Ski Lift Accidents

Which Areas Have the Most Ski Lift Accidents?

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Which Areas Have the Most Ski Lift Accidents?

When you go skiing, you can expect that this is a dangerous activity, and you may sign waivers of liability at the ski resort indicating the same. While less common than accidents that occur while skiing, ski lift accidents can and do happen and can still enable you to file a lawsuit against the responsible party, regardless of any waiver you may have signed. This makes it essential to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following a ski lift accident. In terms of prevention, however, it can pay to be aware of the areas with the most ski lift accidents reported. 

When you are familiar with areas with the most ski lift accidents, you can take extra precautions when you ski or attempt to find a different location to ski altogether. 

It's important to realize that ski lift accidents can happen at any resort. Even if the equipment was originally built in a safe manner, that doesn’t mean it has been maintained. Many staff members at these resorts are seasonal and might not have much experience operating the lifts, either. This can increase your chances of getting hurt in an accident. 

Finally, if you’re present at a resort when it’s very busy and overcrowded, you might also feel rushed to get on and off the chairlift. If the correct ski resort employee is not managing this flow of traffic, accidents are more likely. Still, it is the responsibility of the resort to do everything possible to keep visitors safe, and if this does not happen during your visit, you might wind up with a critical injury that lands you in a lawyer’s office. 

Knowing the difference between situations, like if you simply fell versus a situation where the resort was liable, is important; it’s likely that because you didn’t expect the injury, you don’t remember all the circumstances clearly, either. This is why it’s helpful to have a lawyer there to guide you through the process of gathering information and telling your side of the story.

It’s true that some areas have the most ski lift accidents reported, but the truth is that lift accidents occur rarely, so the numbers of most frequent sites are still quite low. It’s still important to know that you’re always at risk of a ski lift accident when you’re skiing. 

Understanding the Basics of Ski Lift Accidents

The National Ski Areas Association shares that there are more than 3,500 chair lifts across the country, and in total they make 300 million lift rides every single year. Since 2004, there have been a handful of fatalities associated with falling off a ski lift. Colorado is one state that requires its 30 different ski areas to report any falls from chair lifts and the cause of the fall. 

Research studies have indicated that rider error was the number one cause of chair lift falls, with most of them happening when getting on and off of the chair lift. The National Ski Areas Association also tracks fatalities separately associated with ski lift malfunction. That data has been collected since 1973 and shows that 12 people have suffered fatal injuries with ski lift malfunctions The most recent case was in 1993 when a detachable quad lift failed and one person was killed. 

It stands to reason that the areas with the most ski lifts to begin with are also those who have the most potential for ski lift injuries and fatalities. Even though there are relatively few fatalities associated with ski lift accidents on a regular basis, many people have dealt with the process of attempting to recover compensation after being injured in an accident. Ski lift injuries can and do leave people with devastating medical bills and the frustrating experience of trying to navigate the legal process on their own. 

This makes it all the more important to consult with a personal injury lawyer whether or not you were hurt in areas with the most ski lift accidents. The State of New York actually leads the country with the number of ski resorts coming in at 51. There are 37 different states throughout the entire country that have operating ski resorts and many of them use chair lifts.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What to Do if I Get Hurt in a Chair Lift Accident?

    Whether or not you were hurt in areas with the most ski lift accidents or not, ski resorts still have a legal responsibility to do everything possible to maintain the chairlift and to minimize the possibility of serious injuries. Although an injury that occurs on a ski lift does not always necessarily translate to a personal injury lawsuit, many different lawsuits could be filed if you can show that the ski resort was negligent in their maintenance or management of the ski lift. 

    This is because as a victim you could be eligible to recover compensation to help pay for your medical bills and other expenses. Immediately after being hurt on a ski lift, you should get medical attention to be clear about the state of your injuries. Some of your injuries may not appear immediately after the accident itself, and you might need to get additional diagnosis treatments and tests to determine the severity of your injuries. 

    In all of these circumstances, it can be difficult to navigate the legal process on your own, especially in determining the potential liable parties. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, there could be multiple parties held responsible for your injuries. For example, perhaps it was the operator of the ski lift who caused the equipment to fail or the manager of the ski resort who did not have appropriate maintenance done on the regular ski lift. 

    This makes it even more important to retain a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience in fighting back against the areas with most ski lift accidents so that you know you have an advocate in your corner fighting for your rights and helping you to prepare for a lawsuit. Meeting with a personal injury attorney does not obligate you to file a lawsuit; however, it does give you the best opportunity to understand all of your legal rights and some of the common pitfalls that victims experience when they go through this process. 

    The support of a knowledgeable attorney is instrumental in reducing your stress during this period when you will likely need to be focused on your medical care. Make sure that you identify a personal injury attorney who has appropriate experience in this field and who has been working in this area of the law for some time. A lawyer, who has gone up against ski resorts or involved insurance companies before, can make it much easier for you to understand the full scope of your rights and to help you prepare a comprehensive case. 

    Many personal injury cases involving ski lifts require a thorough investigation of the ski lift itself to determine whether or not the ski resort could have or should have known about any malfunctions, problems, or any other issues which could potentially affect recovery in your case. You can expect that the ski resort company might fight back and argue that you are the one partly or fully responsible for your injuries. Although this can be a devastating discovery, it is extremely common and just means that you need to share your insight with a dedicated attorney as soon as possible. 

    Your lawyer can help you determine how the accident happened and whether or not the ski resort could have been responsible while also advocating for you in any conversations with insurance companies or other involved entities. The most common way for these personal injury lawsuits to be resolved is through the settlement process. Many ski resorts do not want to go to court and deal with the uncertainty of how a judge or jury perceives the strength of your case and will therefore want to settle outside of court. Your attorney can help you to decide if this is the most appropriate situation for your case and what you can expect. 

    Your lawyer has a legal responsibility to bring any settlement offers to you to help you discuss whether this settlement amount is the right amount for you so that you can also consider all the different aspects of preparing your case going forward. 

    If you need more information about an injury you endured in an area with the most ski lift accidents, you can contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.

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