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It’s that time of year when many people go on skiing or snowboarding holidays. Sadly, we often hear about winter breaks that have ended in disaster.

Every year, there seems to be more and more news reports about people who’ve lost their lives or sustained serious, life-changing injuries on the slopes.

Ski and snowboarding trips can be fraught with risk. It is estimated that there are around 600,000 skiing injuries each year. That’s two injuries per 1,000 skiing trips. In fact, around 10,000 Britons are injured on the slopes every season*.

Research carried out in the ski resorts of Finland found that 15% of all skiing injuries were classed as ‘severe’. They required an immediate transfer by ambulance to an accident and emergency centre**.

Often traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries and multiple bone fractures are the terrible consequences when skiing and snowboarding trips go badly wrong.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a skiing or snowboarding accident that wasn’t your fault, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation and consequential losses.

How do most ski and snowboarding accidents happen?

Collisions with another skier or snowboarder or crashing into a static object, such as a tree or a pole, are one of the most common causes of accidents.

Such collisions account for around a quarter of all on-piste accidents. Approximately 60% of these accidents resulting in hospital admissions.

A ski or snowboarding accident like this is not your fault if it happened due to the mistakes or negligence of someone else.

It may be that your instructor failed to give appropriate advice to prevent accidents occurring. Poor ski school instruction can often result in skiers and snowboarders practising unsafe techniques.

If you’ve collided with a hidden obstruction while skiing or snowboarding, this is also deemed to be not your fault as you could not have been expected to anticipate the accident.

Around 10% of all skiing accidents are as a direct result of equipment failure***. This could be skis or snowboards themselves along with their bindings, or a ski lift or tow. If the equipment can be shown to be faulty, then you may be entitled to make a claim.

How do you prevent ski or snowboard accidents?

Most skiing and snowboarding accidents are avoidable by taking some simple precautions. Staying in control on the slopes and within your own capabilities is crucial to remaining safe. Paying attention to those around you and observing any warning signs or markings on the piste are crucial.

However, if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, taking some simple steps will help with a potential claim.

It is advisable to take pictures of the area. If you are seriously hurt and unable to do so, a member of your party may be able to take some photographs of the scene of the accident. You may also have access to your own or other people’s head camera footage. Make sure you or a member of your party report the incident to the authorities and takes the details of any witnesses.

Can I make a ski or snowboarding accident claim?

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most dangerous winter sports you can do. When you take part in these activities, you obviously have to accept that you’ll face some degree of risk. After all, accidents do happen and sometimes through no fault of someone else.

However, if you have been seriously hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence or due to faulty equipment, you may be able to pursue a civil accident claim for compensation and consequential losses.

Ski schools, instructors, piste authorities and tour operators all have a responsibility to take precautions against accidents. If this ‘duty of care’ is breached, you have the right to make a claim.

To get free, no-obligation advice on making a ski or snowboarding accident claim from our friendly and knowledgeable team, call Freephone 0800 884 0777 or email: info@novumlaw.com.

 

*https://unofficialnetworks.com/2017/03/26/7-surprising-facts-ski-deaths-injuries/

**https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1457496914532249

***http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7948778.stm