Winter sports are wildly popular in Colorado — we love to ski, snowboard or even snow tube on mountains and slopes throughout the state. Unfortunately, some of these trips to the slopes may end up with you or someone you love being injured. At Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC, we’ve built a reputation for our understanding and experience with the unique dynamics of winter sport injuries and the laws governing ski, snowboard, and snow tube accidents. We know how to represent our clients who have suffered injuries on the snow and ice, including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis, regardless of the cause of the accident.
What can happen on the slopes can change your life forever
- Collisions: Many ski and snowboard accidents occur from collisions between other skiers or snowboarders. It’s important to follow up with at-fault skiers quickly, as many are from out-of-country or out-of-state and may be difficult to contact once they’ve left Colorado.
- Ski area negligence: Although Colorado law protects ski areas from many kinds of negligence claims, those claims apply only to the “inherent dangers” of skiing and not to actual negligence of the ski area in maintaining or caring for the facility — for example collisions on the slope with snowcats being operated by the ski area operator.
- Ski lift accidents: Many of these cases occur when loading or unloading passengers on the lift, but accidents have occurred from falls, brake failure, and derailment of cables.
However, any accident on the slopes is subject to an analysis of what is called a “threshold question”: whether the injury or death was related to a risk that the skier assumed. This risk depends on the facts of the accident as well as the rules, regulations and statutes that govern skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing in Colorado.
Ski and snowboard injury cases
Accidents on the slopes usually involve serious injuries — and many have also caused people to lose their lives. If you or someone you love has been injured due to ski area negligence or a collision, the damage suffered may cause medical expenses that rise into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for broken bones and internal injuries. There may be a need for expensive treatment and rehabilitation over an extended time period, as well as future medical expenses, loss of income, time away from work, and other damages. And if someone you love dies from the injuries, you’ve lost companionship and support. The ski accident lawyers at Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg have decades of experience in making sure that those who caused your injuries are held responsible. We know how to navigate the Colorado Ski Safety Act, the Tramway Act, and the waivers that many equipment shops and ski areas force you to sign.
Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC is ready to assist you and your loved ones after a snow sport injury. Our offices serve the needs of injured victims throughout the Front Range and Western Slope areas of Colorado. We are unwavering advocates for your legal rights. For personal injury cases, we work on contingency, which means we only get paid if we win.
The general answer is “No.” The Ski Safety Act (CRS §33-44-103(3.5)) sets forth a long laundry list of potential dangers that a skier may encounter while skiing and provides that “No skier may make any claim against or recover from any ski area operator for injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing.” There are, however, some exceptions for injuries which occur while on a ski lift or gondola, or caused by the negligent operation of the area. The Act also defines which skier has the right of way when there is a skier vs. skier collision. It is possible to bring a claim against a negligent skier who causes injury. If you have been injured while skiing, contact us for additional information. We have helped many injured skiers recover for their injuries.
This is a very often-asked question, especially in auto-collision cases. As tempting as it can be to opine as to value during the initial interview, it is virtually impossible to answer that question with any degree of accuracy. We can often express a range of value, if we have enough information regarding the nature and extent of a person’s injuries; the amount of medical expenses; the amount of income loss, etc.; however, a lot of time, effort, information gathering and analysis goes into calculating the value of a person’s claim. For instance, does the person have pre-existing conditions which may explain their complaints/restrictions in activities? Did the person suffer a concussion/closed head injury in the collision? Were there injuries which required surgery and which may have long term chronic consequences? Are there issues of who was at fault in causing the collision or questions regarding causation of injuries and damages? Are there insurance issues or health care reimbursement issues which will affect the net recovery? Are there first-party insurance coverage issues (such as Underinsured Motorist Coverage) which may increase the potential recovery? There are many other factors which affect the value of a personal injury claim. Contact us if you have questions. The initial interview is free. We work on a contingent, percentage fee basis, so there is no attorney fee unless we recover money for you. Beware of those who are quick to tell you what your case is worth.