Guest post by Alvin Wolff, Jr.
Now that we're experiencing winter weather, plenty of us will be heading for the mountains for ski days on the snowy slopes. And while skiing is a fantastic winter sport, it's also important to observe safety rules and prevent injury. Around 40 people a year die in winter sports-related accidents - a low number, but a skiing injury can be deadly serious when it happens to you.
We all have personal experience with injuries and accidents, and I'm no exception. Last winter, one of my house guests was knocked down by a skier, and he hurt his hand. Yet he will never be able to file a claim for recovery. Why? Because a ski patrol report was not made. Usually when there is a car wreck and there is no police report, the parties will exchange information about how to contact one another for taking care of the property damage.
On the ski hill, exchanging information is rarely - if ever - done. If you think you may be hurt, and it may take 24 hours to figure out if you're hurt or not due to delayed onset of symptoms. In that case, either get the other party's information or make a crash report with the ski patrol. You don't want to deprive yourself of the right to recover, even if you're fortunate enough that no claim will ever have to be made.
It doesn't take much to suffer a serious injury skiing. Last year, for example, I was broadsided by a guy on a snowboard. Went up in the air and crashed down hard. I felt fine and was nice about it - no harm, no foul, or so it seemed. Yet the very next day and for the next several weeks, I was walking like Frankenstein. I had chiropractic treatment and therapy. It took 4 months to recover. By failing to get the necessary information or have a ski patrol report prepared, I shut myself out of compensation for recovery.
The ski patrol acts like the mountain police. They are well trained, and they're there to enforce the safety rules that protect all of us. They also make and file collision reports, just like highway patrol on the roadways.
Skiing and boarding are supposed to be fun. When the fun turns to misery due to a distracted skier, protect yourself and your future and make sure a report is filed.
If you are injured due to somebody's negligence, homeowner's insurance will take care of your losses...that is if your claim is properly documented. If you remember one thing, your legal recovery from an injury on the slopes starts with the ski patrol report.