Common Skiing Accidents And What To Do If You Get Hurt

Common skiing accidents - image 4993992Skiing is an extremely fun and exciting sport. It can bring the whole family together for wholesome fun times. It also has many advantages, for the most part. However, as all fun sports are, it can be a bit dangerous when you don’t take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from falling and getting hurt.

Even after you have taken all the right precautionary measures, sometimes unforeseen accidents can still happen. In these situations, you will need to act fast and smart to not only tend to your injuries — whether it’s yours or a loved one’s — but to also be able to salvage the situation and save the day. This is why it’s important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario by learning everything that you need to know about common skiing accidents and the right steps to apply for each one of them.

In this ultimate guide, we will explore some possible scenarios, how to prevent them, and what you need to do in each situation. 

Ski Accidents

  • Ski Collision 

Unfortunately, ski collisions are the most common type of ski accidents. While there are some tips that you can follow to protect yourself, still the main cause of this type of accident is almost always related to human error. To avoid collisions, you need to have a high sense of your surroundings.

Skillful skiers usually take their time at glancing around to assess any possible dangers. However, this type of skiing accident is almost always out of your control. This is why this accident is viewed as “car accidents on a ski trail” or “a car crash on the slopes” which is why many people consider filing for a personal injury claim to get compensated for any injuries that they might suffer when other skiers are at fault.

Safety acts and determining negligence that is involved in ski collision accident cases differ from one case to another, and from one state to another. For example, in Florida, the negligence must have been involved in the ski accident for you to be entitled to get compensation. Negligence can include underage driving, lack of safety warnings, speeding, intoxicated driving, recklessness, manufacturers defects, distractions, and many others.

Statistically speaking, your chance of dying while skiing is not that high. But sometimes tragedies still occur. Experienced lawyers at, explain that in case of a life-threatening situation, you need to follow the same actions you would after auto crashes.

Stop at the scene, assess the situation, seek medical help, and you might want to get legal help from professionals who understand the gravity of these situations to help you with necessary matters. The severity of the injuries suffered can’t be determined by a rash decision.

  • Ski Lift Accidents 

Lifts are simple mechanical devices that require some attention to the technology behind them and their level of safety. Yet, just like human errors that might happen at any given moment, equipment failure is still likely to occur. In these situations, given the circumstances of use, injuries with much higher severity can occur.

Different situations can determine exactly the reason and the severity of the situation. If the accident happens during the ride itself, which is considered uncommon compared to others, then poor maintenance is probably the reason behind this catastrophic situation; it might be due to a failure from the ski operator part, engineering fault, or manufacturing defect. On the other hand, over 90% of all lift accidents happen during either loading or unloading. These accidents arise due to errors in the skiers’ part. Or the reason might be related to the improper operation caused by the lift attendant.

Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries can often result from lift accidents and falling from dangerous heights, including head injuries, internal bleeding, and bone fractures. The medical expenses required for these injuries can easily add up to six-figures.

Expensive treatment and rehabilitation might be required after suffering from one of these injuries. This is why many people consider filing for a claim to sue the responsible party for the accident damages. Pain, recovery costs, income loss, turmoil, and other painful sides of the accident should be compensated when someone is proven to be responsible for the accident. This brings us to the next point about how to file for a claim.

Proving Fault

Once you’re sure that your injury has received proper medical attention, you may want to start looking into the causes of the injury. The first thing you should look for is whether the accident was caused by the negligent behavior of another skier.

If your injury is the result of a collision with another skier, you want to find out if the accident was caused by irresponsibility or by negligence. If you’re a beginner who is taking ski courses, sometimes an accident can be proven to be the result of improper training by the skiing instructor.

In rarer cases, defective or malfunctioning equipment can be the cause of injury. But to be able to prove that it caused the injury, you’ll have to find a way to demonstrate that the equipment was poorly designed or suffering from a manufacturing error. These are known as product liability claims, and they are usually much harder to prove than other injury claims. You’ll want to consult with a professional personal injury lawyer to see if the claim holds water.

The Things To Do

  • Be Aware Of Other Dangers After Injury

The first thing you want to do if you’re in pain or unable to move is to contact the ski patrol. But you may need to take care of certain injuries while you wait for help. If you’re unable to contact ski patrol for any reason, try to send a fellow skier to get help by yelling or by signaling skiers passing.

A lot of skiers may have some first-aid or medical training that can help you manage the situation. If your body is bleeding, heavily bruised, suffering from a broken bone, or a dislocation, you have to make sure that you don’t move it as much as you can. Sometimes moving can make an injury much worse, rendering it as a permanent injury.

It’s pretty common for people who have been injured in an accident to start paying less attention to their environment. While some injuries might make that impossible, a lot of the injuries that happen during skiing can leave the injured conscious enough to be able to make decisions. If you’re unable to get out of harm’s way after the accident, place crossed skis or a snowboard in the snow to alert nearby skiers who may be approaching at high speeds unknowingly.

  • Helping Yourself After A Mild Injury

If your injury isn’t serious enough to require hospitalization, you’ll want to make sure you do everything in your power to shorten its duration and pain. The first thing you should do after getting injured is to reduce the swelling by applying ice or snow from around you. The earlier you do this, the quicker it will heal in the future.

While snow is great for reducing pain and blood flow, it shouldn’t be left on your body for extended periods, preferably less than 20 minutes. Once you are back home, you can put ice on your injury more than once during different times of the day for a few days.

It’s very important to note that you should avoid exposing the injured area to heat as much as possible. High temperatures will increase blood flow, swelling, pressure on wounds, and can easily complicate a minor injury.

Try avoiding hot baths for a few days and stick to cold showers. You can take advantage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to manage pain and inflammation. Ibuprofen and similar NSAID drugs can be purchased over the counter if you don’t have any conditions that don’t permit their use. Here are some of the most common injuries that result from skiing and how to prevent them. 

1. Knee Sprains 

This is one of the most common injuries that can happen because of skiing. It results from overexerting the knee in some way or another that leads to straining it. Usually, this happens after putting too much weight on your knee joint, extending the joint in a wrong way, or twisting it unnaturally. This injury can easily be avoided by buying the right type of knee braces, knee wraps, and supports to protect your joints. If any of the previous cases occur, your knee supports can drastically reduce the severity of the accident, especially on ski slopes.

2. Fractured Wrists 

Fractured and broken wrists are the other common ski injuries that are often seen on snowy slopes. These injuries are usually sustained by falling awkwardly on your hands or wrists. Your body weight impact can take a toll on these weak joints. However, these accidents and the falling impact can be reduced by wearing wrists braces or supports.

3. Broken Legs 

While joints might be the first body parts to get affected from awkward falls, still your bones are in great danger. Strapping your skis on already puts so much unnatural pressure on your leg bones. Bad falls or collisions with rocks, trees, or other skiers on top of this additional weight can only lead to horrific results. These accidents usually result in broken or fractured leg bones. This is why you need to understand the right gear that you need to wear to protect your body. Safety gears usually minimize the risk of injuries. Even when accidents happen, safety measures by wearing the right gear will help in reducing the impact of accidents and avoiding any serious injuries. Also, wearing suitable gear that properly fits will ease the occasional muscle pain you might find yourself suffering from after skiing.

Using The Right Equipment To Stay Safe

The best way to deal with injuries during skiing is to avoid them altogether. While this may seem intuitive, many people seem to forget that they can easily suffer from debilitating injuries while skiing, and not just mild falls in the snow. Actively preparing for injury and increasing your safety during skiing can start very early on when you still haven’t even hit the slopes.

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  • Having The Right Boots

Many people may not acknowledge how important the quality of their boots when it comes to making them safe until they suffer from an accident. The first safety precaution starts in the ski shop. Things like poorly fitted boots can significantly increase the pressure on your ankle and foot, making it more susceptible to injury during falls. Look for gentle and well-contoured boots to ensure that your foot and knees are less prone to injury.

  • Wearing A Helmet

Even though anyone knows that a helmet will protect your head from injuries in skiing accidents, a lot of people forgo the helmet all together because they don’t think they’ll need it. While some injuries to the head may not be stopped by helmets, a lot of collisions and complications can certainly be avoided by simply wearing a helmet. Choose helmets that are lightweight, not loose, and visible to others far away. A heavier helmet can add extra weight to your head, which puts more pressure on your neck during injuries.

  • Low-width Skis

Even though a lot of modern skis are designed to help the user maintain balance and control, the user still needs to have them at a proper width. The bigger the width of the skis, the harder it will be to control on groomed terrain. Try to choose widths within the range of 80-90 millimeters to ensure that you can turn easily through the slopes.

Skiing isn’t necessarily considered to be a dangerous sport. However, you need to take the right safety measures to prevent accidents from happening as much as you can. Since eliminating the probability of accidents isn’t always possible, then you need to understand the right actions to take in case you have been subjected to one. After tending to your injuries and making sure that you are safe, you can always seek legal help to get the compensation you deserve for the troubles you have gone through.


Interesting related article: “What is Risk?