Skiing Accident Claims

Skiing Accident Claims

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most dangerous winter sports you can undertake. When you go skiing or take part in winter sports abroad, you obviously accept that you’ll face some degree of risk. After all, accidents happen and sometimes through no fault of someone else.

The vast majority of tourists will enjoy an incident-free trip. But if you have been injured because of faulty ski equipment or as a result of someone’s negligence, you may wish to consider pursuing a civil skiing accident claim for compensation for your injuries and consequential losses.

Due to a combination of speed and inexperience on the slopes, skiing accidents are a common cause of holiday accident claims. Despite the obvious risk of injury that the sport carries, tour operators, ski centres, instructors, piste authorities and fellow skiers all have a responsibility to take precautions that will guard against accidents and keep everyone safe on the slopes. If this responsibility is breached and injuries occur, it may be possible to seek justice.

We have many years of experience dealing with skiing and snowboarding injury claims that have occurred on holiday, with the injuries ranging from a badly sprained ankle to fatal or life-changing injuries. During winter, we handle a much higher number of cases from holidaymakers who have either been injured themselves or caused an injury to others.

If you’ve suffered skiing or snowboarding injuries that were completely beyond your control, get in touch and one of our specialist solicitors will review the circumstances and advise you whether to pursue a claim.

What kind of ski accident could I claim for?

In the majority of skiing accident claims we deal with, the injuries sustained are broken bones, leg and arm fractures or concussion. But it is possible to suffer a serious head or spinal injury which can have life-changing consequences.

From a legal perspective, there two types of winter sports accidents:

Fault claims:

These are cases where the injured person accepts that they were responsible for the accident. Usually, these are resolved between the injured party and their travel insurance provider (although there are limited recoverable costs).

Non-fault claims:

When a third party is to blame for an injury or incident this is classed as a non-fault accident, where compensation for any personal injury and consequential losses may be claimed.

A non-fault skiing accident might be caused by:

  • An instructor who hasn’t provided proper training
  • Someone operating machinery unsafely
  • A ski lift operator
  • A tour operator
  • The piste authority
  • The ski centre
  • Faulty or inappropriate equipment

It is also possible to make a compensation claim for winter sports activities like snowboarding or less popular activities such as cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing.

How do you establish which party is liable?

To ensure everyone stays safe on the slopes, winter sports resorts usually ask users to abide by a code of conduct.

In Europe, the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) sets the rules. In the US, there is a similar code of conduct that’s enshrined in law in some states. However, it is the FIS rules which usually act as the starting point when trying to establish liability if a collision occurs between 2 people.

If someone sustains an injury in an avalanche, the ski resort or authorities could be liable – but this would depend on the available evidence and where the accident took place.

Tour operators, ski schools and instructors who take bookings for skiing or snowboarding trips can be legally obliged to protect you from injuries and accidents. If anyone is involved in an accident or injured while taking part, the organiser may be at fault for not protecting you sufficiently, for example by not undertaking adequate risk assessments.

In some circumstances, a claim can be made against an equipment manufacturer if it can be proven that its failure was responsible for the incident.

How will your skiing holiday compensation claim be assessed?

The compensation you are entitled to depends on the severity of your injuries and any consequential losses e.g. loss of earnings if you had to stay off work to recover. Having taken the physical and psychological impact of the incident into account, our specialist personal injury solicitors will consider if any rehabilitation or treatment costs need to be covered by the claim. If the injuries suffered were severe or life-changing, the costs of private care, case management and any possible adaptations to your home will also be considered.

Where will the claim be heard?

Skiing injury claims can be complicated and a number of factors need to be carefully considered.  Expert advice is required to determine where you can pursue your claim and who the claim should be brought against.

Here at Hudgell Solicitors, we are one of the few law firms in the UK which has the experience and ability to provide specialist advice regarding skiing accident claims that occur outside the UK.

We have an extensive international network of lawyers and experts should there be a need for specialist advice from an expert in another country.

Enlist our help and we will provide expert advice and an excellent level of client care so that you can focus on your recovery.

How long do I have to make a claim?

The time limits do vary from country to country so it’s important to start the skiing accident claims process as soon as possible. Under English law, most compensation claims must be made within three years of the incident.  However, English law may not apply to an accident that occurs abroad so you should take specialist advice at the earliest opportunity.

Make a skiing accident claim now!

If you’ve had a holiday ruined by a skiing accident or injury that was beyond your control, we could help you seek justice and compensation.

The laws on claims do change depending on the country where the incident happened. It can also be complex if there are many different parties involved, so it’s important to have a legal expert on your side. Our personal injury solicitors are vastly experienced and will make the entire skiing accident claims process as simple as possible.