Best Ski Accident Lawyers in Wyoming

Wyoming has 12 breathtaking ski resorts covering more than 160 miles of trails. Skiing is an essential and enjoyable winter activity for many. However, the sport comes with risks, and serious accidents can and do happen from time to time. 

If someone else’s negligence caused you or a loved one’s skiing injury, you could pursue compensation. Our Wyoming ski accident lawyers can assess your case and advise you of your legal rights and the next best steps. Contact us today to find out for free if you qualify for compensation. 

Examples of Recent Ski Accident Cases in Wyoming

Some of the ski accidents that occurred at Wyoming ski resorts in recent years and resulted in legal action include:

Ski Lift Injury

An injured woman sued a Wyoming ski resort in 2021 for $75,000 in damages after breaking several ribs in a ski lift accident.

Injury Due to Hazardous Condition

A couple sued Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 2021, claiming losses due to negligence and loss of consortium. The accident in question occurred due to a tree stump hidden under heavy snowfall, resulting in a ski accident with catastrophic injuries.

Wrongful Death

The family of a toddler killed in a collision with a snowboarder filed suit against the City of Casper and the Casper Mountain Ski Patrol in 2012. The plaintiffs alleged that, despite being aware of the snowboarder’s previous reckless conduct, the ski patrol made no effort to restrict their activity or inform skiers of a dangerous snowboarder on the trails.

A skier’s wife filed suit against Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 2012 after her husband died in an avalanche on the slopes. The widow alleged that the resort acted negligently in opening the run, despite knowing of the risk of an avalanche in the area.

You Could Have Legal Recourse

While serious ski accidents are relatively rare, according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), skiing and snowboarding do come with some inherent risks. Therefore, not all accidents qualify for compensation. However, skiers that suffer injury due to the negligence or recklessness of other individuals, a ski resort, or equipment manufacturer could have legal recourse and qualify for compensation. 

Wyoming Ski Laws Impacting Your Accident Case

Wyoming’s Recreation Safety Act covers skiing incidents as well as other sports activities. Notably, the Act stipulates that:

Any individual partaking in a sport such as skiing assumes inherent risks and is legally responsible for any damage or injury to themselves, others, or property arising from an inherent risk.  

AND: 

The provider of any sport, such as a ski area operator, is not required to eliminate or control inherent risks.

While the Act protects operators of ski areas and other potentially liable parties to an extent, it also contains provisions in the event of negligence. In short, a victim could still hold the provider of a recreational opportunity to account if they negligently caused an accident resulting in death, injury, or damage. 

Ski Safety Act

The Ski Safety Act lists the duties of ski area operators, such as the posting of appropriate warnings in conspicuous places. Such notices include but are not limited to:

  • Informing skiers that they assume the inherent risk 
  • Explaining the degree of difficulty of a trail
  • Informing the public of any closed trails
  • Warning skiers of potential encounters with vehicles

Under the Act, ski area operators have numerous additional responsibilities, such as annually inspecting and maintaining ski lifts, marking obstacles on trails, and others. 

Importantly, any violations of the above-mentioned Wyoming state laws, causing harm to individuals or damage to property constitute evidence of negligence by the person or ski area operator violating the law. Therefore, if you got hurt and can prove that another skier or another party caused your accident while acting unlawfully, you could have a good case against them. 

Skiers Must Act Responsibly

In Wyoming, skiers have to act with reasonable care, similar to motor vehicle drivers. The following skiing behaviors could land irresponsible skiers in hot water and result in a misdemeanor:

  • Skiing outside of designated areas
  • Skiing while intoxicated
  • Leaving the scene of a ski accident
  • Skiing recklessly

Reasons for Skiing Accidents in Wyoming

While there can be numerous causes of ski accidents, accidents often involve reckless fellow skiers or snowboarders or negligence on behalf of a ski resort. 

Collisions

Colliding with another skier may sound harmless. However, a serious collision can be deadly, especially when another skier crashes into a stopped person at high speed on the ski trail. A skier could be responsible for your damages if they recklessly collided with you due to skiing too fast for weather and visibility conditions or did not keep a lookout. Collisions can also occur with objects on the trail, such as fallen trees. A ski resort may be responsible if they did not remove or warn of the hazard.

Lack of Supervision

Lack of supervision can potentially have devastating consequences, especially for inexperienced skiers. If a ski instructor leads a skier to a trail beyond their capabilities or fails to instruct the skier adequately, accidents and injuries can occur. An instructor is generally responsible for assessing the capability level of their students and preventing them from taking unnecessary risks. 

Equipment Failure

One common form of equipment failure is a ski binding that does not release in a fall, failing to separate the boot from the ski. If a skier got significantly injured due to malfunctioning rental equipment, they could have a case against the rental shop or the ski resort. 

Other Causes for Ski Accidents

Other common causes for ski accidents and injuries can include:

  • Defective ski lifts 
  • Poorly managed and maintained ski resorts
  • Low visibility and bad weather 
  • Avalanches

If you suffered an injury while skiing and believe someone else is responsible, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible as you could pursue damages. Our experienced Wyoming ski accident lawyers can walk you through your options and handle every aspect of your lawsuit. 

Common Injuries in Ski Accidents

Ski accident injuries can range from mild injuries to severe and disabling, such as:

  • Complicated fractures
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Dislocations
  • Muscle tears
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage

A severe ski injury can turn your entire life upside down and considerably impact your career and home life. 

Ski Accident Victims Could Receive Compensation

While there is no average settlement in ski accidents, you could be entitled to various types of compensation relating to your actual losses, such as:

  • Loss of wages
  • Healthcare expenses
  • Physiotherapy
  • Medical devices
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Reduced life quality

The amount of your settlement will depend on several factors that will be unique to your accident case, including: 

  • Your medical expenses and estimated future healthcare costs
  • Your lost wages and future lost earning capacity
  • The severity and permanence of your injuries
  • The circumstances of your ski accident
  • Whether fault for your accident is clear or contested

How to Find the Best Wyoming Ski Accident Attorney  

Finding the best ski accident attorney to handle your case involves some homework. However, a few simple steps can help you draw up a list of potential attorneys and law firms. To get started, consider asking friends and family for any attorney referrals. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find help. However, these days, many resources are available online. For example, Wyoming’s State Bar Association website allows you to search for attorneys near you. 

Once you have a list of names, scheduling free consultations can be an excellent idea. You can then meet the attorney in person and receive free legal advice. Make sure to ask questions regarding the attorney’s experience and track record with handling ski accident cases. You will also want to ensure that they work on a contingency agreement, which means you have no upfront fees to pay and will not be responsible for paying the attorney if you lose your case.  

Let Morgan & Morgan Fight for You 

Why search for a ski accident lawyer in Wyoming if you could get America’s largest personal injury firm into your corner, fighting for what you deserve? We have helped countless injured victims receive the settlement they needed to move on with their lives and leave an upsetting and stressful time behind them. We fight hard for our clients and could help you too. You pay nothing until we successfully conclude your case either at trial or with an out-of-court settlement.

Who Is Responsible for My Ski Accident and Damages?

There could be various liable parties in your ski accident case, depending on the nature and circumstances of the accident. Some of the most common defendants in ski accident lawsuits include:

  • Ski area operators
  • Other skiers or snowboarders
  • Tour operators
  • Ski equipment rental companies
  • Manufacturers of ski equipment
  • Ski instructors and guides

If you are unsure whom to hold to account for your accident, consider consulting with our dedicated Wyoming ski accident lawyers, who can analyze your case and determine the liable parties. 

How Can a Ski Accident Attorney at Morgan & Morgan Help Me?

Ski accident cases can be challenging to fight. Ski resorts, when sued by victims, often argue skiers assume inherent risks and are responsible for their own injuries and damages. However, a skilled attorney could prove another party’s negligence and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Morgan & Morgan can:

Analyze Your Accident

First of all, your ski accident lawyer will determine whether you have a case and identify the liable parties. If your accident involved a malfunctioning ski lift or skiing equipment, for example, your attorney can consult with engineers and experts in the field. Once your case and the available information has been reviewed, we can help you file an insurance claim or legal action to fight for what you deserve. 

Gather Crucial Evidence for Your Case

You do not have a personal injury case without evidence proving the other party’s negligence and your injuries and losses. Your ski accident attorney knows where to find evidence that can help to build your case, such as:

  • Ski patrol accident reports
  • Surveillance camera footage
  • Witness statements
  • Photographs of the accident scene

They can also collect and organize evidence proving all your losses, such as healthcare costs, lost income, pain and anguish, and more. 

Negotiate a Fair Settlement on Your Behalf

You will most likely file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company in the first instance. However, bear in mind that the insurance companies act predominantly in their own interests and not yours. A ski accident attorney can level the playing field and ensure your rights are protected at all times. Your attorney will fight tooth and nail for a fair settlement on your behalf. 

File a Lawsuit

If the responsible party refuses to agree to an adequate settlement, your lawyer will take your case to trial if necessary. Our attorneys are not afraid to go all the way and leave no stone unturned in fighting for full and fair compensation.

Who Pays for My Medical Bills While I Wait for a Settlement?

Knowing how to pay your medical bills after an accident can be confusing. Unfortunately, the issue of who pays can also be a source of frustration. Accident victims are generally responsible for their own medical bills even if another caused their injuries negligently. 

Therefore, contact your private health insurance or Medicaid/Medicare as soon as possible after the accident to ensure prompt payment of your medical bills. If you are uninsured, you could try to negotiate deferred payments with your health providers and explain that you will pay your doctors when you receive a settlement. 

Get Help Today

If someone else caused your accident, you deserve justice. Morgan & Morgan understands that accident victims have a lot on their plate, and handling a lawsuit on top of everything else seems stressful and daunting. However, in some cases, going to court is the only way to get what you deserve. 

You do not have to struggle alone. We can handle your case from beginning to end, working tirelessly to hold those responsible to account for your suffering and expenses. Contact us now to find out how we could help you get justice and compensation.

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John Morgan