While snow skiing and snowboarding are great Michigan winter recreations sports, they are not without a substantial risk of injury. Unfortunately, a common cause of injuries on ski slopes includes collisions, crashes, and other incidents.  Many times, a skier or boarder is behaving recklessly or carelessly and crashes into another person. Other times, a person is simply being inattentive on the runway and causes a collision.

However, people who are negligent on slopes and injure others as a result, can be held legally responsible for the resulting damages. If you or a loved one was hurt by a negligent skier or snowboarder, you have legal rights.   You will benefit from consulting a Michigan winter sports accident lawyer to discuss your case.

By enlisting the help of a skillful attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., you will rest assured that a legal professional is helping you through each step. Best of all, we do not charge any legals fees unless you receive a settlement check.  And, we only get paid our fees at the end of the case.

Top Michigan Ski and Snowboard Areas

Michigan has forty-nine ski areas, which is the second most in the United States. There are 308 active ski lifts inspected annually for State and National standards, both before and during operation. The most popular ski and snowboard destinations include:

  • Boyne Mountain
  • Boyne Highlands
  • Nubs Nob
  • Shanty Creek
  • Schuss Mountain
  • Crystal Mountain
  • Tree Tops Resort
  • Black Jack Ski Resort
  • Mt. Brighton
  • Mt. Holly
  • Alpine Valley
  • Pine Knob

Winter Sports Conduct Laws

MCL 408.341 regulates the general conduct of people skiing and snowboarding, as well as which acts are prohibited. Essentially, each individual should only ski or snowboard within the limits of their ability. Because state law does not recognize inherent risk regarding snowboarding, skiing, and other winter sports, anyone injured must be able to prove that another person or business was responsible for their injuries.

In cases involving collisions, a victim may file a lawsuit against the negligent skier or boarder for compensation and a settlement. Typically, the homeowner’s insurance company for the negligent skier pays these types of settlements. However, due to the nuances of these laws, speaking with a Michigan winter sports accident lawyer might help to clarify how a victim may proceed with a claim.

Snowboard and Skiing Wrecks

While snowboarding and skiing are popular and exciting winter sports, there is always a risk of injury involved. Common causes of snowboarding and skiing injuries include dangerous runs, improper maintenance, and collisions with others. Depending upon the cause of the injury, a person injured in one of these incidents might be able to pursue a lawsuit for compensation, based on the negligence:

  • Another person, also known as skier vs. skier lawsuits for negligent, reckless, and out of control skiing and snowboarding
  • Ski resort liability for dangerous runs, property defects, and renting defective equipment
  • Unmarked trails and poorly designed and maintained slopes that are dangerous to skiers
  • Ski teacher and instructor liability and negligence
  • In the design or manufacture of equipment on the mountain or hill
  • Chairlift and tow rope malfunctions that cause serious injury to a skier

Unfortunately, crashes involving snowboarding or skiing often result in very serious injuries based on the extreme conditions and speed of the sport. Serious injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, knee injuries, and serious bone fractures. A seasoned Michigan winter sports accident lawyer could investigate the circumstances surrounding an incident and work to determine who is to blame in a civil lawsuit.

Snow Tubing Injury Accidents

Michigan has many excellent snow tubing runs.  Many courses are located at ski resorts and others are at locations solely dedicated to the activity.  While the runs may provide great excitement and thrills, they are not without danger.  Our firm has handled several clients who suffered severe injuries while tubing at a Northern Michigan ski resort.

In those cases, the tubers reached the end of the run and literally flew over the snow embankment at the end of the run. The snow groomers had ended the run too short and the speed of the snow tuber catapulted them into the air.  Several ended up crashing into the parking lot and another into a fence.   The injuries suffered were significant, including a fractured neck and other orthopedic injuries.  On their behalf, we sued the resort for negligence and won great settlements for our clients.

Snow Sledding Accident Causing Serious Injuries

Like snow tubing accidents, sledding crashes can cause serious injuries and even fatalities.  Children often climb on a sled and go to the highest point on a hill to start their downward journey so they can achieve the fastest possible speed.  Sleds are very difficult to control moving fast downhill and this causes the potential for significant harm.  A sledder can strike a tree, tree stump or other fixed object at high speed without any type of injury protection, except perhaps a helmet if one is worn at all.   Traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, and facial injuries often result from a snow sledding accident.

Liability lawsuits can be brought against a landowner for a dangerous condition or an adult for failing to properly supervise a child.  In those cases, the homeowner’s insurance of the negligent person typically accepts coverage of the claim.  Most policies include medical payment and liability insurance coverage.  Substantial settlements can be won in these cases.

Snowmobile Crashes

Although snowmobiling can provide great fun and thrilling excitement, accidents and wrecks are much too common. According to research, modern snowmobiles can weigh in excess of 600 pounds and travel at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour, which means a crash can result in serious and often tragic injuries. Many accidents are caused by a variety of factors, including the negligence of a driver that causes injuries to a passenger, another snowmobile operator, or an innocent bystander. Unfortunately, intoxication is a major cause of many of these incidents. Another common cause is dangers on the snowmobile trails by property owners—such as chain link fences that stretch across the trail and cause serious injuries to riders.

Drunk or otherwise negligent drivers might be deemed liable for providing compensation for any damages if they are responsible for a crash. Furthermore, property owners may also be held responsible if they were aware that snowmobile riders were using their property and were also aware of dangers on their land. A tenacious and well-versed Michigan attorney who is familiar with winter sport accident claims could explain who might be held accountable for a crash.

How a Michigan Winter Sports Accident Attorney Can Help

If you were injured while skiing, snowboarding, or riding a snowmobile, you have legal options. However, navigating the legal system alone may feel overwhelming and confusing, especially as you recover from your injuries.

By working with a Michigan winter sports accident lawyer, you will understand your legal options and decide whether to pursue a claim. Then, an attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire will work tirelessly to pursue a claim on your behalf. Call today to learn more.

There are absolutely no legal fees unless you receive a settlement.   If your case is unsuccessful for any reason, you owe us nothing!

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