What to do if you are injured in a ski accident

Posted on 6th March 2020

Skiing is a popular pastime with more people taking to the slopes than ever before It is estimated that a staggering 300 million people around the world are involved in winter sports, with 200m skiers and 100m snowboarders, so it is inevitable that accidents will happen.

If you enjoy taking a skiing holiday and suffered an injury while on the slopes, you may be entitled to file for compensation for the pain and suffering you suffered as a result of the accident. However if the accident was your own fault and you were injured, it is your holiday insurance provider who would potentially pay compensation you for your injuries.

What shall I do if I had a skiing accident?

Here is what to do if you are involved in, or come across an accident, whilst out on the slopes, plus common skiing injuries you should be aware of.

  • Seek Medical Attention – It is highly likely that you will need medical attention for any of these injuries, so contact the resort’s emergency service as soon as possible. The most common sports injuries sustained during skiing tend to be knee injuries as well as injuries to the head and shoulder. Should you have suitable travel insurance, you will not need to worry too much.
  • Collate Evidence – Write up what happened to cause your injury in as much detail as you can and include details like weather conditions, visibility, markings, signs and location. You must remember to keep records of when you visited a doctor, clinic or hospital, and keep hold of any receipt for accident-related expenses.
  • Report The Accident – If you are on a package holiday, you must report the accident directly to the tour operator or via the resort. As well as this, you should contact your travel insurance provider at the earliest possible time as they will be able to advise you about your medical and legal situation.

Can I claim compensation for skiing injuries when off-piste?

There are certainly more risks to skiing or snowboarding off-piste because:

  • There aren’t warning signs off-piste that indicate avalanche dangers
  • You wouldn’t be protected from the known risks of snow-covered areas off-piste
  • There is more risk of snow slides

A way to avoid such risks is not to ski off-piste and stay where ski runs are well marked.

When it comes to making a claim for being injured while skiing, it could be much more difficult to prove third-party liability, which means you may not be eligible to claim compensation. However, if it was a guide or ski instructor who took you skiing off-piste and you suffered a ski accident, an assessment could be made on whether the ski instructor or guide was negligent in taking you off-piste, and if they were, then you may be able to claim for ski injury compensation.

How long do I have to make a claim for compensation for a ski accident?

In the UK, you have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. You must bear in mind that different countries operate different laws, which means the time you have to make a claim can be shorter depending on where your accident happened. If you wish to make a claim for a ski accident, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

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