Today in Charlotte the sun is shining and the air is crisp and cold. My breath freezes and the initial chill to the face is an eye opener. Temperatures are not expected to rise far above freezing, but the full day sun still has birds singing. All is well.
It is this time of year when my love of snow skiing takes over and I begin planning a trip to the North Carolina mountains. This year I'm determined to take on new adventures and experiences,. Being adventurous in the snow means that I'm going to rent a snowboard instead of skis. I look forward to falling again and again as I learn a new way of enjoying the snow. Thick padding and a good sense of humor are all that I will need (that, and good health insurance).
It comes as no surprise that people are injured every year on the slopes. Sometimes it's their fault while other times it is another skier who happens to run them over. Regardless of the cause, accidents cause injuries. As a personal injury attorney I'm occasionally asked whether or not there is any cause of action for the injured skier. My quick response is that a claim is doubtful because we assume the risk of injury when we participate in certain sports and snow skiing is definitely one of those sports where injuries are prone to happening. For that reason, ski slopes have insulated themselves from liability in most all situations. There is no short supply of North Carolina caselaw in favor of the ski slope. This is arguably the right decision; however, there are meritorious claims. It is such meritorious claims that take the careful review of a seasoned personal injury attorney who has experience with the specifics of niche injury claims.
Easy to follow safety precautions will be a better approach rather than having to address the issue of responsibility. Basic skiing tips include skiing on slopes that are within your level. Don't go straight to the top of the mountain to find a double black diamond if you aren't ready to tackle it. You know your level of experience and even the best of skiers do not start their day on the hardest slope of the mountain. Do not stop where trails merge or in an area where skiers above you cannot see you as they approach. Finally, do not ski when you've been drinking or taking drugs. You know if I'm talking to you and simply don't do it. A broken neck and paralysis aren't worth it. In sum, prevention will always be the best measure and skier safety is easy to follow.
Ski safe and don't laugh too hard if you see me falling.