Often a skiing accident is no one’s fault but that of the skier. However, in some cases, blame may lie elsewhere and if significant injury has resulted there may be a legal claim for compensation.
About 10% of accidents result from a collision with another person or an object. From a practical point of view, the other skier – the one who allegedly caused the problem – needs to be identified. Liability can normally be established against the other party if that party, skiing before the accident, was in breach of one of the 10 internationally recognised rules Federation International de Ski (FIS) conduct rules. The two rules most often invoked are:
In the case of an inexperienced skier who is under the supervision of a ski instructor, he or she may be asked to attempt a slope that is beyond capabilities or for which he or she has had insufficient tuition. It is part of the job of a ski instructor to offer increasing challenges to his pupils but there can be times when those challenges are unreasonable. The FIS lays down safe rules for ski instructors which can be very relevant, especially:
The most common cause of complaint by skiers after an accident is of malfunctioning or maladjusted equipment, most typically ski binding that does not release when the skier falls. Undoubtedly mistakes are sometimes made when ski equipment is picked up from the ski hire shop. In the case of faulty equipment, it should be possible to establish liability as long as the equipment is photographed after the incident. Maladjustments are more difficult to prove.
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You can claim compensation for the actual injury (general damages) caused as a result of the accident or negligent medical treatment and can also claim any out of pocket expenses (special damages) as a result. These can include your loss of earnings, medical expenses and any care and wellbeing needs that you have received or will need in the future from a professional carer or family members.
We will assess your claim at an initial free interview at one of our offices or if you prefer at your home or at hospital. At that interview we will explain the options to fund your claim, which include the possibility of legal aid, legal expenses insurance via your home contents insurance policy, or a No win, No fee agreement.