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As exhilarating as skiing or snowboarding can be, they pose serious risks for injury. These sports may result in a variety of common injuries, or less common but more severe injuries that can be life-threatening or even fatal in some cases.
If you or a loved one has been injured while skiing or snowboarding, you should contact an experienced ski injury attorney from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
SKI INJURY STATISTICS
Skiing and snowboarding can be a fun and exciting activity for people of all ages. Unfortunately, it can be dangerous in some cases. 42 fatalities occurred as the result of skiing accidents between 2019 and 2020. This was the highest number of ski-related fatalities since 2012. Eighty-three percent of fatalities occurred among males. Further, beyond the risk of a fatal accident, 29 catastrophic skiing injuries occurred between 2019 and 2020. The number of catastrophic injuries has gradually decreased since 2012.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SKI INJURIES?
Like most sports, there are many risks associated with skiing. It is important to be adequately prepared and take proper precautions when skiing or snowboarding. Skiing injuries can result in severe injuries including paralysis, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), neck and spinal injuries, bone fractures, and even death.
Knee injuries, particularly sprains, are the most common skiing injuries. They typically occur when a skier overexerts his or her knee joints, resulting in a sprain. Twisting the wrong way, falling or some other harmful impact, or bearing excessive weight on the knees can also result in an injury. Some preventative methods such as wrapping the knees or wearing knee braces can significantly reduce the likelihood of sustaining a severe knee injury when skiing.
Ankle and Foot Injuries
Ankle and foot injuries commonly occur when a skier falls. If he or she falls while the skis are still bound to the feet, excessive pressure may be placed on the bones of the feet and ankles. Ankle joints are particularly vulnerable in skiing accidents. A skiing accident can often result in a sprain or fracture. It is important that skiers wear supportive ankle and foot gear to reduce the risk of injury if a skiing accident does occur.
Fractured legs are a common result of skiing accidents. Wearing skis automatically places extra pressure on a skier’s legs. Collisions, falls, or other skiing accidents frequently result in leg fractures by placing excessive strain on the legs or causing them to bend in unnatural ways. It is important that skiers make sure their gear fits properly to minimize additional strain on the legs and reduce the risk of a leg fracture if a skiing accident occurs.
When a skiing accident occurs, shoulder dislocation or impingement are common injuries. When a skier falls and his or her body weight is placed improperly on the shoulder, it could cause the upper bone of the arm to pop out of the socket that extends from the shoulder blade, which is referred to as a dislocation. Meanwhile, shoulder impingement syndrome is inflammation in the shoulder caused by repeated rubbing and pinching of the rotator cuff tendons between the upper arm bone called the humerus and the top of the shoulder called the acromion. This inflammation can cause a considerable amount of pain and discomfort for the skier. Shoulder impingement syndrome in skiers is typically caused by repetitive arm motions when using ski poles.
Wrist fractures are also among the most common ski injuries. Wrist fractures typically occur when a skier falls and attempts to catch himself or herself by landing on the hands. The skier’s body weight combined with the weight of any skiing gear he or she is wearing causes a harmful impact to the wrist, often resulting in a fracture. Wearing protective gear such as wrist braces can reduce the risk of a wrist injury if a fall or other type of skiing accident occurs.
Ski accidents can result in mild to severe head injuries. Concussions, skull fractures, internal bleeding of the brain, and other traumatic brain injuries can result from skiing collisions. Wearing protective head gear, particularly a helmet when skiing can reduce the risk of a head injury if a ski accident occurs.
Neck and Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries are less common than other types of injuries sustained in skiing accidents, but these injuries are among the most severe that skiers may face. Spinal injuries typically occur as a result of a collision with a solid object such as a tree or a large rock. Falls can also result in spinal injuries. An injury to the spinal column has an associated risk of paralysis including paraplegia and quadriplegia.
Hand injuries tend to be less severe than some other injuries sustained in skiing accidents. Hand and finger fractures can occur as a result of falling and are typically treated by splinting. “Skiers thumb” is also a common hand injury. This occurs when a skier falls while the ski pole strap is still attached to his or her hand, causing a tear in a thumb ligament. This type of injury can make it difficult to grasp objects. It is typically treated by splinting.
Read More: How Common are Ski Injuries?
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A SKI ACCIDENT
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you were involved in a skiing accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, so you should seek emergency medical treatment to determine the extent of your injuries and diagnose any internal injuries that may have occurred. You may have sustained a bone fracture, sprain, concussion, or another serious injury.
2. Gather Documentation
Immediately after seeking medical treatment for your injuries, you should gather any documentation you can from your accident including any medical records from having your injuries treated. You should also gather photos, videos, eyewitness statements, and receipts or invoices from medical expenses or property damages. This documentation may help your attorney assist you in seeking the maximum amount of compensation.
3. Contact An Experienced Ski Injury Lawyer
If you suffered one of these common ski injuries, you should contact an experienced ski accident attorney. Your lawyer may be able to help you determine who may be liable for your injuries. Your attorney may also be able to help you navigate the complicated field of ski injury liability.
DO I NEED A SKI ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYER?
If you were injured in a ski accident, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced ski accident attorney to handle your personal injury claim. Each personal injury claim is unique and determining liability can be challenging. Your attorney may be able to help you sort through the details of your case and seek any compensation you may be entitled to depending on the nature of your accident and the severity of your injuries.
Skiing Collision Accidents
Collisions between two skiers or between a skier and a large, solid object such as a tree or a rock are the most common type of skiing accident. Injuries sustained in these accidents can range from minor to severe. The extent of the victim’s injuries makes each case unique. Skiing collisions commonly result in bone fractures or sprains. Cranial injuries are also common. While spinal injuries are less common, they tend to have some of the most severe effects such as paralysis. Severe skiing injuries often require extensive treatment and physical therapy or rehabilitation afterward. Also, insurance coverage for skiing accidents tends to be more complex than other types of insurance such as auto insurance. For skiers who own homes, homeowner’s insurance may include coverage for any ski accidents. For minors or young adults who are covered by their parents’ or guardians’ insurance, receiving coverage may be more challenging. The nature of the accident and the extent of the injuries sustained may also affect insurance coverage. Your ski accident attorney may be able to help you negotiate with insurance companies to receive compensation for your accident.
Accidents Involving Ski Lifts
Ski lifts, or gondolas, are generally safe machines. However, if a mechanical error occurs, the resulting injuries can be severe. When ski lift accidents occur while skiers are riding, they are typically the result of an error in the mechanical design or a failure to properly maintain the equipment by the operator of the ski area. Most ski lift accidents occur when skiers are either getting on or getting off of the ski lift and are the result of an error by the skier or by the person operating the ski lift.
Ski Resort Negligence
The majority of states provide that skiers assume the inherent risks associated with skiing. This protects ski resorts from being sued for injuries sustained by skiers that resulted from any inherent risk such as falling. However, claims can be filed against operators of ski resorts for injuries that did not result from an inherent risk. Resorts may be held liable for a skier’s injuries for negligent behaviors such as failing to properly maintain ski area grounds or equipment, storing heavy machinery in an unsafe area, colliding with a skier while moving heavy equipment, failing to properly design or maintain ski trails, and improperly operating ski ground maintenance machinery or vehicles. Proving that a ski resort is liable for injuries you sustained in a ski accident can be especially challenging. Your attorney may be able to help you determine liability for your injuries and seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
Read More: The Colorado Ski Safety Act of 1979
CONSULT THE SKI ACCIDENT INJURY ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our lawyers may be able to help you if you or your loved one have been injured in a skiing or snowboarding accident. Our experienced ski accident injury attorneys have years of experience helping our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after being injured in a skiing accident.
We believe victims should not worry about affording legal representation to help them seek compensation for their injuries, so we work on a contingency fee basis. Our clients do not pay anything unless we win their case. Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.