Phoenix Ski & Snowboard Accident Lawyers

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Skiing and snowboarding are exhilarating sports, often enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to professional athletes competing in the Olympics. However, injuries can happen to anyone on the slopes, especially if they, or other skiers or snowboarders, are failing to take proper care. Some skiing accidents can be particularly devastating, such as avalanche injuries or when a victim fell and suffered severe head or spinal cord injuries. Our Phoenix ski and snowboard accident lawyers are here to help.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a ski accident or snowboard accident in Phoenix, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Phoenix ski accident lawyers who can help you determine the best steps to take following your accident. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.

Common causes of ski & Snowboard accidents

Ski and snowboard accidents are unique due to the environment in which they occur and the nature of the sports. While skiing is a recreational activity for many, it presents a variety of risks and hazards. There are several factors that may contribute to a skiing or snowboarding accident in Arizona, including:

  • Ski lift malfunction
  • Improper maintenance of equipment
  • Malfunction of other ski equipment
  • Colliding with another skier
  • Colliding with another snowboarder
  • Colliding with obstacles on the ski slopes such as a sign, tree, or fence
  • Improper training from a ski or snowboard instructor

If you or a loved one were injured in a ski or snowboard accident, you should hire an experienced ski accident attorney to handle your case. Your lawyer may be able to help determine who is liable for your injuries and help you seek any compensation you may be entitled to.

Common injuries from skiing or snowboarding

While skiing and snowboarding are fun activities enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, these sports do pose many dangers of injury, especially if a skier or snowboarder fails to take proper care. According to a Johns Hopkins study, about 600,000 injuries are reported every year related to skiing or snowboarding across the United States. Meanwhile, serious knee injuries, such as torn ACLs, continue to be one of the most common skier injuries, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Other types of injuries commonly suffered in skiing or snowboarding accidents include:

  • Broken or fractured legs
  • Broken, fractured, or sprained feet or ankles
  • Wrist fractures or sprains
  • Dislocated shoulders
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome caused by shoulder inflammation
  • Hand or finger fractures
  • Head injuries such as concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Neck injuries

Read More: Ski & Snowboard Accident Lawyers

Who may be liable for a skiing or snowboarding accident?

Depending on the specific and unique facts and circumstances of your accident, multiple parties could be potentially liable for your injuries and damages, including:

Other Skiers

When determining liability for skier injuries suffered in a collision with another skier, the other skier may be liable if he or she was negligent or reckless. Arizona law requires skiers to “maintain a proper lookout” so that the skier can avoid collisions with other skiers as well as objects. In many cases, the uphill skier may be liable for an accident for failing to avoid or yield to any skier below. However, if the skier below breached his or her duties pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) §5-705, such as by beginning to ski from a stationary position or entering a ski slope or trail from the side, the below skier may be liable for any resulting collision.

Ski Resort

Pursuing an injury claim against a ski resort can be particularly difficult, especially without the help of a skilled skiing and snowboarding accident injury attorney. First, if a ski area operator is able to prove the skier signed a valid waiver releasing the ski resort from liability, A.R.S. § 5-706 provides that the ski resort’s liability will then generally be determined by the terms of that release. However, a ski area operator may still be liable in some cases, despite a valid release.

For example, if the ski resort breached its duties to post passenger information signs or ski information signs required by A.R.S. §§ 5-702-5-703, or if the ski area operator failed to post a conspicuous notice notifying skiers about the presence of maintenance equipment as required by A.R.S. § 5-704, then the ski resort may be liable for breaching its duties to skiers as required under Arizona law. In the case of a ski lift accident, the ski area operator is required to post various signs and information pursuant to A.R.S. § 5-702, and the failure to post required signs could lead to the ski resort being liable for accidents such signs are intended to prevent. Arizona law assumes, however, that all passengers or skiers saw and understood any such signs if they were posted and maintained as required under A.R.S. § 5-702. Regardless of the nature of the accident, A.R.S. § 5-704 specifically provides that a ski area operator “has no duties” to any skier who skis beyond the designated boundaries of the ski area.

Manufacturers

Some skiing or snowboarding accidents may have been caused by defects in the skis or snowboards, while a ski lift accident may have been caused by a defective chair or other equipment. If you suffered injuries caused by a defective product, the manufacturer of that defective product may be held liable in addition to the distributor or retailer who marketed or sold the product.

If you have been injured in a ski or snowboard accident, you should contact one of the experienced Phoenix ski accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group as soon as possible so that your lawyer can review the specific facts and circumstances of your accident to help you determine whether another skier, the ski resort, or any other party may be liable for your injuries.

Proving fault after a skiing or snowboarding accident

While you may not be able to file a claim after every ski or snowboard accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can review the facts and nature of your accident to help you determine your legal options and whether you may be entitled to any compensation. Your lawyer will first look to determine if there is any evidence another  party may have acted negligently or recklessly, or if they may have violated any applicable Arizona law. If you signed a liability waiver or release with the resort, your attorney will thoroughly review the document to determine if it is valid under Arizona law and determine how it impacts your legal rights and the resort’s potential liability.

Importantly, your injury attorney may also begin by looking to see if the other skier may have violated any guidelines of the Skier Responsibility Code posted throughout most ski areas. This code was created by the National Ski Areas Association to promote safer skiing practices and reduce accidents and injuries. The seven guidelines emphasized in this code are:

1. People ahead of the skier have the right of way.

2. Skiers should look uphill and yield to any traffic above them and proceed only when clear and safe to do so when skiers are starting downhill or merging.

3. Skiers should only stop in a safe place to the side of the trail where they are visible from above.

4. Skiers should observe all warnings and signs while staying off any closed trails.

5. Skiers should stay in control at all times and be sure they are able to turn, move, or stop as necessary to adjust to the conditions, including other skiers or objects in their path.

6. Skiers should use appropriate devices to prevent any runaway equipment, such as brakes on the binding of their skis, or a leash attached to snowboarders’ feet.

7. Skiers should also know how to load, ride, and unload safely off all lifts.

A personal injury lawyer can use evidence the other skier violated any of these guidelines  to prove causation Depending on the nature of your accident, potential liable parties, and availability of evidence to support your claim, the experienced Phoenix ski accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group may reconstruct your accident. This accident reconstruction can help your attorney indicate the relative speeds and angles of each skier’s path to support your claims.

Seeking the compensation you may be entitled to after a ski or snowboard accident in Arizona can be difficult, especially without the help of an attorney, but the knowledgeable team at Zinda Law Group can help you pursue maximum compensation by using their years of experience helping other injury victims.

How can I avoid injuries while skiing or snowboarding?

While skiing or snowboarding can be thrilling,danger exists for skiers of any skill level. The financial cost of injuries suffered on the slope, in addition to the physical and emotional costs, can often be expensive. Many injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can be especially burdensome, as these catastrophic injuries can leave victims permanently disabled. Indeed, one of the most high-profile skiing injuries in recent years occurred in 2013 when seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher suffered a nearly fatal TBI while skiing. Even though he was an experienced skier, Schumacher fell and violently hit his head against a rock, leaving him with a severe traumatic brain injury despite his helmet use. This tragedy nearly claimed Schumacher’s life and has left him largely paralyzed and disabled. The Michael Schumacher ski accident brought renewed attention across the world to the danger of TBIs and other life-changing or life-threatening skiing or snowboarding accidents.

Helpful tips that may help you take preventative steps to avoid injuries while on the slopes include:

1. Never Ski or Snowboard By Yourself

You should never ski or snowboard alone. Regardless of whether you plan to stay on the “bunny” slopes or whether you are trying more advanced slopes, you should never do so alone in case of an accident. If you are skiing alone and are injured, you could be at serious risk of hypothermia or death before rescuers are able to locate you. Finally, be sure to let someone who is not participating know about your plans in case both you and any companions are injured, such as in an avalanche.

2. Know Your Limits

It is important for skiers to acknowledge their limits and to not push themselves to try more dangerous slopes before they are ready. Pushing yourself beyond your skill level, regardless of the reason, puts you and others on the slope in danger.

3. Warm Up First

Like other athletic activities, you should always warm up first before skiing or snowboarding. It is important to loosen up your muscles before you hit the slopes, as the cold weather will make your muscles get tighter, which will make you more vulnerable to injuries.

4. Always Wear Proper Protective Equipment

Wearing appropriate protective equipment while skiing or snowboarding can mean the difference between life and death in many cases. Indeed, according to a study performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins, the most important piece of safety equipment you can wear is a helmet, while most victims who suffer head injuries were not wearing helmets. For maximum protection, your helmet should be specifically designed for protecting you on the slopes. By wearing a helmet and other safety equipment, you can reduce the risk of suffering head injuries, severe TBIs, and other serious injuries.

5. Use Proper Techniques

If you are a beginner to skiing or snowboarding, you should take lessons before hitting the slopesso that you can learn the basics before putting yourself and others at risk on the slope. Instructors can teach you how to:

  • Avoid potential collisions
  • Be mindful of your surroundings on a slope
  • Safely encounter or overtake others on the slopes
  • Stop on a slope
  • Restart your descent

6. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is always dangerous to your body, and any time you are exerting yourself physically, you should remember to stay hydrated because your body will need more water in these situations. Remember, dehydrationcan lead to painful muscle cramps and other conditions.

7. Stay Aware of Surroundings

You should always remain aware of your surroundings at all times on the slope, including by being mindful of nearby skiers, as well as looking for potential hazards such as fallen trees, patches of ice, rocks, or other hazards. Finally, you should always stay on marked trails and follow any posted signs and warnings.

Contact our experienced phoenix ski and snowboard accident lawyers today

Skiing accidents often have serious consequences. If the victim suffered severe head or spinal injuries, they could become permanently paralyzed. This aftermath and the complicated nature of pursuing compensation may lead you ask, “How do I find an experienced injury lawyer near me?”

If you or your loved one have been involved in a skiing or snowboarding accident in Phoenix, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Phoenix injury attorney to discuss whether another skier, the resort, or another party may be liable for your injuries. In many cases, hiring a skilled attorney will help you level the playing field against the resort and their team of lawyers.

Call (800) 863-5312 as soon as possible for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer who can handle your injury claim for you. You will not pay anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

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