It’s an unfortunate fact that inexperienced and young skiers are particularly vulnerable on the piste, so with half term just around the corner and hundreds of families heading for the slopes, we’re making sure that those new to the sport or parents taking the kids away are fully aware of their legal position.
Figures from the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) show that those on the slopes for the first time are around twice as likely to be involved in an accident than their more experienced counterparts, while research carried out by ski-injury.com illustrates that although under 17s account for 35% of accidents they make up just 21% of the skiing population.
Of course it’s important to remember that skiing has become safer over the past few decades, but it’s still essential that people are aware of the risks involved, particularly since insurance isn’t a universal requirement.
As well as the risk of injuring yourself, there’s also a risk of a third party being harmed, both of which can prove expensive in terms of medical costs and compensation claims, unless you are covered by a good quality insurance policy.
In addition to insurance and considering other safety precautions such as wearing a helmet, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) Skiers Code which sets out specific scenarios where you may be liable – for example if you hit another skier from behind.
The main things to remember are to make sure you’re aware of your responsibilities, ski safely and of course have a fantastic holiday!
Adam is a Principal Lawyer at Slater and Gordon and is responsible for a team handling the full range of accident and injury claims. He is also a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel.