Law Offices of Patrick R. Kelly - December 2019

December 2019

Expressway Tower • 6116 N. Central Expy., #1201, Dallas, TX 75206 • 214-682-7132 Alps Building - Historic Stockyards • 222 W Exchange Ave., Suite 106, Fort Worth, Texas 76164 • 817-382-8387

The Rules of the Mountain Know Your Skiing Statutes

My family loves the holiday season, as it’s the perfect time of year to set everything else aside and enjoy our time together. One of our favorite winter traditions is making a trip to the ski slopes! My wife grew up skiing with her family, and I picked up skiing later in life, so we make a point to share our love of skiing with our kids once a year. The last few ski seasons, we’ve noticed that some skiers don’t abide by the local ski laws, so we’ve had to be careful with our children so they are not injured by unsafe skiers and snowboarders. Sadly, most people are unaware they are statutorily obligated to follow the law to keep everyone safe. For example, there is the Colorado Skiing Safety Act. Not only do we try to adhere to following such laws and rules on the slopes, but our law office also handles these cases to try to help those who get hurt in skiing accidents. Every state has a version of these laws, so if you’re planning on hitting the slopes this winter, you need to know some general rules. You always should be in control of your skis and be able to stop to avoid other people if necessary. I had a situation where, at the bottomof a slope, a snowboarder came barreling towardme. He tried to break, but he was new and didn’t know how to stop correctly. As he slid over, he slammedme into a section of hand-railing, and I would have had a valid legal claim if I were severely hurt. Another crucial rule is that people ahead of you have the right of way. It’s your responsibility to avoid them. Make sure you have plenty of distance between you and the person ahead of you. It depends on how fast you’re going, but generally, 8–10 feet is a safe bet. If you’re in a

If you do find yourself in an accident, most state laws regulating ski slopes require that you give your name and current address to a slope employee before leaving the area. Witnesses also need to provide their name and address to an employee before leaving. If injuries are suffered from a collision on the slopes, a legal actionmay be brought to enforce the injured party’s rights. The proper venue for such claims to be filed is the place where the incident occurred or the state where the at-fault party resides (such as Texas, where thousands of people come from to hit the slopes of the western United States each year). With our experience in the field, we are well equipped to represent you or a loved one if such a need arises. As my kids get older and ski more, I tend to think about these things a lot, so if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

narrow passage, its best to slow down and avoid passing altogether. A great example of this is when I was going down a slope, making s-type patterns. As I turned right, another skier drilled me. He fell, I fell, I was stunned, and it could have been avoided if he was yielding. If you need to stop, do not obstruct the path, andmake sure you’re visible from above. If you’re merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to oncoming skiers and snowboarders. You want to ensure you’re using equipment that attaches all necessary gear so nothing runs down the slope or off the mountain. You should also always note any warning signs and keep off closed trails and areas. If you get injured in a closed-off area, the other parties in question will not be liable due to the fact you ignored all warnings. If you’re using a ski lift, youmust have the ability to load, unload, and ride safely, and remember, all drug or alcohol possession is prohibited.

-Patrick R. Kelly

WE WANT YOU TO CONSIDER US YOUR LAW FIRM. While we specialize in bodily injury cases, we are happy to refer you to a firm that can help you with any legal issue that may arise. Please feel free to refer us to your friends and family for their legal needs. We look forward to helping you. | 1

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