Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Liability for Skiing Injuries in Washington

Posted Friday, November 24, 2017 by Chris Thayer

Winter is right around the corner, which means it is winter sports season here in the Pacific Northwest. Skiing is a popular winter activity, but it can also be dangerous. Every time you strap on a pair of skis, you risk getting into an accident. According to the National Ski Areas Association, skiers and snowboarders suffer an average of 49 catastrophic injuries per year. Injuries considered catastrophic include paralysis, broken neck and back, and severe head injuries. That number does not include the tens of thousands of less severe skiing injuries that occur every year, including:

Injury is not the only danger you face on the slopes.

If you have ever been skiing in Washington, then you know that you have to sign a waiver acknowledging both the risks involved and the inability to sue the resort or ski personnel for damages. That could make it difficult for you to receive compensation for your injuries and could also make you liable for someone else’s.

However, there are some exceptions where you can sue.

Skiers Generally Responsible for Their Own Safety

Washington law makes skiers responsible for their own safety and for the safety of others. This means that skiers should understand the inherent risks involved and exercise reasonable care. Keep a safe distance from other skiers; do not go too fast; get out of the way and do not linger once you get off the chairlift. There are common sense steps like these that skiers can take to prevent accidents. If they do not, then they can be held liable for causing accidents.

If another skier crashes into and injures you, and you can prove that he or she was skiing recklessly, then you have a viable negligence claim and can file a personal injury lawsuit.

Skier recklessness is not the only cause of skiing accidents. Sometimes ski equipment malfunctions or ski personnel acts negligently. In those instances you could potentially sue the resort or personnel for damages. (Note that chairlifts are generally a safe mode of transportation and there has not been a fatality caused by a malfunctioning chairlift in 25 years.)

Ski Area Requirements

Washington law lists several requirements that ski resorts must meet. Failure to comply could result in accidents and liability for any resulting damages. These requirements include:

Contact Us Today

Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you have been injured in a skiing accident. Our experienced attorneys will examine the facts of your case and help you determine whether you have a viable negligence claim. We will help you recover the compensation that you deserve.