DC Personal Injury Lawyers Explain Liability for Resort Accidents
Skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing are popular recreational activities during the winter months. However, these activities also result in thousands of injuries and dozens of deaths each year. In many cases, negligence on the part of the winter resorts hosting these activities are to blame for accidents. For example, poorly trained employees working for a resort may inadvertently place hazards on snow tube tracks. In other cases, skiing instructors may fail to properly explain safety instructions. Nevertheless, ski resorts owe you and other guests a reasonable duty of care according to premises liability law. Therefore, if you or a loved one were harmed in a skiing, snowboarding or tubing accident, then you may be able to file a lawsuit. Even if you signed a waiver, you may have grounds for a successful injury claim.
If you or a loved one were harmed at a resort, then it is important to pick a law firm with experience standing up to large businesses. Many ski resorts are owned by multimillion or billion-dollar companies with access to significant legal resources. Furthermore, some states have laws that make it difficult to secure compensation from winter resorts. However, the premises liability lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have experience assisting victims of negligent business practices at resorts and other vacation spots across the country. In one case, our attorneys helped a client secure a $6.2 million verdict against a resort in Virginia after he suffered brain trauma during a skiing accident. In another case, our lawyers obtained a settlement of $7.8 million for a client who was severely injured in a snow tube accident.
What Are Common Causes of Skiing, Tubing and Snowboarding Accidents?
Winter resorts may offer snowboarding and tubing activities in addition to traditional skiing. Common hazards that can cause a preventable accident include:
- Unsafe slopes. Snow tubing areas and slopes may contain multiple physical hazards. For example, resorts may place cables or snow plow vehicles in areas where they can injure unsuspecting skiers and snowboarders. Improperly marked trails are also a major safety hazard.
- Equipment failures. Skiing and snowboarding equipment may contain defects that can cause injuries. Manufacturing defects or improper maintenance may cause equipment failure, which can be deadly in some cases. For example, snowboard helmets with design defects may not contain enough padding to protect your head from a traumatic brain injury in an accident.
- Chairlift/ski lift accidents. Poorly maintained or defective chairlifts may cause a fall. Drops from ski lifts can exceed 25 feet, putting visitors at risk of catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.
- Collisions. Crashes account for a number of skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing accidents. Negligent skiers may collide with you or you may run into objects on the slope, causing catastrophic injuries.
- Instructor negligence. Negligent skiing and snowboarding instructors may fail to explain important instructions or take you through a slope that exceeds your skill level. This can cause serious and even fatal skiing or snowboarding accidents.
Who Is Liable for a Skiing or Tubing Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to hold one or more parties accountable for your ski accident injuries or loss. Parties typically named in ski and snowboard accident claims include:
- Ski resorts. In most cases, you would bring a claim against the ski resort where your accident occurred.
- Lift manufacturers. If a defect on a ski lift caused you to fall and suffer injuries, then it may be possible to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
- Equipment manufacturers. If a defect in your skiing or snowboarding equipment caused your injury, then you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
- Other skiers. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against other skiers. However, you may be able to hold the ski resort accountable as well, in these types of cases.
Some states have “inherent risk laws,” meaning the skier, snowboarder or snow tuber assumes the inherent risk of injury associated with these activities. However, in many cases, an attorney can work to demonstrate that your injuries resulted from factors that were not an inherent risk.
Additionally, many winter resorts also require you to sign a liability waver. However, these waivers do not necessarily prevent you from filing a lawsuit. In many cases, you may still bring a claim and collect compensation under premises liability law. Still, always consult an attorney before taking further action.
Skiing Accident Injuries? Contact Our Premises Liability Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was harmed during a snow tubing, ski or snowboard accident, then it is important to speak to an attorney without delay. The laws and contracts that may apply to your case make ski and snowboard accident claims notoriously complex. However, a lawyer can help you determine your legal options and can represent your best interests in a lawsuit. Damages from a lawsuit can help pay for costs associated with a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or wrongful death. These costs include medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation expenses, and pain and suffering.
The premises liability lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC serve residents of Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland. Our law firm also takes cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we recover compensation for your injuries or loss, then you will not owe us any fees. For more information on your possible legal options after a skiing or snowboarding accident, call (202) 463-3030. Otherwise, use our online contact form to describe your situation.