Skiing accident injury compensation claims
In this article we set out what you need to know about making a successful skiing accident compensation claim.
A number of recent studies have argued that skiing is the most dangerous sport people can undertake, and skiing accidents are a common cause of holiday accident claims.
Despite the risk of serious injury, piste authorities, instructors and fellow skiers owe a responsibility to everyone on the slopes to take precautions against accident and injury. If this responsibility has been breached, it may be possible to make a claim.
Our network of solicitors do not currently have the capacity to take on holiday-related injury and sickness claims outside the UK. It is recommended that you contact a personal injury specialist solicitor to discuss your options as soon as possible, as some jurisdictions have limitation dates of less than the three year limit that is standard in the UK.
If you were injured in a skiing accident in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
There are two types of skiing accident claims, often categorised as 'fault' and 'non-fault'.
Fault claims are those where the injured person accepts responsibility for the accident. They are usually resolved between the injured party and their holiday insurance provider. Non-fault claims are those where compensation may be claimed.
A non-fault accident when a third party is to blame for the injury. This might be:
- Another skier
- A tour operator
- The piste authority
- The ski centre
- A ski lift operator
- A ski tutor
Common injuries sustained in skiing accidents which may result in a compensation claim include:
Due to the popularity of downhill skiing, the majority of ski accident claims relate to injuries that commonly arise from that activity, such as concussion and leg and arm fractures. It is also possible to make claims for less common winter sports activities including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
In order to make the best non-fault case for compensation, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to back up your claim.
If possible, gather photographic evidence as soon as possible after the accident, as weather conditions and the changing nature of ski slopes could mean that the location of the accident looks different soon afterwards.
Witness statements and a piste report from the local piste authority will also support your claim. It may also be possible to request a site inspection to survey the accident site.
Ski slopes will usually have a code of conduct that skiers agree to abide by in order to ensure safety on the slopes. In Europe the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) sets the slope rules. The USA has a similar code that is enshrined in law in some states.
The rules of the FIS may give you grounds to make a compensation claim against another skier. For example, it states that the skier down-slope always has right of way. If you have been injured by another skier knocking in to you from behind, this rule could mean you have grounds to claim as it proves that they were at fault for skiing dangerously.
A complicating factor with skiing injuries is the differences in legal procedures in foreign countries. Depending on where the accident took place, and the nationalities of those involved, the compensation claim could be made through a number of courts.
Different countries have differing laws that may or may not be favourable for the compensation claim. For example, France, Italy, the USA and England all have different laws that could affect the outcome of the case, and the amount of compensation awarded. It is advisable to look in to this thoroughly before proceeding with a claim in a foreign country.
A No Win, No Fee agreement, also known as a CFA or "Conditional Fee Agreement", comprises the start of a claim.
The Conditional Fee Agreement lays out a contract between you and your lawyer. The document explains the work your case handler delivers in addition to the "success fee". This success fee will be the fee to be taken from the compensation after the lawyer wins your case.
You are able to focus on your rest and recovery, with the knowledge that there will be nothing to pay at the outset. There are absolutely no hidden fees using a Quittance solicitor.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
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Quittance Legal Services' national panel of solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, including fast track, complex and catastrophic injury claims. Our lawyers are chosen on the basis of their level of experience and their track record in winning cases.
About the author
Paul is a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and has served as a Deputy District Judge, giving him a uniquely broad understanding of the claims process.
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