Safety on the Slopes-Ski Resort Liability

The inherent risks of active sports such as skiing and snowboarding give rise to a large number of personal injury claims each year. In order to protect themselves ski resorts have come up with a number of important legal strategies to limit their exposure to such claims.

Ski resorts have adapted tools such as signed waivers and releases, and more recently, printed limitation provisions on lift tickets. The courts have found such releases or waivers sufficient where the ski resort is able to demonstrate that they took all reasonable steps to bring the terms of the contract and the exclusion of liability to the patrons attention. This has become known as the “reasonable step test”.

So, how can you protect yourself? Before going skiing or snowboarding read the waiver and understand what you are signing. Also, safety on the slopes is a necessity and should be a priority for every snowboarder and skier.

Consider the following:

· Wear a helmet in order to help prevent head and spinal cord injuries

· Be aware of other skiers and snowboarders and keep a safe distance between you and others

· Maintain your equipment to ensure it is functioning properly

· Ski or snowboard according to your level and respect the different levels and abilities of others on the slopes

· Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay focused.

Skiing and snowboarding is a great way to have fun and get exercise during the cold winter months. Taking a few safety precautions will ensure a good time for all!

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