Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are a way of life for many in New Hampshire and throughout the Northeast. And while skiing and snowboarding are great ways to get exercise and experience the outdoors, there are also certain risks involved in these activities. Some of these risks are inherent in the sport itself, however, many risks can be greatly magnified when ski resorts fail to take the necessary precautions to ensure that the lifts and ski runs are safe for guests.
Of course, ski resorts should take all steps to make the resort safe. However, each year there are hundreds of people who are seriously injured in New Hampshire ski accidents. While some of these accidents involve the negligence of a skier or snowboarder, many would have otherwise been preventable had the resort exercised reasonable caution. However, under New Hampshire premises liability law, some ski resorts may be immune from liability based on the state’s “ski immunity” statute.
In part because the ski tourism industry is such a vital part of the state’s economy, lawmakers have passed certain statutes that shield ski resorts from liability. Specifically, section 225-A:24 states that “Each person who participates in the sport of skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowshoeing accepts as a matter of law, the dangers inherent in the sport,” and cannot bring a lawsuit against a resort based on these “inherent risks, dangers or hazards.”
In practice, this means that skiers and snowboarders who are hurt due to the inherent risks of the sport cannot recover for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. Making matters more difficult is the fact that most, if not all, New Hampshire ski resorts use release waivers to further limit guests’ ability to sue. Often located on the back of a lift ticket, a release waiver releases the ski resort of any liability resulting from the negligence of the resort or an employee. Generally, courts uphold ski resort release waivers; however, there are certain circumstances where a release of liability will not be enforceable.
Importantly, when another skier is responsible for a New Hampshire ski accident, these protective laws do not apply. Thus, an injured skier or snowboarder may pursue a claim against a fellow skier.
Those who have been injured in a New Hampshire snowboard accident should consult with a dedicated injury lawyer for immediate assistance, as any potential claim must be filed within two years from the date of injury.
Have You Been Injured at a New Hampshire Ski Resort?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a New Hampshire ski accident, contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers are the Law Offices of Peter Thompson & Associates. Our knowledgeable team of New Hampshire personal injury lawyers are dedicated to securing favorable results for our clients. We diligently pursue claims of compensation in all types of injury lawsuits, including New Hampshire premises liability cases, motor vehicle accidents, and instances of medical malpractice. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 800-804-2004.