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Ski Resort Liability Waivers: Do You Really Just Sign Your Rights Away?

image of a person signing a waiver form

When you check into a ski resort, you expect some degree of safety. You assume the slopes and lifts will be well maintained. However, ski resorts have cleverly positioned themselves to avoid most liability cases. Does that mean ski resort waivers sign your rights away?

Ski Law

In 1979, members of the Colorado skiing industry lobbied the state to pass the Colorado Ski Safety Act (CSSA). This law effectively limits a victim’s ability to make claims against a ski resort so long as they signed a waiver.

TheCSSA states that “no skier may make any claim against or recover from ski area operator for injury resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing.” However, the law doesn’t separate natural dangers from man-made dangers.

Ski Waivers and Negligence

Ski resort waivers typically only apply to negligence. This means that, when you sign a ski resort waiver, you sign away your right to sue over such things as slippery floors/grounds, dangerous lifts, or poorly maintained slopes. For example, in 2017 a woman was struck by a swinging ski-lift and suffered serious injuries. However, the ski resort argues that the waiver signed away her ability to file a claim, even if the injury was caused by a negligent staff member.

On the other hand, ski resort waivers typically don’t cover recklessness on the part of the resort and its employees. For example, if a ski lift worker notices a guest in danger and either fails to act or take actions that worsen the situation, they may be liable for reckless endangerment.

Skier-to Skier Accidents

In almost all cases, ski accident liability waivers will not cover skier-to-skier accidents. If you are injured by another skier or snowboarder, the other individual may be found liable for your injuries if they failed to act within their duty of care by:

  • Skiing within their ability to maintain control

  • Following trail signs

  • Maintaining a lookout

They may have homeowners, renters, or even travel insurance that could cover them for their fault. Your ski accident attorney can help determine what type of insurance applies for your specific case.

Contact our Ski Accident Attorneys

Ski accidents can have devastating, life-long consequences. At Klein Frank, our ski accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights to full and fair compensation. We will give your case a customized approach and fight hard for your recovery, all while keeping you informed throughout the entire legal process.

Let us put you first. Contact Klein Frank at (303) 448-8884 to schedule your free, personalized case review.

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