Winter is here, which means it’s time for skiing and snowboarding trips across the continent. If you love hitting the slopes, you probably already understand the importance of wearing helmets and other protective gear. Accidents happen—but how do you know when a person or business can be held liable?
Before you head out to the ski resort, read on to discover when someone might be liable for a skiing or snowboarding accident.
Ohio skiing law
Ohio Revised Code Section 4169.08 describes the “assumption of risk” you agree to when you go skiing. That’s because skiing is a “recreational sport is hazardous to skiers regardless of all feasible safety measures that can be taken.” When you ski, you essentially agree that you know the sport is dangerous and that the landscape can include many dangers. You know that you may get hurt, and by skiing, you are assuming the legal risk of an accident.
What does this mean for liability? Section 4169.08 describes a number of different risks you assume, including the type of snow you’re skiing on, hazards like fences and tramway towers, variations in terrain or steepness and more. That’s because the “legal responsibilities of a ski area operator to a skier with respect to any injury, death, or loss to person or property resulting in any way from an inherent risk of the sport shall not be those of the common law duty of premises owners to business invitees.” In other words, you can’t sue ski area operators for hazards on their property, because you’ve assumed the risk that these hazards might exist when you agreed to ski.
Horvath v. Ish and skier vs. skier accidents
What happens if you’re injured by another skier? The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in Horvath v. Ish that “persons who engage in the sport of skiing assume the ordinary risks of that activity, which include collisions with other skiers, and cannot recover from another skier for injuries suffered in a collision absent a showing that the other skier’s actions were reckless or intentional.”
That means that if you want to file a claim against another skier for hitting and injuring you, there’s a higher standard to meet: you have to show that they either meant to hurt you, or their behavior was “so careless that it is considered an extreme departure from the care a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances.”
Do you have a claim? Find out from an Ohio personal injury lawyer
When you’re harmed as a result of someone else’s actions, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. If you have a case to sue a ski area operator or another skier, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.202.0809 for a consultation, and we’ll discuss your options.