Ski Accidents Caused by Poor Trail Maintenance
Utah is world-renowned for its mountains, slopes, and ski resorts. Every winter, locals and tourists enjoy skiing in the state’s beautiful surroundings. Skiing is a great form of exercise and recreation, but it does involve a degree of risk. Although skiing is inherently risky, many ski accidents are preventable.
Ski accidents are often the result of neglect, or more specifically, poor trail maintenance. Ski accidents caused by poor trail maintenance can have physical and financial consequences. Individuals in Salt Lake City, UT, Provo, UT, and surrounding areas who are victims of ski resort accidents can work with personal injury lawyer Lynn C. Harris to hold liable ski resorts accountable for damages caused by poor trail maintenance.
What Type of Responsibility Do Ski Resorts Have?
As with any athlete or recreational participant, skiers accept a certain degree of risk when they decide to enter the slopes. However, when skiers are skiing at a resort, they also have the right to expect that certain precautions will be taken by resort owners and operators to protect their safety. As with any other property owner, resort owners are susceptible to premises liability laws.
Premises liability laws hold property owners accountable for maintaining an environment that is safe for guests or patrons. This means that resorts must regularly monitor their property (including ski trails), and address any dangers or safety hazards as soon as possible. If hazards cannot be addressed immediately, visible warning signs should be placed to alert visitors of potential dangers.
Examples of Poor Trail Maintenance
Some of the hazards that skiers encounter on ski trails are part of the natural mountain environment. For instance, many trails are lined by trees, rocks, and other obstacles that pose a risk to skiers. Ski resorts are not expected to control these natural elements, but they should keep trails free of man-made hazards, or alert skiers of potential dangers. Examples of poor trail maintenance that fall under premises liability laws include:
- Poorly marked ski trail
- Failure to place warning signs to alert skiers of unsafe areas or hazards
- Failure to close an unsafe ski trail
- Presence of maintenance vehicles or other equipment on ski trails
- Insufficient lighting when the resort allows for night skiing
Proving Premises Liability
Ski resorts are unlikely to accept liability for a ski accident, and may even go as far as hiding evidence that establishes their fault. Individuals will probably not be successful in obtaining compensation for ski accident damages on their own, but a knowledgeable ski accident attorney, such as Lynn C. Harris, can help.
Lynn C. Harris works alongside experts in the field to gather evidence that demonstrates that ski resort owners had a duty of care to skiers, that they were neglectful in meeting that duty of care, and that their negligence was the direct cause of a ski accident. Oftentimes, evidence is strongest immediately following a ski accident, so if possible, injury victims can strengthen their case by taking these steps at the scene of an accident:
- Take pictures of ski trail conditions and any other hazards or factors that contributed to the accident
- Take pictures of accident injuries
- Collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident
Ski accidents can have costly and catastrophic damages. If a negligent ski resort owner or employee is responsible for your injuries, they should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. To find out how much compensation you may be due following a ski accident, send us a message online, or call our Salt Lake City law firm at (801) 375-9801.