skiing accident

Thousands of people enjoy Oregon’s ski slopes each year, from Mount Bachelor to Mount Hood. While skiing is an exciting activity, it is also very dangerous – accidents are much more likely on the slopes than in many other sports. From dangerous terrain to defective skis and equipment and reckless skiers, there is no shortage of hazards you need to watch for. If you get injured in an accident and you think it was caused by the negligence of another, you may have legal options. However, Oregon law on ski accident liability is complicated and that is why it is important to seek help from an experienced Portland ski accident lawyer. Rizk Law’s senior lawyer and founder, Richard Rizk is the volunteer general counsel of the Cascade Ski Club and coaches downhill ski racing for Special Olympics Oregon.

Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation with our trusted attorneys to discuss what happened in your skiing accident. We will inform you of your legal options and the compensation you may be owed. There is no obligation to pursue a case, and if you do, you will not be charged for our services unless you are compensated.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today or call us at 503.342.0783.

Skiing in Oregon

Oregon is home to some of the most diverse skiing in North America, ranging from luxury mountain resorts to local ski areas such as:

  • Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort
  • Cooper Spur
  • Mount Hood Meadows
  • Hoodoo Ski Area
  • Mount Ashland
  • Spout Springs
  • Timberline Lodge
  • Warner Canyon
  • Ferguson Ridge
  • Willamette Pass

There are a variety of skiing opportunities which can be enjoyed nearly year-round. However, accidents on the slope can happen to seasoned skiers and beginners alike. During the 2017-2018 season, there were several reported skiing incidents resulting in serious injuries and fatalities in Oregon:

  • A 19-year-old female and avid skier died on Mount Bachelor after she fell inside a tree well, an area of loose snow often found at the base of trees.
  • A 58-year-old man and lifelong skier died on Mount Hood Meadows when his ski bindings unexpectedly came undone and he fell into a deep snow hole.

If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or death from a skiing accident, contact our ski accident lawyers in Portland as soon as possible. We can review the details of your accident and determine if negligence was involved.

Fill out our free online form to get started.

What to Do After a Ski Accident Injury

If you get hit by another skier, fall or are involved in any other type of skiing accident, it is tough to know exactly what to do. Many victims of skiing accidents are confused and anxious and they may even do things that hurt their chances of recovering compensation.

Taking the steps below can help you document important evidence at the scene and help preserve any future claims for compensation:

  • Take pictures of your injuries – One of the benefits of so many people having cellphones with cameras is that they can take pictures after an accident. Pictures from right after the accident help to link your injuries to what happened.
  • Take pictures of the scene itself – Make sure to capture the scene, including any obstacles that contributed to your accident or injuries, such as trees or rough terrain. This helps to identify the scene if your Portland ski accident lawyer needs to revisit the scene.
  • Photograph damaged equipment – The accident may have damaged your skis or other equipment or clothing. Make sure to take pictures because these things could have played a role in your injuries.
  • Collect contact information – It is very important to get the name of the person who hit you and his or her contact information. You should also talk to witnesses to the accident and get their contact information. It is possible they saw things you were unaware of and these could be important factors in your legal claim.
  • Try to remain calm – Sometimes victims are unclear of exactly why the accident occurred. However, if you got hit by another skier you may become angry about it. That is understandable, but you need to try to keep your emotions in check. If you get into a fight with the other skier, it could hurt your chances of recovering compensation. You could also potentially face assault charges. If you get attacked by the other skier who thinks the accident is your fault, take reasonable steps to protect yourself.
  • Obtain medical treatment right away – If you are physically able to collect information at the scene, go ahead and do it. If you are with friends, ask them to help you out. If you think you are seriously injured, it may be best to just call 9-1-1 and wait for help to arrive. Moving around too much could cause your injuries to worsen.

After receiving medical treatment, you may want to talk to a Portland ski accident attorney about your potential legal options. The lawyers at Rizk Law can determine if you have a valid claim and what the next steps are.

Call our firm today for your free legal consultation. 503.342.0783.

Deadline for Taking Legal Action

It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as you can because you have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation. Another thing to remember is that it takes time to fully investigate a skiing accident and build a strong case that gives the victim a chance of obtaining fair compensation.

Under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 30.980(3), actions against ski operators for damages must be commenced within two years of the date of injuries. The same deadline applies if you are suing another skier (ORS 12.110(1)).

When injury victims hear “two years” they may think there is plenty of time. However, the longer you wait, the longer it will take to obtain compensation. You may also be making it harder for an attorney to build a case.

Another deadline to be aware of is stated in ORS 30.980(4)(a) – ski area operators must be notified of an injury or death within 180 days of it happening. The only exceptions to this rule are as follows:

  • The ski area operator did not give you notice of the 180-day deadline
  • You or the victim’s beneficiaries had good cause for failing to provide notice
  • The ski area operator knew about the injury or death before the 180 days passed

Rizk Law’s Portland ski accident lawyers can determine how much time you have to file a case and ensure you comply with the 180-day deadline.

Contact us today at 503.342.0783 to discuss how we can help you.

Common Skiing Accidents

If you suffered injuries in any of the following skiing accidents, you may have a legal claim against another skier or another entity, such as a resort or product manufacturer:

  • Collision with another skier or skiing instructor
  • Lift accident, such as falling from a lift when getting on or getting off
  • Falling down a slope
  • Collision with trees or low-hanging branches
  • Collisions with fences, barriers or signs
  • Getting your hands caught in the straps of your poles
  • Falling after a jump
  • Poorly maintained slopes or skiing area
  • Crashes when riding on skiing vehicles
  • Accidents caused by poor instruction from a skiing or snowboarding instructor
  • Accidents that resulted from a poorly designed or marked skiing area

These accidents can result in many different injuries, such as:

  • Concussions
  • Brain injuries
  • Knee ligament injuries, including tears and sprains
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Thumb injuries

A variety of people or entities could be held liable for these injuries, including:

  • The company responsible for the running and upkeep of the ski area
  • Employees of that company
  • Other skiers
  • The manufacturer of your equipment
  • The store where you bought or leased your equipment, and their suppliers
  • Skiing instructors
  • Skiing resorts

No matter the circumstances of your accident, if you think the negligence of another party played a part in it, you may have a case. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Portland to determine your options.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.

Proving Negligence in a Ski Accident Case

Your ski accident attorney in Portland must prove your accident was the result of negligence to be able to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. Negligence means another person or entity failed to take reasonable steps to help prevent an injury to someone else. This is the legal theory used in most personal injury cases.

However, ski accident cases are more complicated because of Oregon laws on skiing activities. Under ORS 30.975, anyone who engages in the sport of skiing accepts and assumes inherent risks that are obvious, expected or necessary. ORS 30.970(1) defines inherent risks as dangers or conditions that are integral to the sport, including but not limited to:

  • Changing weather
  • Changes or steepness in terrain
  • Snow or ice
  • Surface conditions
  • Subsurface conditions
  • Creeks
  • Gullies
  • Bare spots
  • Forest growth
  • Rocks
  • Tree stumps
  • Lifts
  • Other structures or components you come into contact with
  • Collisions with other skiers
  • Your own failure to do things within your abilities

This law makes it harder to prove negligence if your accident involved an inherent danger or condition. Another section of the law (ORS 30.985) further complicates things because it gives you certain duties. If you violate these duties, it may be harder to establish that someone else is liable for your injuries. According to the law, you:

  • Are the sole judge of the limits of your skills and ability to overcome inherent risks and maintain reasonable control
  • Must abide by the instructions of the ski area operator
  • Must yield to other skiers when entering a trail or starting to go downhill
  • Must wear retention straps to prevent skis from getting away from you
  • Must leave your name and address after an accident, if it is reasonably possible
  • Must not overtake a skier unless you are trying to avoid contact
  • Must grant the right of way to any skier you overtake
  • Must follow written or verbal instructions about rope tows, j-bars, t-bars, ski lifts and other similar devices
  • Must not use ski lifts and other devices unless you have sufficient ability to use these devices
  • Must familiarize yourself with posted information about the locations and degree of difficulty of trails and slopes before using them

If you were injured by another skier, your Portland ski accident lawyer may be able to use the requirements against this person. Maybe he or she was violating the law.

However, given how complicated it is to prove negligence in a ski accident case, you should strongly consider seeking legal representation. The lawyers at Rizk Law are committed to conducting a thorough investigation of your case to find out what happened and how negligence played a role in your injuries. Our goal is to recover fair compensation for all the damages you suffered, from medical expenses and lost wages to lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life and property damage.

Contact us today at 503.342.0783 to find out more about how we can help you pursue compensation.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Portland Ski Accident Lawyer

Skiing can be a lot of fun, until an accident occurs because of someone else’s recklessness, including other skiers, ski area operators or product manufacturers.

The Portland ski accident attorneys at Rizk Law understand what you are going through and the damages you have suffered. We want to help you obtain the compensation you need to help pay for your medical treatment and deal with the other financial, physical and emotional challenges caused by your injuries.

We take cases on contingency, so there is no charge for your consultation and you will not owe us anything if you do not receive compensation from the liable party.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to get started.