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SALT LAKE CITY, UT, January 10, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Utah's ski resorts see over four-million skier visits annually. When that many people are trying to share the crowded and sometimes chaotic slopes, it is not surprising to see many of them injured in collisions with other skiers or snowboarders. Many of us believe (mistakenly) that we "assume all risks" on the slopes. However, when someone is hurt as a result of another's negligence, the law frequently allows the injured party to recover money damages. In fact, on-slope collisions are the most common type of injury accidents for which the at-fault party (and their homeowner's insurance company) may be held liable.
The Utah Supreme Court has stated that skiers "have a duty to other skiers to ski reasonably and within control" and that one who breaches this duty may be held liable for his or her negligence. Just like drivers must follow the "rules of the road" and will be held accountable for violating those rules, skiers and snowboarders must follow a set of safety rules known as The Skier Responsibility Code:
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings.
- Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
Those who violate these rules and cause collisions can be held liable for the resulting injuries and damages.
Additionally, many municipalities have recently passed ski-safety laws, such as the following Wasatch County ordinance: "No person shall ski or snowboard in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person, or so as to display a willful or wanton disregard for other persons or property. The primary duty shall be on the Skier or Snowboarder to avoid collision with any person or object below him." A violation of this or similar ski-safety laws may not only lead to liability for personal injuries, but may lead to criminal charges as well.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a Utah skiing or snowboarding collision accident, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Pursuing a claim for ski or snowboard injury damages requires the knowledge and skill of an experienced attorney. The Utah Inherent Risks of Skiing Act may place certain limitations on your ability to recover and you need to know the intricacies of that law and others. To speak with an experienced and aggressive Utah ski and snowboard injury accident attorney, call the Law Office of David S. Kottler at 1.888.8.SKI.LAW (754.529), for a free consultation. Let's keep our slopes safe!
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