Though skiing and other outdoor winter sports are a staple here in Colorado, even the most experienced athlete can fall victim to an Aspen ski accident. The injuries associated with these accidents can be significant — even fatal — and having the right ski injury lawyer in your corner is crucial for ensuring you receive any additional compensation that you may be entitled to.
Mark Thiessen from Thiessen Law Firm is a top Aspen ski injury lawyer who not only enjoys the sport himself but is proficient in personal injury law in Colorado. Get his take on ski or snowboard accidents, their potential causes, and who should be held responsible for your injuries.
Types of Aspen ski accident injuries
Ski or snowboard accidents can result in severe –– or even fatal –– injuries. Here are some of the most common skiing accident injuries:
- Blunt force trauma
- Broken bones
- Catastrophic injury
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
Can you sue someone for a ski accident? Yes. If you are injured in a ski or snowboard accident caused by someone else’s negligent acts, you can sue for damages. If you believe negligence on the part of a product manufacturer, resort operator, lift operator, instructor, or any other party related to your accident may have contributed to its causation, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced Aspen ski accident attorney immediately.
The common types of ski or snowboard accidents and how to fight them
Ski or snowboard collisions
One of the most common skiing or snowboarding-related accidents happens when two people collide with each other while on the slopes. When two people collide, how can you tell who was responsible for the accident?
Under the Colorado Ski Safety Act, all skiers/snowboarders have a duty to stay in control and ski responsibly and in their ability to not harm another skier. If an individual loses control and collides with another person, the acts are considered negligent, and they are liable for whatever damages were done.
Under Colorado law, the skier/boarder who is uphill is at fault in a skiing collision accident. Why? Because the uphill skier has the duty to avoid the skier that’s below them. If you were the downhill skier in the collision, you are not to blame for the accident or the injuries you sustained. This type of accident can result in orthopedic injuries, head injuries, and other impairments that can be life-altering and medically expensive. The other party is liable for the events that occurred and you have a right to sue them for damages.
Having a ski injury lawyer who not only skis but knows the Colorado terrain, can give you an advantage in your case. Mark Thiessen is one of those attorneys. He can help you to gather information on the negligent skier and potentially file your claim against them.
Ski lift accident
A ski lift or chairlift is a relatively simple machine that needs to be operated by a lift attendant. Though there are safety precautions in place to make loading and unloading the lift safer, accidents can still occur from equipment failure or negligence on behalf of the ski area attendant.
Ski areas are responsible for enforcing proper safety procedures involving ski lifts. This includes proper maintenance of the machines, maintaining orderly passenger traffic, and employing competent ski lift attendants. The injuries that can occur as a result of an accident can be severe. If you are injured in a ski lift accident, the ski area operator should be liable for your injuries –– however, cases involving a ski lift accident are not always that direct.
Some Colorado ski area operators require skiers to sign waivers which can be used as a defense against accident claims. However, ski injury lawyers like Mark Thiessen have argued that these waivers do not excuse operators from their responsibility of violating state ski lift regulations, especially if a passenger was injured. If you are injured in a ski lift accident, do not hesitate to contact an attorney. An attorney can help you to gather evidence to create a strong case against the ski area operator that is responsible for your injuries.
Ski area negligence
Skiing and snowboarding are activities that come with inherent dangers. The state of Colorado has doctrines set in place to protect ski areas and resorts from being held liable for those inherent dangers, but those protections do have their limits.
To answer the question, “Are ski resorts liable for accidents?” We must first discuss what the ski areas are responsible for. A ski area is legally responsible for the operation of chairlifts, snow grooming equipment, snowmobiles, and the placement and padding of man-made objects and boundaries. Basically, anything that directly affects the skier’s safety is their responsibility. Any accident that is caused by another skier’s negligence or unsafe behaviors is not seen as ski area negligence.
If you are injured as a result of a ski or snowboard accident or a ski lift accident on the property of a ski resort, you may be entitled to damages if you can prove your injuries were caused by the ski area’s negligence. This could include a trail not being properly maintained, downed telephone wires, or hidden vehicles that were not visible to the skier. Any of these situations can potentially make the ski area liable for your injuries.
Similar to the section above regarding ski lift accidents, ski areas use waivers as a defense tool so they won’t be held liable, but that argument typically doesn’t stand up in court.
What Mark Thiessen can do for you
Sustaining injuries from a ski or snowboard accident can be overwhelming and traumatizing for you and your loved ones. On top of a lengthy recovery process, you also may be facing hefty medical bills. You shouldn’t be forced to carry that burden.
The negligent skier or ski area should be responsible for paying for your damages. In order to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, an attorney will gather evidence from the accident and work with the necessary specialists to build a solid case for you. The right ski injury lawyer like Mark Thiessen will fight to ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve. These damages include the following:
- Medical bills or necessary treatments
- Physical therapy
- Loss of present and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Wrongful death
Having an attorney on your side can be beneficial for representing you when negotiating settlements. If an appropriate settlement cannot be negotiated, Mark will prepare your case for trial. As a trial-tested personal injury attorney, Mark Thiessen does not back down from trial. His knowledge of Colorado law and years of experience are what make him an exceptional attorney in and out of the courtroom.
In Need of a Ski Injury Lawyer? Contact Mark Thiessen from Thiessen Law Firm for top representation.
If you were a victim of an Aspen ski accident, you need the help of a top ski injury lawyer. Because ski accident cases are circumstance-based, it’s important to speak to an attorney before filing any claims. A ski injury lawyer will not only be proficient in Colorado’s personal injury laws but will have knowledge of the ins and outs of the skiing industry to help you build a stronger case.
Mark Thiessen from Thiessen Law Firm is not only an aggressive trial attorney, but he is also an avid Colorado skier. His love and knowledge of the sport will be beneficial when examining your case.
Call Mark Thiessen at 970-233-9000 or contact us online today for a FREE case evaluation.