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Ski and Snowboard Accidents

Skiing and snowboarding are popular recreational activities throughout Colorado that attract many visitors and tourists to the state each year. Unfortunately, these sports can also result in very serious personal injuries. If you have been injured while skiing or snowboarding at a resort in Colorado, you may be able to file a claim for damages to receive compensation for the damages you have sustained.

It is very important to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after you have been involved in a skiing or snowboarding accident in Colorado. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes sections 33-44-111, an individual that has sustained injuries from a skiing or snowboarding accident may be prevented from bringing a lawsuit for damages after a certain period of time has passed.

This time period, known as a statute of limitations or SOL, is typically only two years after the date of the incident in Colorado. Since this is a short period of time, it is very important to immediately contact a skilled personal injury lawyer after you have suffered an injury while skiing or snowboarding in Colorado.

Denver Ski and Snowboard Injury Attorney in Denver, Colorado

Attorney Jennifer L. Donaldson is knowledgeable in representing individuals who have been injured in skiing and snowboarding collisions throughout Colorado and will make every effort to help you recover damages for your injuries.

Contact Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson for a consultation about your skiing or snowboarding accident throughout Denver and the surrounding areas of Denver County including the enclave of Arapahoe County, Glendale, and Holly Hills.

This firm also represent clients in personal injury cases in Jefferson County (including the cities of Lakewood, Dakota Ridge, Mountain View, Edgewater, Lakeside, and), Adams County (including the cities of Northglenn, Berkley, and Commerce City), and Arapahoe County (including the cities of Littleton, Aurora, Bow Mar, Cherry Hills Village, and Greenwood Village.

Call Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson today at (303)-458-5000 for a free consultation about your skiing or snowboarding accident throughout Denver.

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Colorado Ski Safety Act

According to the Colorado Revised Statutes § 33-44-101, Colorado’s Ski Safety Act was created to establish reasonable safety standards and define the rights and responsibilities of ski area operators and skiers, in addition to the rights and liabilities between the skiers and snowboarders.

Since skiers are generally considered to have assumed the risk of the inherent dangers associated with skiing, ski area operators may be insulated from many lawsuits associated with ski accidents. However, in certain cases, the ski area operator has a duty to act in a certain way and to maintain and operate the lifts and equipment properly.

Colorado law imposes certain duties on ski area operators, which can include marking trails, providing certain warnings, and maintaining certain lighting on snow-grooming equipment. Ski area operators must operate their ski lifts with the highest degree of care for the safety of their passengers.

Falls from chair lifts and injuries suffered during loading or unloading, may be caused by a defective design, faulty maintenance or negligent or improper operation of the lift. In such cases, the ski area operator may be liable for damages.

Inherent Dangers and Risks of Skiing

The Ski Safety Act in Colorado under § 33–44–103 specifically defines “inherent dangers and risks of skiing” as those dangers or conditions that are part of the sport of skiing, including:

  • changing weather conditions;
  • snow conditions as they exist or may change, such as ice, hard pack, powder, packed powder, wind pack, corn, crust, slush, cut-up snow, and machine-made snow;
  • surface or subsurface conditions such as bare spots, forest growth, rocks, stumps, streambeds, cliffs, extreme terrain, and trees, or other natural objects, and collisions with such natural objects;
  • impact with lift towers, signs, posts, fences or enclosures, hydrants, water pipes, or other man-made structures and their components;
  • variations in steepness or terrain, whether natural or as a result of slope design, snowmaking or grooming operations, including but not limited to roads, freestyle terrain, jumps, and catwalks or other terrain modifications;
  • collisions with other skiers; and the failure of skiers to ski within their own abilities.

The Ski Safety Act specifically excludes “the negligence of a ski area operator as set forth in section 33–44–104(2)” from this definition and does not immunize operators for “injur[ies] caused by the use or operation of ski lifts.” Id.

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Skier Collisions in Colorado

If another skier or snowboarder fails to maintain a proper lookout for people below and collides into you or knocks you down, that person can be held liable for your injuries and damages.

The high-speed impact of a ski accident often results in broken ribs, clavicles, sternums, arms, legs, or serious spinal, facial, or head injuries. Compensation is typically recovered through the negligent party's homeowners or renters insurance.

Ski patrol will often investigate skier accidents, particularly if there are injuries, and will complete an accident report containing a description of the incident and information regarding the parties involved. They also identify witnesses to the collision.

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a collision with another skier, it is important to obtain a complete copy of the ski patrol incident report as soon as possible. If you believe the collision occurred and you believe you fit the requirements for a ski injury lawsuit, you should contact a Colorado personal injury attorney immediately.

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Malfunctioning Bindings

In some ski and snowboarding accidents, injuries may result from malfunctioning bindings of equipment. Loose bindings can cause a skier or snowboarder to lose control resulting in crashes, collisions, and other related injuries.

If you were injured due to a malfunction with your ski or snowboarding equipment, a Denver personal injury attorney can work with you to determine which parties are accountable for your injuries.

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Additional Resources

Protecting yourself from winter sport injuries- Visit Denver’s Heath Care site for a list of safety tips for winter sports, and precautions to prevent serious injuries. In the event that you are injured in a winter sport accident, this site also provides helpful tips to limit further injury while waiting to see a medical professional. 

Safety precautions for Skiers- Visit the NCBI website of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. This website provides for reports on the use of protective headgear in skiing and other recreational snow sports. Also, find information on the reduction of head injuries through the use of helmets and protective gear.  

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Attorney for Ski and Snowboarding Accidents in Denver, Colorado

Did you or your loved one suffer catastrophic injuries in a skiing accident in Colorado? Conveniently located in the historic Riverpoint office building, Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson is easily accessible from I-25.

Jennifer Donaldson is an aggressive Denver personal injury attorney who will fight to help you recover the damages you deserve as a result of your injuries sustained from your skiing or snowboarding collision. Contact Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson or submit an online form for a consultation about your skiing or snowboarding injury in Denver.

Call (303)-458-5000 today.

This article was last updated on Friday, February 24, 2017.

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