Accidents Abroad

What to do if you are injured in a holiday skiing accident

skiing accident

Paul McClorry

Head of Travel Litigation & Serious Injury

5 min read time
31 Mar 2023

The chances are if you’ve been on a skiing holiday, you’ve experienced at least one tumble on the piste.

Although most people get back up, shake it off and leave with just their pride hurt, sometimes injuries as a result of a ski accident do happen – so what do you do if you’re hurt on the slopes?

It’s a stressful experience, but there are ways to make things a little easier, especially when it comes to ensuring you’re covered and not left out of pocket.

Paul McClorry, Head of Travel Litigation at Hudgell Solicitors’ accident and injury abroad team, shares some of his expert advice, from what actions you should take as soon as the injury occurs, to top tips on what to do when you get home.

Before you travel

Paul advises you really consider the travel insurance policy that you take out – make sure it includes winter sports. He suggests you not buy the cheapest or most basic policy by default, but check the policy is right for you and your holiday.

He warns: “Otherwise, you may find you’re only covered up to a certain amount or not covered at all in some circumstances.

“Remember that in most cases, travel insurance will only cover associated medical costs as well as lost luggage and flight delays, not compensation for pain or suffering, or loss of earnings.”

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As soon as the injury occurs

Seek medical care immediately

Paul says broken legs are the most frequent injuries he sees when dealing with ski and snowboard accident claims, but other potential injuries range from head injuries to dislocated arms.

It’s important to get medical assistance immediately – pistes often have a number for the resort’s emergency service on signs. Call it and they will be able to help you off the piste, not to mention they will know the nearest hospital.

Don’t stress about the cost

Don’t worry unduly about the cost. If you’ve taken out suitable travel insurance or have a valid EHIC or GHIC, you are likely to be covered for most immediate costs.

Gather evidence

This isn’t always possible if you’re injured on the slopes, but try and gather as much evidence as possible, or enlist the help of someone you know.

Paul suggests noting down names and contact details of witnesses or taking pictures of the accident site and your injuries, it could come in handy further down the line.

He adds: “If possible, write up what happened to cause your injury in as much detail as you can, and include details like snow conditions, visibility, markings, signs and location. Remember to keep records of when you visited a doctor, clinic or hospital, and keep hold of any receipt for accident-related expenses.”

Report the incident

If you’re on a package holiday, report your accident to the holiday organiser or resort rep.

You should also contact your travel insurance provider at the earliest possible point, as Paul notes “they will advise about your medical and legal situation”.

If you are reporting the accident to local police, Paul warns: “It’s important to never admit liability or engage in any correspondence without the advice of a qualified solicitor or lawyer that specialises in this area of law.”

When you get back home

Sometimes it’s a quick recovery, but sometimes you don’t realise the full impact of your injury until you’re home and living with it.

You could choose to seek legal advice if you think you might be entitled to make a holiday injury claim in circumstances such as being unable to work and facing potential loss of earnings, or if the expenses that occur if you need rehabilitation.

Paul explains: “If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, such as another skier, a hidden obstruction, unsafe teaching techniques or faulty equipment, then you could be eligible for compensation.”

Skiing Accident Compensation Claims

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.

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 holiday accident claim for compensation for your injuries and consequential losses.

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.

Read more: Ski Accident Compensation Claims


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What to do if you are injured in a holiday skiing accident

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