The Personal Injury Blog

Skiing Accidents: Will I be able to claim?

Alpine skiing and snowboarding are increasingly popular activities and this is the time of year when many people are thinking about booking a winter holiday. Indeed some 40 million skiers will venture to resorts worldwide over this coming winter period.

Skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports will always involve some amount of risk. They are, by their nature, high speed and often undertaken in fairly remote environments. Accidents can and do happen and the fun can quickly end – painfully and expensively! If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s mistakes our lawyers may be able to help you make a compensation claim.

Causes of Skiing Accidents:

  • the majority of skiing accidents are the result of an isolated fall
  • 10% arise from a collision with another skier
  • 5% are ski lift related
  • 5% are as a result of equipment failure
  • 25% are caused by a collision with an object such as a tree or a pylon (of these 60- 70 % require hospital admission)
  • Skiing off-piste is one of the most risky activities. If in doubt always stick to the marked ski runs.

Proving Negligence in Skiing accidents:

If you’ve been injured whilst skiing or on a winter holiday and it wasn’t your fault you may be able to make a compensation claim from here in the UK. To prove there was negligence you must show:

  • the person or organisation you are claiming against owed you a duty of care
  • they breached that duty
  • the breach resulted in you suffering harm or damage.

Common Examples of Accidents that may lead to a Claim:

  • dangerous skiing or snowboarding practices by others
  • faulty or unsafely operated machinery, such as ski lifts
  • improper tuition from a ski instructor
  • ski runs are not properly prepared/maintained
  • dangerous signposting/misplacement of equipment on the piste
  • poorly maintained/faulty ski hire equipment 

Claiming Compensation for a Skiing Accident Abroad:

Often an accident abroad will occur during a package holiday. These holidays are regulated by the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. Under these Regulations you are entitled to claim compensation for your injury in the UK.

Under the Regulations an operator who sells you an activity-based holiday, such as a skiing trip, has a legal duty to protect you from harm resulting from the negligence of any party to the holiday package contract that you entered into when booking your trip. This includes retailers such as hoteliers and also other parties such as ski instructors.

If you have booked your holiday independently you can still make a claim but much will depend on where in the world you were skiing when your accident occurred. If your injury occurred whilst skiing in a country outside the EU it is likely that any claim you bring will fall under the jurisdiction of the country where the accident occurred. However there are exceptions and various complicated regulations to consider so it is advisable to seek expert legal advice in these cases.

How Long Do I Have to Claim?

UK law generally states that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim for compensation. However the time limits for claiming for personal injury differ widely between countries. Again it is advisable to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is successful.

If you have been injured in a ski accident or any other type of winter sport accident, please contact our experienced personal injury team on 0114 218 4000 or email info@tayloremmet.co.uk

Julie Moore

Julie is a litigation executive at Taylor&Emmet LLP. She assists in a wide variety of cases inducing those concerning accidents at work and RTA's. Julie started working at Taylor&Emmet in 2009, prior to joining the firm she worked at a law firm in Leeds having graduated from the city too. For more information on this topic email julie.moore@tayloremmet.co.uk or call her on 0114 218 4161.

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