Ski Accident Injury Lawyers in Illinois
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Illinois Ski Accident Injury Lawyers
Many people love spending time with family and friends on the ski slope. Skiing is good exercise, a fun way to enjoy the snow during winter, and an opportunity to unwind from the stresses of daily life.
While you may think of Colorado and the Northeast region of the U.S. as prime locations for a skiing holiday, Illinois has its share of great sites as well.
More than ten skiing resorts are available throughout the state, including Villa Olivia, Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports, and Cascade Mountain. Visitors can enjoy various skiing and snowboarding slopes, from beginners to the most advanced individuals.
However, accidents and injuries occasionally occur on the slopes. If you experience a severe injury, you may need compensation to assist you with your medical costs while you recover.
Ski accident injury lawyers in Illinois can help you get the money you need to move on with your life. Contact Morgan and Morgan to schedule a free consultation regarding your ski accident.
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Frequency of Ski Accidents
According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), 43 catastrophic injuries and 48 fatalities from skiing or snowboarding accidents occurred in the 2020–2021 season. Catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and the loss of a limb.
Fatalities include all deaths related to a skiing accident, like running into a tree or falling from a chair lift.
The NSAA includes only data from operational ski resorts during regular business hours. The NSAA does not include injuries or fatalities that occur because of preexisting health conditions, such as a stroke or heart attack.
According to the NSAA, the chance of dying or sustaining a catastrophic injury from a ski accident is less than 1 per 1,000,000 visitors to ski resorts.
While the chances of a fatality or catastrophic injury from skiing are slim, thousands of individuals suffer moderate injuries each year. Mild injuries can include broken bones, strains and sprains, and tears to ligaments like the ACL or MCL.
Ski accident injury lawyers in Illinois can review your case to determine the best approach for obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Types of Ski and Snowboarding Accidents
There are four leading causes of accidents on Illinois ski slopes. They include:
Often, ski slopes are busy places. There may be dozens of skiers or snowboarders on a single slope at one time. While resorts can monitor the number of people on a slope, they usually aren’t responsible for collisions between two individuals.
Collisions can occur between two skiers or between a skier and an inanimate object, like a tree.
If the accident happens when another skier crashes into you, they may be liable for your injuries. In general, skiers ahead of others have the right of way in a ski accident. If someone crashes into you from behind, they are liable for your injuries.
Individuals who regularly ski often purchase their own equipment. Generally, they’re familiar with equipment maintenance and protocols.
Infrequent skiers usually rent equipment from resorts. It’s much less expensive than purchasing your own, and it’s generally the better option if you don’t plan on skiing regularly.
However, not all ski resorts and rental companies regularly maintain their equipment. When a company has numerous customers clamoring for equipment during the peak ski season, they may not take the appropriate actions to keep their equipment safe.
A ski accident can easily occur because of poorly maintained skis, snowboards, helmets, or poles.
Ski Resort Negligence
Ski resorts must ensure that their clients are safe from hazardous debris and objects. They must post signage warning customers of potential dangers on the slopes and throughout their property. Resort owners and employees must also take care of hazards promptly.
Ski resorts aren’t only responsible for caring for their slopes. They must also ensure that common areas and hotel rooms are free from potential dangers. For instance, they must clear spills and liquids from floors and maintain upkeep in their lodging.
Slip and fall accidents are not uncommon, especially during busy seasons when clients constantly travel between the cold and snowy outdoors to the warmth of a ski lodge. Water and ice dislodged from ski boots can result in a patron sustaining injuries from a fall.
Ski Lift Accidents
The consequences of a ski lift accident can be severe. Ski lifts transport customers from the bottom of the hill to the top of the slope, often carrying them thousands of feet into the air. If the resort doesn’t properly maintain its equipment, damaged cables can cause an accident, either during transport or while skiers are getting on or off the chair lift.
Usually, the resort is responsible for accidents involving ski lifts. However, customers may also be negligent if they act carelessly or without regard to safety protocols.
Ski accident injury lawyers in Illinois can help you determine what caused your injuries and the best course of action for your claim.
Injuries Sustained in a Ski Accident
It’s not uncommon to suffer injuries in a ski accident. Many people who decide to go skiing are beginners. After a few short lessons, they head onto the slopes, intending to try their hand at the sport. Some people don’t even take lessons. Instead, they assume they’ll be able to handle skiing without any instruction.
Poor understanding of the sport can lead to accidents and injuries. Skiing isn’t a sport you can pick up without training. Starting, stopping, and turning on skis all take some practice and learning.
Even experienced skiers can have accidents while on the slopes. Simple inattention or the wrong move can lead to a collision. Poorly maintained equipment can also result in a mishap.
Some of the most common ski injuries include:
- ACL tears
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
If you’ve sustained injuries in a skiing or snowboarding accident, ski accident injury lawyers in Illinois can help you. Contact Morgan & Morgan for assistance with your case.
What to Do Following a Skiing Accident
You’ll want to take specific actions if you experience injuries on the slopes or at a ski resort.
Get Medical Attention
Skis and snowboards offer little protection from a slope’s slick, hard ground. While most skiers and snowboarders wear protective gear like helmets and knee pads, sometimes they aren’t enough to protect against injury.
You’ll want to seek medical attention for your wounds, no matter how minor. A simple visit to the first aid center of a ski lodge may be enough for a minor laceration or bruise, but you will need urgent care if you experience a head injury or broken bone.
Remember that not all injuries are immediately apparent following an accident. Often, the adrenaline secreted by the endocrine system may mask symptoms of injuries in the aftermath of a collision or fall.
If you’ve hit your head, twisted your knee, or hurt your back, it’s best to seek medical attention to rule out any severe injuries like an ACL tear or concussion.
Document the Accident
If you’re able, document as much about the accident as possible. Take photographs of the location, your injuries, and your surroundings. If the accident involved another individual, ask for their contact information. Pay careful attention to any signage in the area that notes potential hazards.
If anyone witnessed your accident, you’d also want to obtain their contact information. Witnesses may be able to support your claims with their observations.
Contact Ski Accident Injury Lawyers in Illinois
Figuring out who is at fault for a ski accident may be a difficult task. A ski accident lawyer can review the circumstances of your case to determine who is responsible and help you get compensation for your injuries.
How Much Is My Ski Injury Accident Case Worth?
It’s impossible to know how much your case is worth without understanding how your injuries occurred. The value of your case depends on the extent of your wounds and who was at fault.
The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan will review your circumstances to determine the approximate worth of your case and the person or entity responsible.
What Type of Compensation Can I Obtain in a Ski Accident Case?
You may be eligible for compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and household costs. In some cases, you may receive damages for emotional pain and anguish, loss of quality of life, and the injury itself. In situations of extreme negligence, a court may award punitive damages.
If you are the loved one of an individual who died because of a skiing accident, you may recoup costs for their funeral and burial, loss of companionship, or loss of consortium.
Ski accident injury lawyers in Illinois can help you determine the appropriate damages for your case.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
Very few personal injury cases end up in a courtroom. Most resolve through a settlement with the defendant or their insurance agency.
However, Morgan & Morgan will not back down from a trial if the defendant is unwilling to provide you with an adequate settlement for your injuries. We’re here for you during every step of the legal process.
Can I Still Sue the Ski Resort If I Signed a Liability Waiver?
If you signed a liability waiver with the ski resort, it’s still possible for you to receive compensation for your injuries. An attorney at Morgan & Morgan can review your release and determine the appropriate steps. It’s not fair to be stuck with medical expenses and other costs if you weren’t to blame for the accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Ski Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois?
Each state has a statute of limitations that restricts the time for filing a lawsuit following an accident involving injuries. In Illinois, the statute of limitations is two years.
However, it’s best to begin the claims process in the weeks following your accident. You likely will need the money from any settlement or verdict you win to pay for your medical expenses and the cost of being unable to work. The sooner you begin your case, the quicker you can win damages for your injuries.
Morgan & Morgan: Ski Accident Injury Lawyers in Illinois
As the nation’s largest personal injury law firm, Morgan and Morgan has over 800 attorneys who assist clients daily in obtaining compensation for their injuries. To date, we’ve won over $13 billion in settlements and court verdicts for our customers.
We can assist you in obtaining the compensation you need for your medical expenses and other costs. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.