Skiing and snowboarding are two very popular winter weather activities. These pastimes can make for an exciting thrill, but when the pace becomes too fast and the obstacles too plentiful, serious injuries can occur. Sometimes a snowboarder or skier is injured because of an accident, but other times an injury occurs because of someone else’s negligence. When this is the case, the injured person can file a personal injury claim against the individual whose negligent conduct caused their injury.
Negligence in Skiing & Snowboarding Accidents
Negligence is a failure to act with reasonable care and most states have a specific negligence standard that skiers and snowboarders must follow. The Skier Responsibility Code, which was created by the ski industry to prevent accidents from occurring, also governs skier conduct and is posted throughout ski resorts.
If an accident occurs, it is crucial to take pictures of the scene of the crash from all angles, the people involved in the crash, the trails of the snowboards or skies and all injuries that are incurred. Contact information should also be written down for those involved in the crash, along with anyone who witnessed it.
One of the most common accidents that occurs on the slopes is a collision between two people who are skiing or snowboarding. However, two people colliding does not prove negligence. If a person collides with another person and is injured, the injured person may be at least partially at fault. For example, the injured skier or snowboarder may have been going too fast or simply was not paying attention and never saw the other person.
The facts may show instead that the other skier or snowboarder was not acting with reasonable care and was not following the Skier Responsibility Code. The person may have failed to keep a safe distance between themselves and the other skiers and snowboarders, or was traveling at a dangerous rate of speed and was not in control. In some cases, the level of negligence could be considered reckless behavior.
Standard of Negligence
Some states use a recklessness standard instead of a negligence standard to determine fault for skiers and snowboarders. In a state that is governed by the recklessness standard, proving that someone’s negligence caused you to be injured is not enough – the conduct must be so unreasonable that it is considered reckless or grossly negligent.
An example of reckless behavior would be if an advanced skier or snowboarder went down a beginner slope at a fast rate of speed and collided into a beginner. An experienced skier or snowboarder should know that beginners are easily distracted and need more distance between themselves and other skiers.