Skiing & Snowboarding Accident Lawyers
British Columbia is home to 38 different mountain resorts for skiing and snowboarding and other winter sports. Unfortunately, these winter activities can be as dangerous as they are enjoyable and significant injuries can result from accidents on the ski hill.
While there is no legislation that lays out the responsibilities of skiers, snowboarders and others on the mountains, there is a general rule is that people ahead of you on a ski trail have the right of way and it is your responsibility to avoid them. If someone hits you from behind and injures you or loses control of their equipment and that injures you, they are more than likely at fault for the accident. The alpine code of conduct has been generally adopted by ski hills across western Canada as the appropriate and basic code of conduct for skiers and snowboarders to avoid creating dangerous situations for themselves and others.
Examples of the negligence that can lead to skiing or snowboarding injuries are:
- losing control over yourself or your equipment
- Stopping for no reason without warning to those behind you
- Leaving your equipment on a ski run unattended
- Hitting someone ahead of you when they were there to be seen
- Not yielding to a skier or snowboarder who has the right of way
However, just because someone is injured, does not necessarily mean you have a claim against them. In order to have a claim you need to show that one party’s negligence or carelessness lead to the injuries.
Mountain Negligence & Waivers
Sometimes it is the negligence of the mountain resort or their employees which leads to injury. Many examples of mountain negligence would be the sort of negligence you’d find in a standard occupier’s liability claim. Added to this, mountains are vicariously liable for their employees for any negligence creating harm. So if someone employed by a mountain negligently injures you, the mountain’s insurance policy could potentially be responsible for any damages.
Unfortunately, most of the times these mountains have waivers in place that act as complete protection from any claim in negligence. Such waivers not only cover the inherent dangers that come with winter sports like skiing and snowboarding but even the gross negligence of the mountain, their employees and often contractors.
That being said waivers are not an absolute shield. The waiver must be clear and unambiguous and have language that covers the manner in which you are injured. It also must be brought to your attention prior to you purchasing your ticket and effectively entering into a contract with the mountain.
Homeowners Insurance Responds
If a the negligence of a patron on a ski hill results in injuries to you, you will have a claim against them. Often homeowners insurance, or rental insurance have umbrella policies which will cover the damages from skiing and snowboarding accidents, but you usually have to start a lawsuit against the ski hill in order to get all the information you need to pursue your claim.
The lawyer’s at Taylor & Blair LLP are capable of dealing with claims involving any ski hill, however we have significant experience with claims involving the mountains closest to the lower mainland, notably:
If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence while skiing or snowboarding, contact the lawyers at Taylor & Blair LLP today as there are time limits which apply to your claim.
What Compensation Is Available For Skiing/Snowboarding Accidents?
Because the facts and circumstances surrounding each case are different, each case is unique and requires careful handling and expert examination. As some of the most experienced personal injury lawyers in Vancouver, we have over 30 years of experience handling all kinds of injuries ranging from minor whiplash cases to serious brain injuries. What each case is worth and what compensation you’re entitled to depends on the specific facts of the case. However, generally speaking in personal injury claims you can seek compensation (also called damages) for:
- Pain and suffering (or non-pecuniary damages)
- Past loss of Income
- Future loss of income
- Loss of capacity to earn income
- Loss of homemaking capacity
- Cost of future care
- Out of pocket medical expenses (or special damages)
- In-trust claims