Determining Responsibility for Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents in NJ

March 20, 2023
by We can Help Law

Ski and Snowboarding Injury Lawyers in Monmouth County, NJ

New Jersey has some great spots for skiing and snowboarding.  Many people enjoy the thrill of cruising down a mountainside, but as with all electrifying experiences, injury is dangerous.  Sometimes, injuries are an accident, and no one is at fault, but on other occasions, an injury can happen due to someone’s negligence.

How Snowboarding and Skiing Accidents Often Happen in New Jersey

Determining Responsibility for Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents in NJ

The causes of these accidents can vary, but here are the most common ones. Inexperienced or reckless snowboarders can put themselves and others at risk by not following safety guidelines and taking unnecessary risks.  Riding on unfamiliar terrain can increase the risk of accidents as riders may need to be made aware of potential hazards such as rocks, cliffs, and trees.  Weather conditions such as heavy snow, strong winds, and low visibility can increase the risk of accidents. Malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment can cause accidents, such as bindings that fail to release or a board that breaks. Collisions with other riders or objects, such as trees, rocks, and fences, can cause serious injuries or even death. Snowboarding can be physically demanding, and fatigue can cause riders to lose focus and increase the risk of accidents. Alcohol and drug use can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents. Staying hydrated and keeping to the marked trails are also important.

How People are Injured in Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents

Skiing and snowboarding accidents can result in injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries. Sadly, but infrequently, some accidents have caused death. Fractures, or broken bones, are common injuries in skiing and snowboarding accidents. The most common fractures are in the arms, wrists, and legs. Some fractures lead to surgery or an infection. Skiing and snowboarding can stress the joints and muscles, leading to sprains and strains. These injuries can occur in the ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders.

Head injuries, including concussions, are a severe risk in skiing and snowboarding accidents. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries but may not eliminate the possibility of a head injury, depending on the accident. Falls and collisions can result in spinal cord injuries, which can be life-changing. These injuries can cause paralysis or loss of sensation in parts of the body.

Cold temperatures can lead to hypothermia and frostbite, which can be severe and even life-threatening. Frostbite can lead to the loss of extremities such as fingers, toes, ears, and nose. Collisions with other skiers or objects can cause facial injuries, including cuts, fractures, and damage to internal organs such as the spleen, liver, and kidneys.

Recommended Steps Following a Skiing or Snowboarding Accident

Who Is at Fault in Skiing or Snowboarding Accidents in New Jersey

If you or someone else has been injured, seek medical attention immediately. Call for emergency services if necessary or go to the nearest hospital or medical facility. Report the accident to the ski patrol or resort staff, who will document the incident and provide any necessary assistance. Gather information about the accident, such as the names and contact information of any witnesses or people involved. Take photos of the accident scene, including any hazardous conditions or obstacles that may have contributed to the accident. Follow up with medical professionals to ensure proper treatment and follow any instructions provided. Notify your insurance company of the accident, give any necessary information for claims processing, and consult with an attorney if you have questions or concerns about your legal rights and options.

Remember to prioritize your health and safety after a skiing or snowboarding accident. Seek medical attention promptly and follow all instructions provided by medical professionals to ensure the best possible outcome.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Accidents While Skiing or Snowboarding

To stay safe and avoid skiing or snowboarding accidents, you can do several things. Be honest about your ability level and stay within your limits. Only attempt rugged terrain or maneuvers with which you are comfortable. Make sure your equipment is fitted correctly and in good condition. Use a helmet to protect your head, and wear appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry. Check the weather conditions and be aware of any warnings or advisories. Avoid skiing or snowboarding during storms or low visibility.  Follow the rules and regulations of the resort or mountain. Obey posted signs and stay on designated trails.

Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of other skiers and snowboarders around you. Look ahead for any hazards or obstacles. It is essential snowboarders must stay within their skill level and be aware of their surroundings. Do not use headphones or air pods, as they prevent you from hearing what is happening in the environment around you. You should also ensure their equipment is properly maintained and adjusted and wear appropriate protective gear. Take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue, and consider taking lessons to improve your skill set.

How to Identify who is Responsible for a Skiing or Snowboarding Accident

In a skiing or snowboarding accident, fault can be attributed to various parties depending on the circumstances of the incident. A skier or snowboarder can be at fault if they are skiing or snowboarding recklessly or negligently, causing injury to themselves or others. Skiing, snowboarding too fast, being close to others, or performing “tricks” can cause an accident.

Negligence by Ski Resorts and Mountain Operators

The ski resort or mountain operator can be at fault if they fail to maintain their facilities or adequately warn skiers and snowboarders of potential hazards, resulting in an accident. The ski resort must keep its premises reasonably safe. If the resort fails to do so and this failure results in an accident, the resort may be held liable for any injuries sustained. For example, if a ski lift malfunctions due to poor maintenance and a skier falls and is injured; as a result, the resort may be liable.

If the ski resort instructs or supervises skiers and fails to do so safely and responsibly, the resort may be liable for any resulting injuries. For example, suppose a ski instructor fails to teach a beginner skier how to brake correctly, and the skier crashes into a tree. In that case, the resort may be liable for any injuries sustained.

If the ski resort rents or sells defective equipment to skiers and this equipment causes an accident, the resort may be liable for any resulting injuries. For example, if a ski binding fails to release appropriately and causes a skier to fall and be injured, the resort may be liable.

The ski resort must warn skiers of any known dangers that may not be obvious to the skier. If the resort fails to do so, resulting in an accident, the resort may be liable. For example, the resort may be liable if a ski run has a hidden drop-off that must be marked or warned about and a skier falls off the drop-off and is injured.

Ski and Snowboard Accidents Caused by Defective Equipment

Sometimes it is the manufacturer of the ski and snowboard equipment that is to blame. If a ski or snowboard has a defect in its design or manufacturing, it may be prone to failure or malfunction, leading to an accident. For example, if a ski has a weak spot in its construction that causes it to break when put under regular use, and this failure leads to an accident, the manufacturer may be held responsible.

Ski and snowboard manufacturers must warn users of any known risks associated with their products. If the manufacturer fails to do so and this failure leads to an accident, they may be held responsible. For example, if a snowboard manufacturer fails to warn users of the risk of injury associated with performing a particular trick, and a rider is injured while attempting that trick, the manufacturer may be held responsible.

Personal Injury Lawyers Seeking Compensation for Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents in Monmouth County, NJ

Ski and snowboard manufacturers are responsible for accurately representing the capabilities and limitations of their products. If a manufacturer makes false or misleading claims about a product’s performance or suitability for a particular use, which leads to an accident, the manufacturer may be held responsible. For example, suppose a ski manufacturer claims a specific ski is suitable for expert skiers but is prone to failure at high speeds. An expert skier is injured while using that ski. In that case, the manufacturer may be held responsible.

Consult New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Accident Attorneys with Offices in Asbury Park

When embarking on a personal injury case, you must feel confident that your attorney will do everything possible to obtain the best settlement possible.  You need an attorney who negotiates effectively, litigates aggressively, and communicates with you constantly.

Our attorneys are seasoned personal injury lawyers with the knowledge and experience to take your case to the finish line in Eatontown, Tinton Falls, Rumson, Toms River, and elsewhere in Ocean and Monmouth County.  We understand how stressful and worrisome it is to be injured and unable to live normally, and we want to help get you back to your regular activities.

Call our Asbury Park office for a free consultation at (732) 303-7857 or contact us online.  There is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, so it is vital that we start reviewing your options to sue as soon as possible.