Who is Liable if I Suffer Injury at a Ski Resort?

The New Year has brought with it a series of ski and snowboard resort accidents resulting in injury and even death. As temperatures fall, the mountains become an increasingly attractive place for thrill-seekers, and what better way to experience the grandeur of nature than by spending the days shooting down a frosty hillside at high speed, and the nights in the toasty warmth of one of the United States’ popular ski and snowboard resorts? Nevada and California are home to many of these world class resorts, especially in the Reno Truckee and South Lake Tahoe area; Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Boreal, Sierra, Squaw, Alpine, Diamond Peak, Sky Tavern and Mount Rose, to name a few.

But skiing and snowboarding are not without their risks. In late January 2018, a Philadelphia man was killed at the Blue Mountain Resort in the Poconos. He was skiing on the resort’s most advanced terrain, the double-black diamond trail, when another skier crashed into him. He died from blunt-force trauma to the head and neck. Shortly prior, a 19-year-old skier in southeastern Minnesota failed to negotiate a turn at the bottom of a snowy hillside and collided with a tree, killing her. In December, several skiing deaths occurred near Lake Tahoe. A 49-year-old man died in a skiing accident at Heavenly Mountain Resort on December 27. And on December 13, a 23-year-old man died snowboarding at a Lake Tahoe-area resort.

Skiing accidents have even claimed the lives of famous men and women around Lake Tahoe. Sonny Bono, who first stepped into the spotlight as part of the singing duo Sonny and Cher, died in 1998 skiing in South Lake Tahoe.

Some skiing accidents can be described as just that – accidents. But if you are injured in a skiing accident at one of Nevada’s many mountainside resorts, you might have an injury claim against the resort or another third-party, depending on the circumstances of your accident.

Common Accidents, Ski Resort Immunity and How to Prove Your Claim

Many states that host ski and snowboard resorts have passed laws preventing skiers and snowboarders from bringing injury claims against resorts due to the inherent risk of injury present when skiing or snowboarding. However, it may still be possible to collect damages from a ski and snowboard resort or third-party for your injury if it can be proven that the injury was caused by negligence.

You may base an injury claim on:

  • An injury caused by another negligent skier or snowboarder
  • Poor maintenance at the ski resort, such as defective chairlifts or other machines
  • Lack of warning of hazards
  • The resort’s failure to exercise reasonable standards of care toward visitors

If successful in bringing a claim against a ski and snowboard resort, you could be entitled to damages including those for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.  The personal injury lawyers at Turner | Modarelli have years of experience successfully fighting for justice for injury victims in both California and Nevada.

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