One moment, you are making a remarkable downhill run, and the next, you find yourself on the ground in a mangled heap with a stranger. The good days on the slope can turn instantly when a crash occurs, leaving the potential for extensive medical expenses and days of missed work to recover from your injuries.
Most people rarely think about the aftermath of an accident, but coming back from an injury can be overwhelming and costly. Determining fault in a ski and snowboard accident in Michigan is challenging. An Okemos personal injury lawyer at White Law PLLC will diligently work to determine who is at fault so you can recover the compensation you may be owed for ski or snowboard accident damages.
Michigan Ski and Snowboard Obvious and Necessary Dangers
Michigan lawmakers understood the complications surrounding the potential of winter sports activity accidents as early as the 1960s. Because of the need for regulation over how the ski industry would operate and to provide safety for winter activity enthusiasts, the Ski Area Safety Act of 1962 (SASA) was created to set guidelines for operations and liability and determine the costs for violating this act. According to section 408.342 of the Act, there is an acceptance of certain dangers that accompany these activities, which include but are not limited to:
- Hazards resulting from variations in terrain
- Icy conditions
- Surface or subsurface snow
- Bare spots
- Natural formations, such as rocks and trees
- Collisions with other skiers
- Collisions with snow-making or snow-grooming equipment that are marked and visible or ski lift tower components
After stating the obvious and necessary dangers, the act explains the duties of a skier and the operators. When these duties are not followed, a violation of the act occurs, which can lead to liability by the negligent party for the injuries they cause. The most effective way to determine negligence in a ski or snowboard accident is to allow a Michigan ski accident attorney to investigate your case.
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Determining Fault in a Ski and Snowboard Accident in Michigan
The first consideration in determining fault will be to prove that another skier or the ski operator failed to meet their duties described in the Michigan SASA. If the incident included another skier or snowboarder, their behaviors will be examined to determine if they failed to meet the responsibilities of a skier described in the act. Any behaviors going against a duty defined by the act may constitute negligence.
Ski and snowboarding accidents in Michigan do not always include another skier. Accidents can be the result of behaviors by the ski area operator. The Michigan SASA also gives a detailed list of the duties of a ski area operator. The incidents leading to the injury must be reviewed to determine if a ski area operator failed to meet their responsibilities, resulting in the accident that led to the injury.
The act states specific actions a skier or snowboarder must take when they cause or are harmed in an accident that injures another skier or creates a hazardous condition for others. The penalties for failing to take the proper steps are outlined as well. The act finally states that any skier or operator who violates the act can be found liable for the portion of damage caused by the violation.
What a Ski Accident Attorney in Michigan Will Review to Determine Fault
When an accident occurs, a personal injury claim proceeds in stages. A ski or snowboard accident attorney in Michigan at White Law PLLC can provide a comprehensive assessment of the details to determine if a violation of the state’s Ski Area Safety Act or any other act of negligence played a part in contributing to the accident that resulted in the damages you suffered. Information that is vital to any case involving negligence includes:
- A report by law enforcement or medical personnel about the events of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony to the actions contributing to the accident
- Medical reports explaining the injuries and a prognosis
- Work documents detailing time off as a result of the injuries
- Pictures of the accident scene and injuries
- A review of expenses related to treatment and care, such as transportation costs or medical equipment rental
Whether or not the responsible individual followed the appropriate reporting procedures after the accident is also crucial, insurance companies responsible for compensation in ski and snowboard accidents will inherently push back against a claim or lawsuit for damages. Effective and experienced legal guidance can be the most effective way to provide evidence in a case.
We know how to get our clients the results they need in the toughest legal arenas.
Additional Factors Relevant to Fault in Michigan Ski and Snowboard Accidents
When a ski accident appears to result from negligent operations by a ski operator, it must be proven that the operator owed the individual a duty of care to provide a safe environment for skiing. Because this care was absent, an accident resulted, leading to injury. Proving fault will require a review of other accidents occurring at the ski area and whether the operator failed to meet their duties.
Any waivers of liability that a ski operator requires might also play a part in determining fault and whether legal action can be pursued for injuries. A waiver of liability never wholly removes all responsibility from an operator when they are found negligent of their duties. Even if a waiver of liability has been signed, White Law PLLC can help determine if the waiver is applicable in your case.
Finally, the injured party’s actions will be reviewed to determine if their behaviors contributed to the incident. Accessing closed areas, skiing or snowboarding in an unsafe manner, or contributing to fault in the accident can impact the determination of fault. Hiring a personal injury lawyer allows for every contributing factor to be considered.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Let a Ski and Snowboard Accident Attorney Review Your Claim
Intricate laws apply to ski and snowboard accidents in Michigan. There is never one answer that applies to every question concerning these incidents. Recovering the damages you may be entitled to will require a determined team to navigate fault on your behalf.
Jamie White and the White Law PLLC team are dedicated to seeking justice for clients injured in an accident. Experience and a determination to provide exceptional service are only a few of the qualities we take pride in that our clients notice immediately. A free case review lets us analyze how we can help you and answer your questions about your Michigan ski or snowboard accident.
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We Exceed Client Expectations.