Best Ski Accident Lawyers in Illinois

Illinois is known for its rich farmland that stretches over hundreds of miles of flat terrain. However, once you reach northern Illinois, a winter pastime unfolds at five private ski resorts, as well as dozens of municipal-owned properties that allow skiing aficionados to enjoy their favorite winter outdoor recreational activity. For example, Chestnut Mountain near Galena, Illinois boasts a skiing vertical that rises nearly 500 feet.

Snow skiing is popular for several reasons, one of which is the thrill of descending a vertical at a fast rate of speed. However, the thrill of snow skiing is accompanied by several potential dangers that include improperly maintained slopes and defective skiing equipment. Ski accidents happen and many of them cause serious, even life-threatening injuries. If you suffer from one or more injuries caused by a ski accident, should contact one of the best Illinois ski accident lawyers.

A ski accident attorney conducts a thorough investigation to determine whether another party should assume at least partial legal liability for causing a ski accident. Your lawyer reviews the official incident report, as well as interviews witnesses that verify your version of events. One of the best Illinois ski lawyers also knows how to negotiate favorable settlements for clients. Reaching a favorable settlement keeps your case out of a civil courtroom.

Since 1988, the personal injury attorneys from Morgan & Morgan have litigated cases that returned more than $7 billion in monetary damages for our clients. Some of the personal injury cases we have handled involved ski accidents. Because proving negligence for a ski accident that caused injuries can be difficult to do, working with the experienced team of attorneys at Morgan & Morgan increases your chances of reaching a favorable settlement or winning a judgment for monetary damages.

Act with a sense of urgency today by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the Illinois ski accident lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.

How Does the Judicial System Define Negligence?

The key to winning a legal judgment for monetary damages rests on your attorney’s ability to prove the other party committed one or more acts of negligence. For a ski accident, an act of negligence can include dangerous skiing conditions, defective skiing equipment, and reckless skiing by another skier. Negligence also can include shared legal liability among two or more parties. For example, you collided with a snow-blowing machine that a resort should have stored away from the slopes. However, you partly contributed to the collision by not following proper safety protocols.

Proving negligence requires Illinois ski accident lawyers to demonstrate the presence of four legal elements. The first element requires your lawyer to show the other party owed you a duty of care. In other words, the other party had the legal responsibility to ensure your safety. If the other party breached the duty of care doctrine, then your attorney can show the presence of the second element that defines negligence. Third, your personal injury attorney must prove you suffered one or more injuries because the other party breached the duty of care doctrine. The fourth element to show requires you to submit documents that confirm you suffered financial losses because of your injuries.

What Types of Ski Accident Injuries Occur the Most Often?

When you sit down for a free case evaluation, a personal injury lawyer from Morgan & Morgan reviews your medical records to learn more about your injuries. Although skiers can suffer from a large number of different injuries, four injuries happen more than other types of injuries.

Brain Trauma

Colliding with a natural or artificial object while moving quickly down a slope can cause a serious brain injury. Even wearing a helmet cannot prevent brain trauma if a victim is moving faster than the victim should. A brain trauma injury might be the fault of the resort or public skiing venue, but many times it is the fault of the manufacturer that sold a defective ski helmet.

Spinal Cord Damage

The spinal cord represents the information superhighway your body uses to transmit electrical signals. When the spinal cord receives an incredibly strong impact caused by a ski accident, it is incapable of sending electrical impulses to other areas of the body. The results can be partial or full paralysis, which requires years, if not a lifetime of rehabilitation. Medical bills for a spinal cord injury can place a victim in a deep financial hole.

Skier’s Thumb

Falling to the ground after a skiing collision can produce a painful injury referred to as Skier’s thumb. If you do not release your hands from both skiing poles, you might tear the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). An accident that causes skier's thumb can force you out of work for several weeks. Since suffering from Skier’s thumb might be the fault of another skier, your personal injury lawyer gathers and organizes physical evidence to prove negligence.

How Should I Handle a Ski Accident?

Properly handling the aftermath of a ski accident that includes you suffering from one or more injuries follows many of the same steps you should follow for handling other types of personal injury incidents. However, because of the difficulty of proving negligence for a ski incident, you should act with a sense of urgency when the time comes to complete the last step of the process.

Contact Ski Patrol

Until the dawn of digital technology, skiing venues relied on call boxes to help skiers contact ski patrol. Although call boxes remain at many skiing venues, you also can use your Smartphone to call for help after a skiing incident. Contacting ski patrol activates the response system that eventually leads to one or more members of ski patrol conducting a thorough investigation into what caused the ski accident.

When the ski patrol completes its investigation, a member of the unit completes an incident report that provides details about what happened before, during, and after a skiing accident. You should request a copy of the official incident report or give your personal injury attorney the contact information for ski patrol.

Use Your Smartphone Another Way

Although ski patrol types up a formal incident report that includes physical evidence, you should be proactive and collect physical evidence as well. Your Smartphone becomes an important investigative tool, as you use it to take photos of the accident scene. Shooting images of the impressions left behind by skis can help your personal injury lawyer determine whether another party committed one or more acts of negligence. You also take photographs of any objects that might have contributed to causing the ski accident. 

Get Witness Accounts

Witness accounts of the ski accident do not provide the physical evidence you need to prove negligence. However, interviewing witnesses can provide support for your claim that another party committed one or more acts of negligence that caused the ski accident. Your attorney should receive the names and contact information for every witness to interview each one as soon as possible after your accident. Interviewing witnesses as close as you can to the date of the skiing incident produces the most reliable information.

Receive Medical Care

Receiving medical care after a skiing accident accomplishes two things. First, you get treatment for any serious injuries, as well as for injuries that your doctor considers to be minor. Second, getting medical care generates a paper trail that proves you got hurt while skiing at one of the skiing venues operating in Illinois. The best Illinois ski accident lawyers recover monetary damages for clients, with medical expenses representing the most substantial amount of money awarded for compensation.

Meet With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Do not wait to contact one of the best Illinois ski accident lawyers for two reasons. First, you want your legal counsel to have access to witnesses right after reporting the skiing incident. Second, you have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois. After you contact one of the ski accident lawyers from Morgan & Morgan, we immediately start to investigate your case. Your ski accident lawyer closely examines the physical evidence gathered by you and ski patrol, as well as interviews witnesses that confirm your version of events.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois?

States establish a deadline for filing a personal lawsuit that typically ranges between two and four years. Illinois falls on the short end of the timeline by requiring plaintiffs to file personal injury lawsuits before two years have gone by since the date of an incident. However, you might receive approval for an extension if you can demonstrate one or more of your injuries did not develop symptoms until days after the ski accident.

However, you should act quickly to file a personal injury lawsuit, without diminishing the strength of your case. Suffering one or more ski accident injuries can cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills and if you cannot work because of your injuries, then you will find yourself in deep financial distress. If you fail to meet the two-year statute of limitations required by Illinois law, you can expect the court to dismiss your civil lawsuit.

How Do I Find the Best Illinois Accident Lawyers?

You no longer have access to the Yellow Pages, which traditionally offered one of the most effective ways to find Illinois ski accident lawyers. Instead of letting your fingers do the walking, you go old school and new school in your search for the best legal representation.

Get Recommendations

Getting recommendations from the people you trust the most can help you find the right personal injury attorney. Start with trusted friends and family members and if you do not receive any recommendations, broaden your network to include neighbors and professional peers. You should also ask every lawyer you know for a recommendation.

Illinois Bar Association

The Illinois Bar Association offers a feature on its website called Lawyer Finder that helps you find a personal injury attorney who specializes in litigating ski accident cases. The large database of lawyers includes legal counsel that has earned accolades for their litigation skills. You also can discover if any of the personal injury attorneys on your shortlist has ever received a reprimand while litigating a personal injury case.

Learn how the Illinois ski accident lawyers at Morgan & Morgan get positive results for clients by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys.

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John Morgan