Skiing, Snowboarding and Other Winter Sport Accidents

With the early snow this season, local ski hills have been open for almost a month now. The holiday season means more people will be taking advantage of the slopes. However, Community Against Preventable Injuries warns Canadians to stay safe on the hills this year, as skiing and snowboarding leads to twice as many hospitalizations as hockey, another favourite Canadian winter past-time. Dangers start as early as the lift up the hill, where every year accidents happen due to rider unawareness or distraction.

The most common type of injuries on the slopes are collisions with other skiers/snowboarders, falls and collisions with objects such as fencing or trees. The Alpine Responsibility Code has helpful tips for how to stay safe. Here are a few of the key tips the Code gives:

  • You must always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects;
  • People ahead of you on the slopes have the right of way, which means it your responsibility to avoid colliding with them;
  • You should not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above;
  • You should look uphill and yield to others before you start to proceed downhill or merge into a trail; and
  • You must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol if you are involved in or witness an accident.

If there is a negligent third party involved, such as another skier hitting you or dropping equipment on you, you may be entitled to  compensation for your injuries. You may also be entitled to compensation from the resort for unsafe conditions on the slopes or poorly maintained rental equipment that resulted in injury. However, waivers signed prior to getting on the slopes complicate liability, and it’s best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away to help you with your claim.

If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important that you obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident, note the location of the accident and, if you’re able, take pictures of the scene. You may need to have friends help you with this, due to your injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a ski, snowboarding or other winter recreational sport activity, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. John Mickelson Law Corporation can help you acquire financial assistance and medical treatment. Our personal injury lawyers have the experience needed to maximize your personal injury settlement. Call us at (604) 684-0040 for a free consultation in our Vancouver, Surrey or Abbotsford offices.

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