The Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains of Virginia are the site of popular ski resorts where residents and visitors enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter activities. As much fun as skiing and related activities can be, it is important to be cognizant of the fact that they come with the risk of getting into a serious accident and suffering a debilitating bodily injury. Falls, collisions, and lift accidents have the potential to cause major damage and bodily harm, including traumatic brain injuries, fractured bones, torn ligaments, etc. If you or a loved one suffered an injury at a ski resort, a Virginia personal injury attorney can help advise you of your legal options.
Examples of How Skiing And Chair Lift Accidents Occur
There are multiple ways skiing chair lifts can malfunction and cause injury to a rider. One of the less common malfunctions comes from manufacturer defects. Manufacturers usually test their ski chairs before they go out to the clients. Unfortunately, there’s no way to catch all the problems a ski lift may have, so there are instances when the lifts are sent to clients and have a significant malfunction. When this happens, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer for defective equipment.
Another example of how skiing and chair lift accidents occur is ski resort operators who fail to properly maintain their lift chairs. Ski chair maintenance requires frequent checks to ensure that the lift is fully functional and any worn or damaged parts are changed or repaired immediately. In these situations, a person may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the operator of the ski resort of their harms and losses.
Ski Lift Requirements
The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) set forth a series of guidelines concerning how to ski lift chairs are supposed to be kept and maintained. If a ski area operator violated one or more of these ski lift guidelines, this could provide grounds to hold the operator liable for your harms and losses. The safe operating of the ski chair is the purvey of the ski area operator. In the case of the ski lift failing because of lack of maintenance, the fault lies with the ski area operator.
Legal Grounds for Filing a Chair Lift Accident Injury Claim
The legal basis for a personal injury claim is alleging that another party or business entity was negligent and that negligence proximately caused your harms and losses. A ski area operator owes a duty of care to ensure the safe operation of their ski equipment. If the equipment malfunctions because the resort operator neglected to conduct routine maintenance, or failed to operate the lift properly, there may be a basis to hold the operator liable for your harms and losses. Proving negligence focuses on three specific areas that a ski lift operator may or may not fall into. These areas include:
- Neglected their duty of care: If the operator was negligent in their duty of care or committed gross negligence through oversight, then they are liable for your injuries.
- Recklessness: If a lift operator was reckless in their behavior, or did something to knowingly cause injury to a participant, they are liable for the participant’s injuries.
- Failure to Obey the Operation Code: If in operating the ski lift, the operator didn’t follow the guidelines for the lift’s safety, they would be held accountable for their actions.
Financial Restitution for Harms and Losses Caused by a Ski Lift Injury
If you decide to take legal action after a ski lift accident, the injury claim will typically seek financial restitution for the following types of harms and losses:
- Medical expenses (both immediate and long-term, including the cost of any surgeries, physical therapy, medications, etc.)
- Lost wages due to time missed from work
- Pain, suffering, and trauma stemming from the accident
Speak to an Experienced Ski Lift Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a ski lift accident, or other skiing accident caused by the negligence of another individual or business entity, get in contact with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation. A Virginia personal injury lawyer can help you determine the extent of your injuries and whether you have a viable legal claim.
For over twenty years, Mr. Sharp's law practice has focused on serious personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury claims. He also handles nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Sharp has counseled numerous clients about the complexities concerning litigation of both pediatric and adult brain injury.