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What Happens When You Become Injured in a Winter Sports Accident?


During the winter months, outdoor enthusiasts take on the slopes to practice their skiing and snowboarding skills. However, even though these outdoor activities can be fun and thrilling, they can also be extremely hazardous. When participants take proper safety precautions, they can typically prevent injuries from occurring. Sometimes, however, accidents are inevitable. This is especially the case when the accident occurs due to another’s behavior.

Since 2010, more than one million people have been injured while participating in winter sports—skiing and snowboarding combined account for more than 50% of those fatalities. Among the diagnoses, ten (10) to nineteen (19) year-olds overtook the other age groups, attributing for nearly forty-four percent (44%) of the injuries. In the 2019 winter season, nearly 101,000 people were hurt while participating in a winter sport. The severity of the resulting injuries can range from a simple broken bone to even death. In the past decade, head injuries were the most common injuries in winter sports, accounting for nearly 234,000 accidents.

Common Causes of Accidents
Skiing and snowboarding accidents can be caused by all kinds of reasons. Some of the most common include:
  1. Rapid skiing in heavily populated areas
  2. Collisions with other skiers
  3. Ski area negligence including poorly designed and maintained slopes
  4. Lack of training and/or supervision
  5. Defective rental equipment
 Whenever the accident is caused by another reckless skier/snowboarder, you may deserve financial compensation for your sustained injuries. There are also situations where the ski resort or other parties may be held comparatively responsible.
If I sustained an injury at a ski resort while participating, what are my options?

It is crucial you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney when you injure yourself while skiing/snowboarding. The personal injury attorney will evaluate your case and see if you can recover compensation for your injuries since these lawsuits can be very complex. Outcomes depend on the facts of the incident, statutes, rules, and regulations.

There are no ski safety acts in the state of Illinois and government and its employees are immune from claims arising from “hazardous recreational activity,” defined to include skiing, sledding, and tobogganing, that occurs on public land. 746 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 10/3-109.

If you are injured in an accident that is the fault of another, you may be able to sue them for negligence or reckless behavior and recover compensation for your injuries. In Novak v. Virene, 586 N.E.2d 578 (Ill. App. Ct. 1991), the court did not extend the common law contact sport liability limitation to skiing, stating that skiers owe each other duty of reasonable care and that the sport is not a contact sport. In other words, downhill skiers are not exempt from negligence liability if they negligently collide with other skiers. You may have a claim against the other person for a negligent act.

 In order to have a successful personal injury lawsuit for a skiing or snowboarding accident, you must prove the four (4) elements of negligence: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages. This means you need to prove that the defendant had a responsibility or duty to act with a reasonable amount of care, and through either the commission of an act or through omission, they had breached this duty. You must also show that defendant’s conduct or negligence caused your injury for which you are seeking monetary compensation. Your lawsuit may be based on the theory of negligence if the sustained injury was due to the following:
  1. Collision with another skier or snowboarder who was behaving recklessly
  2. The terrain on which you were skiing/snowboarding was inadequately maintained, marked, or designed
  3. Your instructor led you to a terrain that was beyond your capability level
  4. Your rental equipment was defective
Seek Help

If you have been injured while participating in a winter sport activity and believe that your accident was caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, we at Sherwood Law Group may be able to help you. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your case and get you the compensation that you rightfully deserve for your injuries. All consultations are absolutely free. Contact Sherwood Law Group at 312.627.1650 or
Categories: personal injury