Colorado Ski & Snowboard Accident Lawyers

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What is a Ski or Snowboarding Accident Case?

Skiing is a fun and exciting way to enjoy cold weather, and many people go to Colorado to enjoy the numerous skiing facilities and mountains. However, skiing is not without its risks, and sometimes a skiing or snowboarding accident occurs. Because of the high speeds and inconsistent weather conditions that can occur while skiing, accidents can range from minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes to much more serious injuries and possibly even death.

Skiing and snowboarding carry risks as part of the sports, but not all accidents are inevitable. Accidents caused by the carelessness or irresponsibility of others could give rise to a personal injury case. If you or a loved one was injured in a skiing or snowboarding accident, contact Zinda Law Group today for a free case consultation.

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Common causes and examples

Skiing and snowboarding can be dangerous, and there are many ways someone may be injured while on the slopes. Many accidents can be prevented by taking appropriate safety precautions, such as wearing the correct protective gear like helmets and gloves, and limiting yourself to only skiing the slopes which correspond to your skill level. However, some accidents are unable to be prevented, as they are the fault of others, and there are some specific common scenarios in which the individual may pursue compensation.

Faulty Equipment

A ski resort has an obligation to keep the equipment used by their customers in good working condition. However, this does not always occur. If your skiing equipment fails, leading to an accident, your injuries could be the responsibility of one or more different parties.

In some cases, the responsibility for your accident may lay with the rental company which provided you with the equipment. If the rental company should have been aware that their equipment was likely to malfunction, they may have been negligent in renting it to you. The ski resort you were skiing at when the accident occurred may also be liable in this case.

In other situations, skis, snowboards, or protective equipment such as helmets can fail, either because the product was designed incorrectly by the manufacturer, or the specific product you received was manufactured incorrectly. Both of these occurrences could lead to liability for a ski products manufacturer. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate the facts of your accident with you in order to determine which party should be pursued for compensation.

Lifts and Machinery

Ski lifts prevent patrons of ski resorts from having to walk uphill, permitting skiers to enjoy more time skiing or snowboarding down the slopes. Ski lifts should be safe to use if the machinery is maintained properly and the operators of the lift follow correct procedure. However, sometimes a skier can be injured by a ski lift.

Whether by machinery malfunction or human error, individuals may be thrown or fall from a ski lift, sustaining serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, or even death.

Ski Resort Maintenance and Safety Rules

Skiing and snowboarding, like any intense sport, possess risks no matter how much precaution is taken. The Colorado Ski Safety Act acknowledges that some elements of skiing are inherently risky, and that skiers may contend with them at their own risk, such as changing weather, rocks and stumps, and other natural objects. However, that does not absolve ski resorts from all liability for accidents on their grounds—ski resorts have obligations to keep their patrons safe, and if they fail in that obligation, it could give them responsibility for your accident.

Ski resort operators are obliged to indicate trails and slopes with appropriate signage, mark the boundaries of the skiing area clearly, and clearly mark all manmade structures that are not clearly visible. Ski resort operators also must enforce safety rules and not allow skiers to be aggressive or inexperienced in a way that harms other guests. If a ski resort operator has not clearly demarcated manmade structure, trails and boundaries, or if the ski resort allows guests to flout rules and behave unsafely on the slopes, you could be entitled to compensation for your accident.

Negligent Skiers

Skiing is a popular sport beloved by many, but unfortunately that means you could encounter many skiers of various skill and caution levels when on the slopes. But just because you are injured when another skier or snowboarder collides with you does not mean that they are guaranteed to be liable for your injury. The skier’s actions must demonstrate that the accident was their fault, generally by a negligence standard, meaning that the skier was not acting with reasonable care not to cause harm.

If the skier who collided with you was not obeying the rules of the resort or the general principles of safe skiing, that could demonstrate negligence and you could have a personal injury claim against that individual.


What to do after a ski and snowboard accident?

1. Seek medical attention

The first thing to do after a ski or snowboarding accident is to seek medical attention. Some injuries from skiing accidents, such as broken bones, may be apparent immediately, but some serious injuries such as concussions can become serious if left untreated. Just because you did not pass out does not mean you do not have a concussion.

While ski patrol will likely be at the scene of the accident, you should also visit a physician as soon as possible. If there are any injuries sustained from your skiing accident, you will want them documented as soon as possible in order to include these in your personal injury claim. Waiting a long time between your accident and your diagnosis of injury could hurt your personal injury claim; the more time elapses after the accident, the less clear it is that your injury was caused by your skiing accident and not something else.

2. Document the Accident

Just as it is important to document the situation after being involved in a car accident, it is important to document a skiing accident. Take pictures of the surrounding scene of the accident, including injuries, the place of injury, and any important things such as damaged signage or weather-related obstacles.

If there was another skier involved in your accident, exchange contact information with that person, and if there were other individuals present who witnessed the accident, get their information too. If you receive medical treatment, make sure to keep a record of what treatments you received and how much you paid for them, and any other expenses that you incurred by your accident (such as lost wages from being unable to work).

If you have to speak to an insurance agent or the other party involved in the accident, do not admit fault. You may be asked to sign a settlement agreement or other legal document soon after the accident, but you should not do so without first discussing the document with your lawyer to determine what the consequences of the agreement would be. Especially in the cases of settlements, you do not want to accept an amount before you are aware of the full extent of your injuries, and lose your right to pursue further compensation.

3. Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer

It is important that you speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after being injured in a skiing accident. Colorado’s personal injury suit statute of limitations is two years from the date of your injury. That might seem like a long time, but it can quickly fly by, especially when dealing with the fallout of a serious injury such as medical treatment, being on crutches, or attending physical therapy.

Furthermore, the sooner you speak to a personal injury lawyer, the stronger your case may be. Evidence and eyewitnesses are difficult to utilize a long time after the fact, but speaking to a lawyer very soon after an accident occurs can give your lawyer the ability to develop a theory of the case while it is still recent.

If you are pursuing compensation against a ski resort, rental company, or manufacturer, they are likely to have extensive legal resources at their disposal. It is important to have a lawyer experienced in skiing accident claims in order to even the playing field between you and the party that caused your injury. At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys will fight to get you what you deserve after your ski accident. Call today for a free case consultation.

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I had the best experience with the Zinda law Group! Shivangi Was the the most professional and caring attorney anyone could ask for! She did everything in a timely matter and answered all the questions I could ever think of. Her paralegal, Danielle was always there for me throughout the entire process. She worked around my schedule and was very consistent about helping me in any way she could. If I could give this team 6 stars I would!! I highly recommend to anyone looking for the best team!
I had the privilege of working with Zinda Law Group recently and was thoroughly impressed with the level of service and support they provided. When we began, I had reservations about the likelihood of reaching a settlement, but the team's professionalism, intelligence, and dedication quickly put those doubts to rest. They went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable throughout the process, and their hard work and strong advocacy ultimately led to a successful outcome. I cannot thank Zinda Law Group and their staff enough for their exceptional service and support, and I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal assistance. Their commitment to their clients and their willingness to fight for what's right truly sets them apart. In short, I give them a rating of five stars for their outstanding work.
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I would like to recognize a fantastic attorney named Joe Caputo from Zinda Law Group. I was involved in an auto accident that had many complicated moving parts that were hard to navigate and understand as a victim. Joe was so gracious and spent quality time explaining what courses of action I needed to take as a victim to protect myself. Joe was also diligent in following up with me regarding my case and provided guides and checklists that were extremely helpful to keep things organized and moving. Joe was always readily available for my questions and responded promptly. Joe Caputo's excellent counsel ensured I protected myself when dealing with the opposing insurance company and ensured the best possible outcome for my case. Joe's expertise in personal injury lawsuits helped alleviate the stress and anxiety that follows the aftermath of an auto accident. Thanks again Joe! You are truly an amazing, kind person and attorney!
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When I was injured in a car accident in March of 2020 the insurance companies were not concerned with my well being. I called Zinda Law group & spoke with Reagan, who went over my concerns & later had Jono contact me. After reviewing my information with Jono my case was immediately put in motion. I worked mainly with Sam Thomas who truly was a blessing to me, he was very supportive & genuinely concerned with my well being, everything wasn't simply about the case it was about me being healed & getting the proper treatment that I needed. Sam was also emotionally supportive when I went through several losses in my family & is a great friend. In all everyone was extremely supportive & all worked for me which was quite a different legal experience for me from Law groups in my past. I was well supported, always informed, treated with respect & made the priority in all decisions. Zinda Law Group made sure I was compensated completely & that I didn't have financial stresses over hospital bills after all was said & done. Sam, Katrina, Mary Catherine, Reagan & Jono I just want to thank you & all of Zinda for the incredible experience & the wonderful caring people that you all are, you are truly Golden in your field.
I am so glad I got in touch with Zinda! My car accident occurred just 4 days prior to moving, during the busiest week of the year at my job, and just a week before the quarantine was declared a new reality for all of us. Everyone at Zinda remained persistent, supportive, and most of all advocated for me throughout such a chaotic time. I’ll always be grateful for the care they took to make sure my health and well-being were taken care of. So super grateful to know that a split second mistake someone else made doesn’t have to dictate my life. Thanks!
My experience with Zinda Law Group was better than expected. After an accident that totalled my car, I reached out and was paired with a wonderful attorney. She communicated frequently and responded to my calls and texts in a timely manner. She was friendly, knowledgeable, and answered all of my questions. I was kept in the loop during every step of the process. I would call Zinda Law if I ever need this type of support again.
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I was referred here by a family member. Our lawyer jason and his team did and amazing job. They kept me updated in everything made sure I understood what was going on. My son was hit by a van in the hospital jason came right over. He's awesome so much down to earth straight forward. I would recommend him and his firm to everyone and I have thank you zinda but most of all thank you Jason for being there for us for being a friend
Zinda Law Group was recommended to me from another satisfied client and I certainly received excellent service. The attorneys and staff are very proactive with communication and I knew every step of the way what was happening on my case. I never felt pressured with decision making and they went above & beyond to answer questions with satifactory explanations. This is a very professional group of attorneys & support staff. In addition, they were willing to meet me at a location more convenient for me. I appreciated their concern for my time.
Could not speak highly enough of the firm. I was involved in my first accident and thankfully had Zinda Law Group supporting me through the scary time. Jono took care of me every step of the way. He made me feel like I was a priority through the entire process. A big thank you to Jono and the rest of the Zinda crew!

How does a Ski and Snowboard Case Work?

Like most personal injury cases, whether or not you will prevail depends on whether or not you can prove that the other party is at fault for your injuries, and you were injured due to their negligence. Whether you are suing an individual or a company, the general principle of negligence is still the same.

Not every accident makes someone liable for harm, even someone who was at fault for the accident, unless they were negligent. Individuals must move through the world with reasonable care to ensure no one else is harmed by their actions. To act without reasonable care is negligent.

What are the elements?

The elements of a ski or snowboarding personal injury case are:

1. The person who caused the accident had a legal duty to the victim. In most cases, it is the duty to take reasonable care when acting, to prevent injury to surrounding people.

2. The person who caused the accident breached their duty of reasonable care. They did something unreasonable, such as not following safety precautions or not thoroughly inspecting equipment for damage.

3. The victim was injured.

4. The breach of reasonable care was the proximate cause of the victim’s injury. This is sometimes the most difficult element to prove, because it requires proof not just that the person who caused the accident acted unreasonably and that they injured the victim, but that it was specifically their unreasonable actions that caused the injury. It does not matter if an individual was acting unreasonably at the time of the accident if the cause of the accident was something else.

Who can be sued?

A ski resort, a ski equipment manufacturer, a ski rental company, or a fellow skier can all be sued after a skiing accident. In some cases, more than one of these entities could be responsible for your skiing accident.

Some states use the concept of joint and several liability in personal injury cases. Joint and several liability is used when there are multiple defendants and ensures that the plaintiff will receive the full amount of damages to which he or she is entitled, regardless of the solvency of any individual party. The court determines how much at fault each party was for the accident, and assigns each party a percentage of fault. This could include the plaintiff, if the plaintiff is found to be partially fault for the accident.

The plaintiff can then recover the damages amount from any one of the defendants, even if that defendant is not responsible for the entire percentage. After paying the full amount to the plaintiff, that defendant can then sue the other defendants for their share of the damages to reimburse him or herself.

Colorado abolished joint and several liability in 1986. Now, each defendant only has to pay his or her share of the damages, and the plaintiff cannot recover the whole amount from one defendant out of several. For example, in a skiing accident, suppose the court determines that the plaintiff is 10% at fault, the ski resort company is 40% at fault, and an individual skier is 50% at fault. The ski resort only has to pay 40% of the damages, even if the other party is bankrupt and cannot pay his 50%.

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AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)

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AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)

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What Damages can be recovered?

In a personal injury case, the logic behind damages is to put the victim in the position that they would have been in had the accident not occurred. This is done most easily with economic damages, which are damages which reimburse an accident victim for the costs incurred by the accident. For example, a car accident victim with a totaled car may be entitled to the value of his car at the time of the accident in damages. In a skiing accident, medical bills, lost wages, or reimbursement from a vacation cut short are the most common economic damage.

However, the courts recognize that there are some harms that victims of accidents suffer that don’t have a specific price tag. An accident may cause emotional damage in the form of trauma over the events themselves or subsequent consequences of injury, such as missing important events. Things like the inability to enjoy one’s hobbies after an injury or even the loss of a loved one don’t have a cost associated with them, but the court still acknowledges these harms through the payment of non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages, especially for emotional suffering, can be more difficult to receive. Firstly, they are harder in some cases to prove then economic damages, which don’t require much more than a receipt. Secondly, it is more difficult for the court to calculate non-economic damages and put a price on something unrelated to money, like pain and suffering. However, that does not mean that you cannot receive both economic and non-economic damages in a skiing accident lawsuit.

Another type of damages sometimes awarded in personal injury cases are punitive damages. These damages, unlike the others listed, are not an attempt to compensate the victim of an accident for the harms they have suffered. Rather, punitive damages are damages levied by the court in order to punish the party that caused the accident, if the actions of the party were especially egregious.

Punitive damages are more rarely awarded than compensatory damages because the behavior of the entity that caused the accident must be extreme and egregious, not just ordinarily negligent.

What is the statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is the amount of time an accident victim has to file a lawsuit about the accident. Statues of limitation vary by state and by the type of accident, and they are in place because of the difficulty of litigating over events that happened in the distant past, when evidence, records, and eyewitnesses will be much harder to obtain. If the statute of limitations has passed for your case, you cannot file your injury claim and it will be dismissed by the court.

In Colorado, the statute of limitations for non-automobile personal injury claims, such as skiing accidents, is 2 years from the date of the injury. It is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your skiing accident in order to avoid having your case dismissed on a technicality such as the statute of limitations.

Why Hire Zinda Law Group?

At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys have the experience and the drive to fight for the compensation you deserve. A skiing accident can be serious and frightening, turning a once-pleasant winter activity into a mess of injuries, medical treatment, lost wages, and sometimes even more serious consequences. Let Zinda Law Group pursue justice for you so you can focus on recovering.

You can talk to one of our attorneys for free with a case consultation at 888-939-3614 today. Zinda Law Group believes that everyone should have access to great quality legal representation, regardless of financial situation. That’s why ZLG operates on a contingency fee basis with a No-Win, No-Fee Guarantee. You will pay no money upfront, and you will only pay anything if you win your case.

Contact Zinda Law Group today.