation, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, physical disability, property damage costs, and more. If the accident is fatal, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault person or party, seeking damages for funeral and burial costs and other losses.
Free Ski and Snowboard Accident Consultation in Orange County
Researchers estimate that around 600,000 Americans are injured every year as a result of skiing and snowboarding, and in 2016, 54 skiers and snowboarders died at ski resorts in the United States. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys have years of experience protecting the rights of innocent people who suffer injuries due to the negligence of other people or organizations and can help you determine whether you have a claim. Contact DAG Law Firm today to find out how you can get the maximum financial reward for your ski or snowboard accident injuries.