Holding Ski Resorts Liable For Injuries
As a Southern California resident, you can enjoy the beauty of the beach one day and the thrill of the ski slopes the next. One of the many benefits of living here is being a short distance away from dozens of exciting ski resorts. With the promise of a chilly and extreme winter season, Southern Californians can enjoy the snow and the slopes for months to come.
Skiing and snowboarding can be fun and exciting, but it can also be dangerous. This danger is even greater when the ski resort fails to take reasonable precautions to protect its patrons from foreseeable harm.
Who Is Responsible for Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents?
Under California’s “assumption of risk” doctrine, suing a ski resort for the type of accidents in which skiers and snowboarders are ordinarily involved is difficult. This doctrine of “assumption of risk” is a type of defense available in most personal injury lawsuits. The alleged wrongdoer can use this defense when the accident victim knowingly and voluntarily assumed a risk of harm connected with the negligence of the wrongdoer.
For instance, when a snowboarder jumps an obstacle or makes an unsafe turn and falls, the courts have stated that he or she assumed the risk of falling. As such, the injured snowboarder cannot successfully raise the claim that the ski resort should have warned him or her of the potential to fall or directed him or her to take an easier slope. This argument will typically be rejected.
Similarly, skiers who collide with other skiers on the slope most likely will not be able to successfully claim that the ski resort allowed too many skiers on the slope or allowed skiers with too little experience to ski on the slope.
The Exception To Ski Resort Liability
Although it is generally difficult to hold ski resorts liable, an exception to the “assumption of risk” doctrine might be made if the resort violated a specific law or safety regulation that resulted in the accident. A ski resort may also be held liable if the ordinary risks were heightened as a result of the reckless or dangerous actions or inattention of the operators of the ski resort.
For instance, if there is not sufficient snow on a slope and the resort operator failed to either close the slope or warn skiers and snowboarders of the dangers of taking that path, the court might recognize an exception to the “assumption of risk” doctrine and hold the resort liable for the resulting injuries to its patrons.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has been injured in ski resort accident that was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of the resort operator or its staff, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas today at 888.848.5084.