The Winter Blues: What Can A Victim Do After An Accident At A Ski Resort?

riders on a ski lift at a resortWhile some people prefer the hot days of summer, others can’t wait for winter to come so that they can finally get back to doing what they love – skiing and snowboarding. Surprisingly, New York is home to the most ski area’s of any state, with a total of 43 areas, and every year millions flock to these areas for a winter vacation. Lake Placid has even hosted the Winter Olympics.

Nearly everyone who chooses to participate in these winter sports understands that they may fall while on the slope and become injured, but what they aren’t usually aware of or prepared for are the other kinds of accidents – the kind caused by another party’s negligence.

Lawsuits Filed Against Ski Resorts May Be Possible

While skiers and snowboarders do accept that there are inherent risks to participating in these sports, there are accidents that occur that are caused by another’s negligence.

Negligence, under the law, occurs when one party owns a duty to another one, meaning that it is their responsibility to act in a manner which will keep those around them safe. For example, the owner and managers of a ski resort are responsible for regularly checking their chair lifts for defects or maintenance issues so that visitors are safe while using it. If they fail to detect a safety issue in a reasonable amount of time, they have been negligent and may be held legally responsible for any injuries that a visitor sustains.

The most common ski resort accidents involve:

  • chair lifts
  • broken or inadequate ramps
  • poorly marked trails
  • another skier or snowboarder who was behaving in a reckless manner

It’s not always the ski resort that has been negligent. In some cases, the manufacturer of a defective part or another skier or snowboarder may be held responsible.

What Can A Ski Accident Lawsuit Provide A Plaintiff With?

Ski resort lawsuits are a form of personal injury lawsuit. The purpose of filing this type of lawsuit it to give the plaintiff the opportunity to recover full compensation for any losses they may have sustained due to another party’s negligence. This compensation may cover:

Medical Expenses

Even with health insurance, the cost of medical care can easily put a ski accident victim in thousands of dollars in debt. Treatments like surgery, x-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, and physical therapy are not inexpensive but without them, the patient may never be able to enjoy life they way that the did prior to the accident.

Lost Wages

Two of the most common injuries sustained at a ski resort include traumatic brain injury and spinal damage. Both of visitors at a ski resortthese are incredibly serious, sometimes even life-threatening, and can leave a patient forever changed. These injuries may cause permanent paralysis, changes to memory, speech, personality, and behavior, ending a career in a matter of moments.

Physical Pain & Suffering

Some injuries leave the patient with extensive scarring or disfigurement, or chronic pain that will impact them for the rest of their lives. While this is a non-monetary loss, it is one that compensation can be given for.

Emotional Trauma

Many victims of an accident are left with anxiety, depression, and even PTSD after, which can be just as debilitating as a physical injury and requires treatment.

The actual amount obtained through either a settlement or successful verdict will vary from cases to cases since no two clients have the exact same losses.

How Quickly Must A Lawsuit Be Filed?

The sooner the better. In every case, depending on the circumstances, there is a statute of limitations, which is a time frame during which a lawsuit must be pursued. If this time passes, the plaintiff may lose any chance of recovering compensation. To learn more about the statute of limitations for your case, contact our office today.

Is It Better To Settle Or Go To Court?

The answer to this question is different for every client. In some cases, a settlement offer is never an option because the defendant doesn’t make one or the two parties can’t come to an agreement despite careful negotiation. For others, knowing that they will be obtaining a set amount in a timely manner is better.

Neither decision is wrong and an experienced attorney can help you determine what option is best for you and your loved ones.

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