California Ski Accident Lawyers

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Experienced Ski Accident Lawyers In California That Provide The Excellent Representation That You Need

Unfortunately, accidents can happen while you’re on a ski trip. That’s why you must always know what to do when disaster strikes. If you’re injured and it’s due to other people’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation. Call the California ski accident lawyers from Arash Law at (888) 488-1391 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

California is not all about sandy beaches, surfboards, flip-flops, and Hollywood stars. It’s also home to many ski and snowboard resorts. This makes it the fifth state with the highest number of the nation’s favorite snowsport destinations.

While iconic sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz await in San Francisco, a winter escape to the snowy peaks of Northstar or Palisades Tahoe shouldn’t be missed. Beyond the breathtaking winter scenery, these ski areas offer exhilarating thrills as you glide down the slopes.

Nevertheless, make sure to take extra precautions while you’re having fun. This skiing is tough on the body, and it takes place in a naturally high-risk environment. If you get into a ski accident, you may sustain injuries ranging from sprains to fractures. However, if your injury resulted from the negligence of others, you may be entitled to compensation. Feel free to contact our expert ski accident lawyers in California if you have questions.

Do I Need A Lawyer For A Ski Accident In California?

If you’re a victim of a ski accident in California, you need a lawyer to protect your rights to compensation and recover damages for your medical bills and other losses. Skiing can result in devastating injuries due to speed, unexpected terrain variations, and high-altitude weather conditions. Negligence is also a contributing factor, which is grounds for a valid claim.

Here’s why you need our California ski accident lawyers:

  • Law Expertise – Our personal injury law firm has specialized knowledge about California laws applicable to your case. We have a deep understanding of premises liability, negligence, and other legal principles.
  • Investigation & Evidence Gathering – We will thoroughly review the details of your accident to create an airtight case. We’ll gather evidence like witness statements, camera footage, and expert testimony.
  • Insurance Negotiations – Victims won’t have to face ski resorts and insurance companies alone. We’ll deal with communications and negotiations on your behalf. Our legal team will make sure their strategies to lowball you and deny your claim won’t work.
  • Maximum Compensation – Our personal injury lawyers in California have successfully recovered over $500 Million in compensation for our clients. You can ensure you’ll get a fair amount that will cover all your injuries and losses.
  • Court Representation – Insurance companies will resist as much as they can. If negotiations fail, we’re fully prepared to represent you in court.
  • Peace Of Mind – Our ski accident lawyers in California will handle all aspects of your case. You can focus on your recovery while knowing you have a powerful advocate for your rights.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

$22,000,000.00

December 2016: $22M+ verdict in a mild traumatic brain injury case. The entire details of the case can be found in the public record filings by the defendant entity that sued its defense
–  BRIAN BEECHER

What Are Common Causes of Ski Accidents In California?

A lot of factors—from the equipment used and human error to the environment where the sport takes place—can result in a ski accident. That’s why skiing requires careful preparation and constant alertness. As parts of California continue to become popular destinations for this sport, our ski accident lawyers have seen rising cases with the following contributing factors.

Lack Of Proper Equipment

Skiing requires specialized equipment to ensure optimal safety and performance. However, using outdated, damaged, or ill-fitting gear can lead to accidents. Using accessories and peripherals designed for other sports can also be dangerous.

Skiers should not forget to wear their equipment, as this can quickly become a costly mistake. The risks of brain injuries are higher in an accident without a helmet.

An encouraging fact is that helmet use is on the rise, according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). During the 2020 to 2021 ski season, around 87% of all skiers and snowboarders wore helmets. However, this still leaves 13% of ski enthusiasts vulnerable to accidents.

When skiing, ensure you have complete gear for the best protection. Bring your own or find a reliable rental shop with high-quality equipment. If you’re in South Lake Tahoe, for example, you can consider Heavenly Sport or Sports LTD.

Poor Gear Maintenance

Did you know you should tune your skis every four to seven days or so? This step is a crucial part of maintenance that shouldn’t be limited to once a season. If you ski regularly, the changing ground conditions can cause imperfections on the ski surface. As they add up, they can prevent your equipment from performing correctly, resulting in an accident.

Lack Of Physical Preparation

Skiing is all about knee movement, which relies on the combined efforts of the trunk and leg muscles. You must train these areas so they can support the types of maneuvers you do on the slopes. Without proper physical preparation, there are risks of overexertion and, consequently, bodily injuries.

Additionally, skiers must warm up before hitting the slopes. Skiing is a fun sport, but it can still be quite strenuous on the body. A proper warm-up helps ensure the muscles and joints are ready for physical activity, preventing accidents.

Muscle Fatigue

Your muscles are your stabilizers while your knee bends and straightens. When fatigue sets in, they can’t do their jobs properly. According to Dr. Travis Moak, a sports medicine expert, the ligaments take the brunt of the damage when the muscles are tired. This leads to injuries like a torn ACL. If they fall on the slope, they can also cause a chain of reactions involving other skiers.

Skiing While Inebriated

Doing any physical activity under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous. These substances can significantly affect coordination, judgment, and reaction times. Such issues can snowball into inherently risky places like ski slopes. For instance, impaired skiers may collide with other people or fail to respond quickly to an obstacle.

Ignoring Warning Signs

Ski slopes have a lot of signage and markers informing patrons of the following:

  • Trail difficulty levels
  • Potential hazards, like rocks, trees, and steep drop-offs
  • Slow zones for areas with congestion or beginners
  • Boundaries of the ski area
  • Closed trails
  • Information for ski patrols or emergency services
 

All of these signs are for everyone’s safety on the slopes. Ignoring them seldom ends well and can result in a personal injury accident. It may even involve other skiers who are innocently having fun.

Ski Resort Negligence

Ski areas require thorough preparation to make the slopes safe for visitors. Resorts have a duty to keep their patrons secure. Accidents may happen if they are negligent in these ways:

  • Improperly marked trails
  • Signs with low visibility
  • Ski resort instructors teach unsafe techniques
  • Defective rental equipment
  • Failure to clear obstructions on the slope
 

Ski resorts have premises liability if they fail to exercise due diligence in maintaining a safe space for skiers and snowboarders.

Avalanches

Snowy mountains always have a small risk of avalanches. Several factors trigger this natural phenomenon, such as:

  • Terrain characteristics
  • Weather conditions
  • Human activity
 

Avalanches aren’t much of a concern in ski areas due to mitigation practices. However, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibilities. In January 2024, an incident killed one person and injured three others at the Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort.

What Causes Ski Accidents In California
Emperatriz Ayala
Emperatriz Ayala
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My husband had an accident 2 years ago, a 85 years old man hit him, the Arash law group works very well on my husband case that took 9 month and he won the case and my husband was happy with the results. A year later I got into an accident as well and I’m still waiting in my case is almost resolving and it’s 9 months already. This people knows the law and they do their job right to help you out in getting the most for you to fight on your behalf. I strongly recommend the Arash Law firm they do things right in a efficient and professional manner.
Chris Zavala
Chris Zavala
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Had a great experience with all the people at Arash law. Long story short was in a bad car accident. It was overwhelming and the whole process was a lot, but they kept me in the loop. They answered all my questions and gave me great advice. Couldn't be any happier. Would definitely recommend anyone looking for a personal injury lawyer. They'll guide you through the whole process!
Jill Smith
Jill Smith
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Having Arash Law handle my auto accident was the best decision I could have made. Everyone I interacted with was kind, professional and detail oriented. I am extremely happy with the outcome and would recommend them highly.
Joseph R. Porter
Joseph R. Porter
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From start to finish, Arash Law firm is there every step of the way with close, constant, personal contact and attention. I never knew a Law firm could actually care so much for me as a person and what I was personally going through as well as the settlement I was going to recieve once my case was finally completed. Thank you to everyone at Arash Law for your ongoing support and communication. You are the ONLY firm I will ever recommend to someone who is need of a great attorny.
Monica Parra
Monica Parra
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I had an excellent experience with Arash Law. I will definitely recommend to my family and friends. I interviewed a few firms before deciding to work with Arash Law. What made my experience excellent was (i.e. head attorney being accessible to talk to and he answered all my questions and concerns, sensitive and thorough personel who completed in home intake & follow up process, being connected immediately to quality Physicians who addressed my injuries and recovery process, clear contract-read throughly to ensure its something you can commit to). Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience and I had a sense of peace knowing Arash Firm was walking with me throughout the whole process. Thank you Arash Firm for all your hard work and help. I am so grateful and appreciative for you all! 🙏 With Gratitude, Monica Parra
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Most Common Injuries Sustained In California Ski Accidents

Most Common Injuries Sustained In Ski Accidents

Skiing and other winter sports can pose higher risks for fatalities and injuries. Some of the most common injuries our ski accident lawyers see in California are:

  • Knee Injuries – In a 2023 study, around 31.2% of skiers observed had an injury in the knee region. This area is the most frequently injured part of the body, likely because it plays a crucial role in executing maneuvers while skiing.
  • Soft Tissue Damage – Some of the most common skiing injuries are rotator cuff strains and ligament tears. These often result from falls or collisions on the slopes.
  • Head Trauma – Accidents involving collisions and falls can cause damage to the head and neck. Examples are whiplash, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Back Issues – A terrible accident can lead to a herniated disc or spinal cord injury. Victims may experience long-term consequences like paralysis, reduced mobility, and loss of sensation.
  • Orthopedic Injuries – Ski and snowboarding accidents may result in fractures and dislocations. Commonly affected areas include the wrists, shoulders, legs, and ankles.
  • Internal Injuries – Blunt force trauma from impacts or falls can cause organ damage or internal bleeding.
  • Frostbite and Hypothermia – Ski areas have extremely low temperatures. At Mammoth Mountain, for example, the average temperatures during the skiing season can range from around -8 °C to 10 °C. Skiers not adequately dressed for the cold can get frostbite, hypothermia, or other related injuries.

If the negligence of others causes an injury, you may have a valid claim for compensation. Contact our California ski accident lawyers to know if you have a case.

Applicable California Laws & Rules For Skiers And Snowboarders

If you have a ski accident case in California, our lawyers will discuss all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Nevertheless, here are some important ones to know.
Don’t Enter Closed Areas

Resorts can close some parts within their permit area for various reasons, such as hazardous terrain, grooming operations, or the high risk of an avalanche. If you ski in a closed area with signs indicating its closure, that’s trespassing. This behavior is a misdemeanor according to California Penal Code Section 602(r).

A closed area may also refer to private property outside the resort’s boundaries. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t enter these parts. The landowner can pursue a trespassing case against you if you do.

There are no laws regarding public properties outside the resort’s boundaries. However, skiing in these areas poses high risks, and you may bear sole responsibility for any consequences.

Avoid Collisions With Other People And Stay On The Scene

It’s a public duty to avoid collisions as much as you can. Still, skiing accidents may happen whether or not someone is negligent or reckless. If you’re ever involved in such an incident, it’s your legal responsibility to remain at the scene. The California Penal Code Section 653i penalizes anyone who leaves the location without the intent to get help.

Know Your Responsibilities On The Slope

There’s a set of guidelines that skiers and snowboarders must follow to ensure everyone’s safety. NSAA’s Your Responsibility Code may not be the law. Still, it’s a universally accepted code of conduct on the slopes. Some key points are:

  • You must avoid objects or people on the slope.
  • Yield right-of-way to people going down the slope.
  • Read and follow all signs and markings.
  • Don’t use the lift when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
 

It’s your responsibility as a skier to know these safety codes by heart. If everyone on the slope practices these behaviors, we can see reduced rates of skiing injuries and fatalities.

Who Is Responsible For Ski Accidents In California?

California follows a legal concept called “assumption of risk.” When you go skiing, you accept the inherent dangers of the sport. Regardless, you may still sustain an injury due to the negligence of others. In this case, you may be eligible for compensation from the liable parties. They could be any of the following.

  • Ski Resorts – These businesses must maintain properly groomed slopes, functioning equipment, well-trained staff, and adequate signage. If an accident occurs because the resort failed to fulfill its responsibilities, it can be held liable.
  • Ski Resort Staff – An employee can be responsible if their mistake leads to an injured patron. For instance, a chairlift operator might fail to guide a beginner properly. This could result in a situation similar to the January 2024 accident in Mammoth Mountain, Mono County. A 16-year-old snowboarder was hospitalized after falling from her seat.
  • Ski Instructors Or Guides – Skiers, especially beginners, rely primarily on proper instruction to embark on the slopes and learn new skills safely. If they get into an accident due to negligent guidance, the instructor can be held responsible.
  • Rental Shops – Proper equipment is a crucial factor in the skier’s safety; ski accidents regularly occur because of defective gear. If a rental shop provided them, they’re on the hook for the person’s injuries.
  • Other Skiers – Another person on the slope might engage in reckless behavior, leading to an accident. They may disregard safety rules and collide with another skier.
  • Third Parties – Liability can also fall on other entities, including the maintenance contractor or event organizers, if their negligence contributed to the incident.
 

If you’re injured in a ski accident in California, you must reach out to our qualified lawyers. We’ll determine all liable parties and hold them accountable for your injuries.

Types Of Recoverable Damages For Injured Skiers

Skiers who are injured because of someone else’s negligence can pursue compensation. If you’re a victim of a ski accident, our California lawyers will recover the economic and non-economic damages for you.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are quantifiable losses. We can prove them by presenting bills, receipts, and invoices for past and future expenses related to your injury. Our team will also consider the amount of money you’ll lose as a result. Here are some examples:

  • Medical bills for treating your ski injuries, including hospitalization, rehabilitation, and therapy
  • Medications and medical equipment
  • Lost wages due to the inability to work
  • Lost future earning capacity because of a resulting long-term impairment or disability
  • Repair or replacement of damaged property, like ski equipment and clothing
  • Additional household expenses for accommodating the injury, like modifications and hiring help
Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible. As such, they can be harder to quantify in a claim. Nevertheless, our California ski accident lawyers will attach a monetary value that will rightfully cover their effect on your life. These may include compensation for:

  • Physical pain and general suffering due to the injury
  • Emotional trauma from the accident
  • Mental anguish, anxiety, and depression
  • The negative impact on the victim’s relationships with family members
 

If you’re suffering from an injury, you should consult with our legal team specializing in ski accidents. We’ll help you determine the types of compensation you’re entitled to.

What To Do After A Ski Accident In California

What To Do After A Ski Accident In California

First, make sure to keep your mind clear and focused. You need to remember the following steps to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. Here’s what to do to build a strong foundation for your ski accident case:

  1. Keep calm and assess your condition. If you have anyone with you, check them for injuries as well.
  2. If you’re able, move to a safe area and away from oncoming skiers or accidents.
  3. Notify the ski patrol or any of the resort staff as soon as possible. You can usually distinguish them by their bright jackets. If outside ski hours, call 911.
  4. Wait for help to arrive. Make sure you submit to a medical evaluation so you can get properly assessed. Remember, some injuries aren’t initially apparent. You need a professional’s opinion on your current state, allowing you to receive the proper care in the future. Doing this also provides the documentation you need for a claim.
  5. Take photos and videos of your surroundings. Include any hazardous conditions on the slope, your injuries, other people involved, and property damage.
  6. Exchange information with other people on the scene, including witnesses. Ask for their contact information and insurance details.
  7. Don’t say anything without the presence of your lawyer, even to the ski resort and its staff. Being silent is better for you, as anything you say can be used against your claim.
  8. Report the accident to your insurance provider. Provide accurate details about the accident, but don’t give more than the basic facts.
  9. Consult with trusted California lawyers who specialize in ski accidents. We’ll guide you through the legal process and ensure you get the amount you deserve.

When Should I Hire Ski Accident Lawyers In California?

Talk to experienced lawyers as soon as you can after a ski accident in California. This is the right move to protect your rights. Delaying this step can cause issues with your claim, such as:

  • Insurance companies will try to pressure you into a lower settlement.
  • Negligent parties may try to intimidate you into dropping your claim.
  • Time-sensitive evidence can be lost.
  • Malicious parties may try to manipulate the scene and witnesses.
 

If you’re suffering from a personal injury due to negligence, reach out to our qualified lawyers right away. We’ll help you explore your legal options and provide professional guidance on what you should do next.

Statute Of Limitations In California For Ski Injury Claims

Another reason you should immediately seek legal help is that you have a deadline of two years for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This timeframe is established by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. In general, the two-year statute of limitations is from the date of injury or discovery. Your claim can be forfeited if you don’t file within the allowable period.

However, there are exceptions and variations depending on the specific circumstances of your case. For example:

  • Medical malpractice and property damage claims have a deadline of three years.
  • If the plaintiff is a minor, the statute of limitations will run after they turn 18.
  • The deadline is paused while the defendant is in prison, out of state, or mentally insane.
 

Not sure which deadlines and exceptions apply to your case? Consult with our ski accident lawyers in California today. Our team is ready to answer all your questions and concerns.

The Dangers Of Skiing And Snowboarding

During the 2022-2023 season, the National Ski Areas Association tallied a record high of 65.4 million visits to ski areas across the country. In California, ski resorts recorded 8.2 million visitors. This is a 16% increase from the previous season’s nearly 6.9 million skiers.

The increase in visitors, however, translated to a higher rate of catastrophic injuries and fatalities on the slope.

The NSAA reported 53 grave injury cases nationwide, involving loss of limbs, broken necks, and fractured backs. This figure exceeded the 10-year average of 43 incidents. The country’s slopes also saw 46 deaths in total, surpassing the 10-year average of 42 cases.

The data shows that most of the incidents happened on intermediate terrain. This highlights the importance of proper instructions for skiers attempting a challenging slope. Ski resorts should also ensure they have accurate trail markers.

Interestingly, male skiers made up 84% of the victims. In comparison, they only accounted for 60% of all snow sports participants.

These statistics paint a concerning trend of increasing injuries and fatalities. If you’re a skier, you must be aware of your legal rights and options in case you get into an incident. Consult the experienced ski accident lawyers California trusts to know what steps you can take.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ski Accident Cases
1
Can You Sue Someone If They Hit You On A Ski Slope?

You may have grounds for a ski lawsuit if you can prove that the offending party is negligent or reckless. Because of the inherent dangers in skiing, not all collisions and incidents are valid for a claim. If you want to know if you can pursue compensation for your injuries, contact our ski accident lawyers in California.

2
Can I File A Ski Accident Lawsuit Against A Skiing Resort?

Yes, if they breached their duty of care. Ski resorts have an obligation to maintain safety for their patrons. They could be responsible for the resulting accident if they were negligent. Here are some situations where they may be liable for damages:

  • They didn’t put up hazard markers.
  • Their rental shop provided faulty equipment.
  • The resort failed to maintain the slopes properly.
3
How Much Do Ski Accident Lawyers Charge In California?

Ski accident lawyers like us typically work on a contingency fee basis. We only get paid if we successfully recover damages for you. Our fee for personal injury cases is a fixed percentage of the total compensation, which we’ll agree on beforehand. Moreover, we offer a free initial consultation where we’ll discuss your case and evaluate your next steps.

4
Can I Still Sue For My Injuries If I’m Partially Responsible For The Ski Accident?

You can still win your case even if you contributed to the ski accident. California follows comparative negligence laws, which ensure all liable parties will be accountable for their actions.

The California Civil Code section 1714 states that each responsible party is at fault. The court will determine everyone’s degree of liability based on their contributions to the incident.

Therefore, if you’re found partially liable, the court will reduce your compensation value by the percentage of your fault. Suppose you’re 20% liable. That means you can still recover 80% of the awarded damages.

California also follows a pure comparative negligence system. You can still get compensation even if you were 99% responsible for the accident.

In states with modified versions of this rule, a victim can only recover damages if they are less than 50% at fault.

Talk To The Best Ski Accident Attorneys California Has To Offer!

The dangers of the slopes demand experienced ski accident lawyers who understand the nuances of these cases and California laws. An incident can be challenging to navigate because of this activity’s assumed risks. Skiing resorts or other responsible parties may deny liability on these grounds.

However, our seasoned attorneys are not new to proving negligence and securing the highest possible compensation for victims. Our track record of success demonstrates our aggressive dedication to seeking justice and the damages our clients deserve.

Don’t hesitate to contact Arash Law today at (888) 488-1391 for a free initial consultation. Our offices are conveniently located all over the state, including Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Oakland, Riverside, Kern County, Orange County, and Stanislaus County.

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