Last month a jury in Summit County ordered a snowboarder to pay $263,454 in damages to skier he hit while riding at Keystone Resort in 2015. That injured skier was represented by Evan Banker.
Evan Banker is a personal injury lawyer at the Denver firm Chalat Law, which specializes in collisions at ski resorts. Banker spoke with Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner on the Colorado Matters program to discuss how to best protect yourself from a legal standpoint while skiing in Colorado.
- Homeowner’s insurance usually covers a skier’s liability if they cause a collision. For example Ferguson’s insurance will pay the $263,454 the court ordered him to pay. Banker only pursues a civil case against a skier or snowboarder if that person has homeowner’s insurance.
- Colorado law presumes the skier or snowboarder farther up on the mountain is at fault in the event of a collision, according to the Colorado Ski Safety Act, but skiers further down should also take responsibility. “Each skier has the duty to maintain control of his speed and course. However, the primary duty shall be on the person skiing downhill to avoid collision with any person or objects below him.”
- Skiers can face criminal charges related to crashes on the mountain. Mark Watson with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office says he has helped pursue charges against skiers or riders who left the scene of an accident where someone was seriously hurt, and who were intoxicated when they collided with another skier or rider. Eagle County Sheriff James Van Beek says while its rare, his department has pursued assault and reckless endangerment charges including two incidents so far in 2016.
Thanks to CPR‘s for this informative article. Hopefully you won’t ever have to use this info but it’s good to know if something unfortunate happens. Stay safe out there: wear your helmet, ski to your abilities, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.