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Proving Liability in a Ski Accident in Colorado

Proving ski accident liability in Colorado typically relies on demonstrating that the other party was negligent, which resulted in the accident that caused your injuries. You are not alone if you do not know how to demonstrate that someone was negligent.

Proving negligence is where an experienced, knowledgeable personal injury lawyer comes in. An attorney at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., can guide you through the lawsuit process and advise you of your rights.

Our team has decades of experience helping clients recover compensation after devastating accidents. You can focus on recovering from your injuries while we take care of your personal injury claim.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a ski accident, contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover right away to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Nikki Nicholaou was incredibly helpful and responsive. I felt very comfortable with my case in her hands, which was a great decision because she won me a settlement before we had to go to court
Veronica Blake
Veronica Blake
Highly recommended.
Andy B
Andy B
One day in June, 2019, our world was turned upside down. My husband was nearly killed by a motorist while riding his bicycle. He was lucky to come away from the accident with “only” a neck broken in 5 places, facing surgery and a long two-year recovery period. His extreme pain, our anger, and the total shock of the event overwhelmed us. We decided to focus all our energy on his healing. Dealing with the insurance company was more than we could handle. So, a little investigation brought us to Sloat & Nicholson. During the first phone conversation, Randy Nicholson explained that we could not only file a claim against the driver’s insurance, but also against our Underinsured Motorist insurance. Randy also explained that it was likely that he would have to fight Mike’s health insurance which would certainly ask to be totally reimbursed for their expenses. We’d learned that it was a bigger issue than we’d expected, but we knew we had found someone who could help us, and that has a great relief. After that first call, and in the subsequent months of meeting with Randy and his team, we knew we’d made the best possible decision. Randy got the full claim against the driver’s insurance. He convinced our health insurance that they had no standing in filing a claim against us. We didn’t have to pay them anything. And he negotiated with our Underinsured Motorist insurance and got the full claim against them as well. It was not easy, and Randy worked hard. He completely relieved us of a ton of stress. He kept us informed each step of the way. Every time we worked with him and his team, we became more and more convinced that we’d made the right decision. We were so glad we found Sloat and Nicholson. After the accident, we felt like the world was against us. The court system totally dropped the ball, and we constantly had to fight back our anger at the driver and the judge. But we had Randy Nicholson and his team on our side, and we are forever grateful to all of them.
midge castillo
midge castillo
I was in a car accident and needed legal advice. Robert Hoover was both professional and informative! He was so helpful, and I would recommend him to anyone. I also appreciated his Christian perspective!
colleen G.
colleen G.
I was a case form many years ago Gerald handled everything completely professionally there is not one thing I would do differently My case was complicated but the end result was everything that I was entitled to! If your case is in his practice area I highly recommend a phone call consultation or visit to his office. You won't be disappointed his years of experience knowledge and fair treatment of his clients would not be more apparent!
Adam Townson
Adam Townson
Jerry Sloat and his staff treated our family with great respect and helped us to receive compensation for the injuries, pain and suffering we incurred during a car accident. We owe him so much and are truly grateful that we stopped trying to deal with the insurance company and allowed Jerry and his wonderful team of professional to take care of everything for us.
Leonard Romano
Leonard Romano
Gerry Sloat was amazing, after my car wreck I was at a loss on what was going on. I didn't know the process or what to even expect. I turned to him because he was the only one willing to take the time and speak with me to answer all my questions. My insurance company wouldn't even call me back to answer my question of what was happening. Gerry took quite a bit of time explaining the different aspects of the insurance and the other driver and the county issues that I didn't even know where separate, he really set my mind at ease with my mind running with all of the "what ifs" I now know where I stand and what to expect going further and can now make informed decisions on what I need to be prepared for what lies ahead! Thank you again Mr Sloat!
landa raddon
landa raddon
Gerry Sloat was a very skilled and helpful attorney when I needed one to negotiate a settlement for many, many medical bills resulting from a head on collision. What impressed me most was his fair handedness in dealing with us, but also with dealing with the other parties involved. Further, since the accident a half dozen years ago, he has been more than helpful in answering questions about all matters of the law, and seems to genuinely enjoy hearing from me when I call. A stellar human and an outstandingly thorough attorney.
Bonnie Carol
Bonnie Carol
Ever since I started working with with Robert Hoover it's been more like working with family he's taking the time to get to know me and my family on a personal level the office staff know by name and they are the best
Jason Swartz
Jason Swartz

How to Prove Liability in a Ski Accident: Elements of Negligence

After a ski accident in Colorado, liability hinges on who was negligent. The injured party who files the lawsuit, referred to as the plaintiff, bears the burden of proving negligence. Negligence is made up of four elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. You must prove all four elements to prevail in your claim.

Duty of Care

First, you must prove that the at-fault party owed you a legal duty to act as a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances. For example, property owners have legal duty to visitors to eliminate from their premises dangerous conditions or provide a warning of any dangers. This duty applies to ski resort owners as well. Additionally, someone skiing in a public area owes a duty of care to everyone else on the slopes to act reasonably.

Breach of Duty

The second element of negligence requires proving that the at-fault party breached their duty by failing to act as a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances.

For example, a ski resort owner who knows about a dangerous condition on their premises but fails to remedy the issue or post a warning breaches their duty of care to visitors. Disregarding posted signs and skiing in a reckless manner can indicate that a skier has breached their duty of care to others around them.


Third, you must demonstrate a connection between the at-fault party’s breach, the accident it caused, and the injuries you suffered. That means the accident occurred as a direct result of the at-fault party breaching their duty, not due to some external factor like low visibility.

For instance, if a skier crashes into you and causes an injury because they are going too fast, it’s likely that a court will find a causal link between the breach, the accident, and the damages you incurred as a result. 


The final element of negligence is damages. To establish damages, you must prove that you suffered harm and financial loss as a result of the responsible party’s negligence. If you did not suffer any harm in the accident—meaning you did not suffer any physical injuries or property damages—you probably cannot recover compensation through a personal injury claim. 

Claims Against Other Skiers

liability in ski accidents

If another skier caused the ski accident that resulted in your injuries, they might be liable for your damages. Remember, it is the victim’s burden to prove that the opposing party’s negligent behavior caused your injury. While skiers accept the risk of injury from the inherent dangers of skiing, a skier does not accept the risk of injury from others acting negligently.

Colorado law requires skiers to maintain control of their speed and imposes a duty on anyone skiing downhill to avoid a collision with anyone below them. A violation of this statute can easily demonstrate a breach of a skier’s duty of care. If you need help proving the element of negligence after a ski accident, contact an attorney at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover as soon as possible.

Claims Against Property Owners

As stated above, a property owner can breach their duty of care by failing to remedy or warn visitors of a hidden danger on their premises. Additionally, Colorado law imposes other duties on ski area operators. Ski area operators must post signs detailing:

  • The least difficult trails and slopes, designated by a green circle and the word “easiest”;
  • The most challenging trails and slopes, designated by a black diamond and the words “most difficult”;
  • Trails and slopes with a degree of difficulty that falls between the green circle and the black diamond designation, designated by a blue square and the words “more difficult”;
  • Extreme terrain, designated with two black diamonds containing the letters “E” in one and “X” in the other in white and the words “extreme terrain”;
  • Freestyle terrain, designated by an orange oval; and
  • Closed trails or slopes, designated by an octagonal-shaped sign with a red border around a white interior containing a black figure in the shape of a skier with a black band running diagonally across the sign from the upper right-hand side to the lower left-hand side and with the word “Closed” printed beneath the emblem.

If a ski area operator fails to comply with these statutes, they may be liable for any injuries resulting from the breach. 

Even if you signed a liability waiver when purchasing a lift ticket, you should contact an attorney immediately if you suffer injuries at a ski resort

If You Have Questions About Ski Accident Liability in Colorado, Contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover

Many Coloradans seek solace on the ski slopes to participate in the thrilling sport. Yet, ski accidents can result in severe injuries, especially when someone is negligent. An experienced ski accident lawyer can assist with your lawsuit by:

  • Advising you of your rights and options,
  • Retrieving witness statements, and
  • Explaining state law that applies to your claim.

Our attorneys at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover have more than 100 years of combined experience representing victims injured due to someone else’s negligence and have recovered over a hundred million dollars on behalf of our clients. If you have questions about proving liability in a ski accident, let us help you

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