Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson

Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents

Many Maine residents look forward to winter because they enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Maine has many great places to ski and ride, and people come from all over the Northeast and around the world to enjoy the slopes at the state’s numerous ski areas. Since skiing and snowboarding are sports, they are activities which involve some risks. Most people who ski and snowboard are well aware of the risks that are inherent in the winter sports they enjoy, and they take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and others from those risks.

There are other dangers which are present at ski and snowboard facilities which skiers and riders do not anticipate. These are dangers which are caused by the negligent actions of the individuals and companies which operate ski and snowboard areas. When an injury happens at a ski area, it is important to understand how the type of danger which caused it relates to whether or not the injured party will be able to recover for damages.

Skiers and Riders Assume Inherent Risks

The ski industry in Maine is a major player in the state’s economy. In Maine, as in other states where skiing and riding are important to the local economies, ski areas receive favorable treatment under the law. If you have been to a ski area, you have probably seen the warning signs which indicate that skiers and riders accept the risks which are inherent in those activities. In case you have ever wondered what the inherent risks of skiing and snowboarding are, they are numerous, and include things like changing trail and weather conditions, collisions with other skiers and riders, natural and man-made objects which are present at ski areas, and the failure of other skiers to ski safely within the limits of their abilities. Because many of the things that cause ski and snowboard accidents are inherent risks, ski injury plaintiffs may have a difficult time pursuing claims for damages when they are injured.

Actions for Negligence are Permitted

There are some ski and snowboard accidents which are not caused by risks inherent to the sports of skiing and riding. Skiers and riders who are injured at a ski area may be able to pursue a claim for damages against the owner or operator of the ski area if their injuries were caused by the negligent operation or maintenance of the ski area or the negligent design, construction, operation, or maintenance of a ski lift. (MRS Title 32, Chapter 133 §15217-8)

One example of a ski accident which may have been the result of the negligent operation or maintenance of a ski lift is the chairlift derailment which occurred at Sugarloaf Mountain in December of 2010. High winds caused the lift’s cable to derail, resulting in five occupied chairs dropping thirty five feet to the ground below. Many of the people who were riding in the chairs were injured, and most of them reached a settlement with the ski area. One skier sustained particularly severe injuries including a traumatic brain injury and a broken back, and has filed a lawsuit against the ski area.

Peter Thompson & Associates: Helping Ski and Snowboard Accident Victims Across Maine

If you have been injured or someone that you love has been killed as a result of injuries that occurred while skiing or snowboarding, the personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates are here to assist you. With offices in Portland, Bangor, and Falmouth, our dedicated team of professionals is easily accessible to clients throughout the state of Maine. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 804-2004 to schedule your free initial consultation.