When a skier is injured on the slopes in Virginia, there is a comprehensive legal framework that will determine whether he or she can sue for his or her injuries. A skilled Staunton ski accident lawyer could help you navigate through the legal landscape and fight for a favorable outcome to your case. Therefore, if you or a loved one were hurt while skiing, it is highly advisable to seek legal guidance from an accomplished injury attorney in the area.
The injuries that skiers sustain from accidents on the slopes can vary in severity from minor sprains and strains to life-altering spinal and brain injuries. A significant cause of severe injuries on ski hills includes collisions with fences and trees. Another major cause of injuries involves skiers crashing into each other, especially when both are moving at high speeds. Chair lift accidents can also be serious, particularly in instances where riders fall substantial heights from the lift. Anybody who has had the misfortune of sustaining one of these accidents in Staunton should call an experienced local ski accident attorney for advice and assistance in filing a claim.
The Winter Sports Safety Act is a detailed Virginia state statute that outlines winter sports area operators’ responsibilities and liabilities as well as the responsibilities of those participating in winter sports.
Skiers have several duties such as exercising reasonable care while skiing, obtaining assistance for an injured skier when he or she is involved in an accident, paying attention to posted signage, and otherwise acting in a safe manner. Failure to uphold these duties could make skiers liable to each other if they collide. Further, people who choose to ski are presumed to assume a certain level of inherent risk. However, this does not mean that they assume the risk of negligence on the part of a winter sports area operator.
Although the Winter Sports Safety Act states that skiers are presumed to assume the inherent risks that come with skiing, this does not mean that winter sports area operators are completely shielded from liability. The law states that operators will be liable if they:
● Commit negligence or gross negligence with regard to a participant’s safety
● Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally cause injury or death to a participant
● Fail to operate a ski lift according to regulations, thus causing injury or death
For those who are injured in the area due to a winter sports area operator’s negligence, a local ski crash attorney could help assess the facts and collect evidence of the operator’s recklessness or negligence.
Winter sports area operators are required by law to operate their ski lifts in a reasonable manner and to comply with applicable provisions of the ANSI Ski Lift Code. If they fail to operate ski lifts to these standards, operators can be liable for any injuries that result. Harm from ski lift malfunctions can be severe, especially when participants fall from substantial heights. Anyone who has been injured due to an improperly operated ski lift should first seek medical assistance, then call a Staunton attorney for advice on pursuing a claim.
Although the law states that there is a presumption that skiers assume the risks that go with the sport, this does not mean that there is a total bar to recovery. If you have been injured due to another’s negligence while skiing, an experienced Staunton ski accident lawyer could help gather evidence to expose any recklessness or negligence that may exist on the part of the winter sports area operator or other skier and work toward the outcome you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.