Brits heading to the slopes this ski season could find themselves held liable for injuries if they disregard standard rules and mountain etiquette.
“Over-zealous skiers and snowboarders who put speed before safety and disregard standard rules, such as giving priority to skiers in front, risk causing serious injuries to others,” explained Deborah Evans, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Deborah, a keen skier, compared skiing collisions to road collisions: “Ignoring the rules of the mountain, like the road, could make you at fault if you collide with a fellow skier. Assuming you’ve taken out the appropriate winter sports cover, your insurer should cover the help and assistance the injured person needs, such as medical bills and repatriation if it happens abroad. That doesn’t alter that fact that you still will have caused unnecessary suffering which could have been avoided.
“If you are in a collision, you need to treat it in the same way as you would if you were driving – call for help and swap insurance details”.
Forty per cent of skiers and snowboarders have been injured at least once, and almost a third of those have suffered a significant injury, such as a leg break*.
The current ski season has so far proved to be particularly dangerous, with the Alps carrying the most unstable snowpack for a decade, according to experts**.
“We are all well aware that skiing can be dangerous at the best of times as it’s an inherently difficult skill to master and you’re often at the mercy of the elements, but some injuries are caused by the negligence and foolishness of others,” explained Deborah.
“Our message is simple – take out appropriate insurance and consider the dangers you might pose to others who are there to enjoy the sport as much as you are. The rules are there to protect you”.
Notes to editors:
•*Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office https://www.gov.uk/government/news/get-fit-for-ski
•**International Avalanche Association
•APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
•For more information contact APIL’s press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e: email@example.com.
•Visit the association’s website at www.apil.org.uk.
•Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.