Albuquerque Ski & Snowboard Accident Lawyers

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Like several of her neighbors, New Mexico attracts many tourists as well as people from across her own state to explore and enjoy skiing or snowboarding every year. Unfortunately, despite the fun and attraction of snowboarding or skiing, these winter sports can pose serious dangers, especially if other skiers or ski resort operators do not take appropriate care to avoid potentially harmful accidents. That’s why it’s important to call Albuquerque ski accident lawyers near you as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a skiing or snowboarding accident in New Mexico, call Zinda Law Group as soon as possible at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation with a skilled ski & snowboard accident lawyer in Albuquerque who can help you understand your next steps following your accident. If we are not able to win your personal injury case, you will not owe us anything.

Ski accident statistics

According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), there were at least 48 fatal incidents reported during the 2020-2021 ski season. Of these fatal incidents, the majority were the result of collisions with objects, such as ski lifts or trees; interestingly, over 93 percent of skier and snowboarder victims of these incidents were male. Meanwhile, the NSAA also reported that most of these fatal incidents occurred on terrain that had been designated as “intermediate” or “more difficult.”

Common types of ski accidents

Ski season can bring with it waves of tourists and outdoor enthusiasts looking to hit the slopes, enjoy the snow, and participate in winter sports. However, these sports carry with them a certain degree of danger, mostly in the risk of accidents. As with many other types of personal injury claims, injuries resulting from skiing accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:

Collisions With Other Skiers

One of the most common types of skiing or snowboarding accidents that happen each year in New Mexico is collisions with other people; these collisions often occur between two or more skiers or snowboarders. However, in some cases—especially if the skier or snowboarder is an amateur, is behaving recklessly, or is otherwise failing to practice appropriate safety measures such as staying aware of surroundings and potential hazards—these accidents may also occur when a person collides with a stationary object, such as a ski lift pole, tree, or posted signage.

Unsafe Conditions

Ski resorts may be an inherently dangerous place in many areas, such as on the slope itself; however, the resort is responsible for keeping all areas of the resort safe, including those spaces  that experience significant foot traffic, like buildings and parking areas. Some accidents may occur while simply walking on icy ground because the resort failed to keep the walking surfaces free of ice and safe for visitors. While skiers are generally considered to assume the risk of harm from inherent dangers and risks of skiing or snowboarding, the ski resort may be liable in some cases if it failed to meet the appropriate standard of care for visitors and guests even when they are not on the slopes.

Further, many skiing accidents occur as a result of avalanches. Skiers may be injured or even killed during an avalanche, making it crucial for ski resorts to carefully follow the appropriate avalanche control and prevention measures; if a resort fails to follow these measures and a skier is injured or killed during an avalanche, the resort may be liable, even if the person signed a liability waiver. The ski accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group can help you determine whether the resort may be liable for any injuries or damages you suffered in an accident caused by unsafe conditions at the resort itself or while on the slopes at the resort.

Negligence of Employees at the Resort

Some skier injury accidents may also be caused by the negligence of the ski resort’s employees. For example, if your instructor failed to provide adequate training and instruction regarding the appropriate safety precautions to follow on the slopes, the resort may be liable for this failure.

In addition, an accident may also occur if the ski lift operator is not paying proper attention while he or she is operating the lift you were seated on. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you determine if an employee’s negligence may have played a role in causing your accident, and whether the resort may be liable for this negligence.

Defective Equipment

While many winter sports injuries are caused by collisions, unsafe conditions, or human negligence, less common are those caused by defective equipment. If the defective equipment belongs to the skier, the manufacturer of the defective equipment could be liable for any injuries suffered as a result of the failed equipment.

In other cases, the equipment belongs to the ski resort. If so, the ski resort operator may be liable in addition to the manufacturer. You may have a products liability case in addition to a negligence case if the resort failed to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of its equipment or to ensure that equipment provided to skiers or snowboarders was free of defects that may cause an accident.

New MExico ski laws

The New Mexico Ski Safety Act provides the applicable law governing most ski or snowboard accidents in New Mexico. First, this Act provides that ski resorts have no duty to protect skiers from the “inherent perils and obstacles posed by the terrain of a narrow, steep, and ungroomed ski slope.” Indeed, the Act also declares that a skier or snowboarder “accepts as a matter of law the dangers inherent in that sport insofar as they are obvious and necessary.”

These provisions mean that a skier in Albuquerque assumes the risk of skiing and any injuries or damages they may suffer as a result of these “inherent risks.” The Act lists these risks as including any injuries caused by:

  • Variations in terrain
  • Surface or subsurface snow or ice conditions
  • Rocks, trees, or other forms of forest growth or debris
  • Bare spots
  • Ski lift towers or components such as pole lines
  • Snow-making equipment

The New Mexico Ski Safety Act further provides that each skier “shall have the sole individual responsibility for knowing the range of his own ability.” Furthermore, it’s the skier’s duty “to ski within the limits of the skier’s own ability.”

Nevertheless, ski lift operators do still have some duties to prevent accidents, such as by:

  • Marking all snow-maintenance vehicles
  • Marking each slope for its degree of difficulty
  • Marking which areas are closed or the presence of unusual hazards
  • Warning of or correcting particular hazards or dangers known to the operator where it is feasible to do so

Finally, the Act also imposes a duty on ski area operators to “operate, repair, and maintain all ski lifts in safe condition.” Thus, if you are injured in a skiing accident, you may be able to pursue a claim against the ski area operator if the operator breached its duties under the New Mexico Ski Safety Act. The experienced ski accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group can investigate your accident and help you determine if you may have a claim against the resort.

Can I still sue if i signed a waiver?

Many ski resorts will require you to sign a liability waiver. These waivers will generally include language stating that you are agreeing that if you suffer any injuries while at the resort, the resort and its employees will not be liable and you will not attempt to pursue compensation from them for your injuries. However, these liability waivers can and should not always prevent you from seeking compensation from the resort in every case.

First, the signed waiver must meet several legal requirements to be considered valid. Further, even a valid waiver may not prevent liability in every situation, such as if your accident was the result of recklessness or intentional conduct on the part of the resort or any of its employees.

While signing a liability waiver with the resort may make pursuing compensation for your injuries more difficult if you, it is not necessarily impossible. Therefore, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque as soon as possible after your accident to determine whether the waiver you signed was valid and whether it will prevent you from pursuing compensation from the resort.

Statute of limitations

As with other personal injury claims, you will generally only have a limited amount of time after your skiing or snowboarding accident to file a claim seeking any compensation you may be entitled to. This legal time limit on filing a claim, called the statute of limitations, generally begins on the day the accident occurred; any lawsuit filed after the statute of limitations has expired will generally not be allowed.

In Albuquerque, the statute of limitations for ski accident lawsuits, like other personal injury claims in New Mexico, is three years from the date of your accident. As a result, it is absolutely crucial that you contact a personal injury law firm like Zinda Law Group as soon as possible after your accident to determine whether you may have a legal claim. Considering these time constraints, think of how much better it would be to have reliable guidance through the litigation process as you take your next steps toward pursuing compensation for your injuries or damages.

Contact skilled ski accident lawyers near you today

Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter sports enjoyed in New Mexico and surrounding states, but they must be enjoyed in a safe manner like any other sport. Skiers and snowboarders have a duty to follow appropriate safety measures where possible, but so do ski area operators.

If you or your loved one has suffered an injury while skiing or snowboarding in Albuquerque, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your 100% free consultation with one of our ski accident lawyers. We are most happy to discuss whether you may be able to pursue compensation from another skier that collided with you or caused your accident, or whether the ski resort may be liable for your injuries. Your lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and will handle your case, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries.

Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque. You will not pay anything unless we win your case; that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

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