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I was injured on the ski slopes, ending up with numerous fractures. Though the ski area was marked “Ski at your Own Risk”, shouldn’t the resort be held responsible for the mountain of doctor bills I have?

Asked on April 12, 2009 under Personal Injury, Colorado

Answers:

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Assumption of risk is a defense in tort law, commonly used in cases of injuries arising from risky activities such as skiing. It essentially bars a plaintiff (injured party) from recovery against a negligent defendant if the defendant can show that the plaintiff voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risk at issue inherent to the dangerous activity (skiing).

The assumption of risk argument can probably be made in your situation since you saw a clearly marked sign warning you to "Ski at Your Own Risk." Yet, despite this warning, you chose to do just that: ski at your own risk.

You may want to consult an attorney experienced in situations such as yours to see if there may still be a chance to recover damages to help pay your medical bills. In some states, assumption of risk is not a complete bar to damages. It does lessen your damages, however.







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