For years, Colorado has enjoyed a well-earned reputation as a true haven for snowboarding enthusiasts. With parks designed to cater to a wide range of skill levels, the state has no shortage of exhilarating opportunities for novices and expert shredders alike. Though the options here for eager winter sports aficionados are seemingly endless, the risks involved with taking to the slopes are in fact quite real. The potential for serious injuries and worse does indeed exist, and the aftermath for victims and families can be extremely challenging. If you or a loved one has sustained serious harm in a snowboarding accident and would like to explore your options for pursuing financial compensation, Denver accident attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is prepared to help.
Legal Recourse for Snowboarding Injuries
Many snowboarders are under the erroneous impression that due to the inherently hazardous nature of their favorite pastime, they will almost certainly have a difficult time seeking and securing monetary compensation should they suffer serious injuries on the slopes. Though it is true that when the harm sustained is attributable to the snowboarder’s own decisions or ill-advised actions, there are numerous scenarios in which another party’s negligence can provide the basis for a personal injury claim that has a very real chance of success.
Colorado Law Pertaining to Snowboarding Accidents
Skiers and snowboarders who avail themselves of our region’s bountiful recreational opportunities all need to be at least somewhat familiar with the Colorado Ski Safety act. Designed mainly to safeguard the interests of resort operators, this legislation purports to put into place reasonable standards for the safety of skiers and the facilities they use. In a general sense, ski report operators are shielded from liability when injury or death occurs as a result of the inherent dangers of skiing or snowboarding. Those engaging in these sports are held to essentially assume the risks that are an essential aspect of these activities. The hazards included in this category are deemed to include things like tree stumps or outgrowths, inclement weather conditions and decisions to ski or snowboard outside the individual’s own skill level or undertake any sort of unreasonably dangerous maneuvers.
However, that is not to say that injured winter sports lovers are always precluded from seeking compensation, particularly when their claims are based in theories of negligence on the part of those responsible for maintaining ski lifts, snow grooming machinery and other elements of recreational areas. Operators of these facilities are responsible for proper marking of all trails, making certain that machinery is in safe working order, providing all necessary weather condition warnings and managing lifts in an appropriate manner.
Those who share the slopes with other snowboarders and skiers are also under an obligation pursuant to Colorado law to always respect their own limits and capabilities, stay within safe speed ranges, avoid colliding with others, remain off of closed trails and keep a safe distance from snow handling machinery. Anyone who fails to meet these legally imposed duties and who ultimately causes harm to others can be held liable for the losses suffered. In addition, it is not unheard of for prosecutors in the state to lodge criminal charges against skiers as well as snowboarders who recklessly placed the safety of others at risk.
Common Factors in Snowboarding Injury Scenarios
Considering the speed, height and physical impact involved in snowboarding, it should come as little surprise that the injuries potentially suffered in related accidents can be extremely severe. While there are numerous ways in which harm can occur, certain situations seem to develop more often than others, including:
- crashes with other snowboarders or skiers on the slopes
- accidents involving negligently operated or maintained chair lifts
- falls or other injuries stemming from defective snowboard or related equipment
- negligent instruction or requests to perform maneuvers outside skill level
- incidents involving snow grooming machines
- collisions with improperly placed barriers or fencing
Common Snowboarding Injury Types
With bodies moving rapidly and sometimes uncontrollably down a steep incline, the potential for physical harm can escalate in a very real way. Typical injuries sustained by snowboarders run the gamut from being temporarily inconvenient and uncomfortable to profoundly life-altering, including:
- broken bones
- nerve and/or tissue damage
- traumatic brain injury
- spinal cord damage/paralysis
What should be a fun-filled outdoor adventure can quickly transform into a true nightmare, and when such an outcome is directly attributable to the negligence of others, victims need to know that legal assistance in securing fair compensation is within close reach.
Resources Potentially Available for Snowboarding Injury Victims
The aftermath of a serious snowboarding accident can be a time of tremendous uncertainty and fear, not just for the victims themselves, but also for those they love. Lengthy periods of rehabilitation, massive medical bills and an inability to return to work can all pose financial hurdles that can be difficult to overcome. Fortunately, the law provides the opportunity for those harmed by another party’s negligence to seek compensation which may encompass:
- payment for physical suffering and pain
- medical expenses for past, present and future treatment
- payment for emotional distress and trauma
- lost wages
- reduced future earning potential
- lost ability to enjoy prior lifestyle
- loss of marital/familial relationships
- lost financial support for dependents
Advocating for the Rights of Snowboarding Enthusiasts
With snowboarding accidents, as with all other types personal injury events, thorough investigation of the underlying facts is essential to determining liability and pursuing fairness and maximum compensation on behalf of victims. Denver personal injury attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is committed to providing clients harmed on the slopes with an unsurpassed level of service, communication and advocacy, each and every step of the way.
If you have sustained serious injuries while snowboarding and believe that another party’s negligence was to blame, your time to seek the recovery you deserve is not unlimited. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is prepared to offer a no-cost initial consultation to help you explore your legal options and make informed choices about your future. To begin the process of asserting your rights, we invite you to contact us by calling 303.825.2223.