Hitting the Slopes: Skiing Liability in Michigan
Many Michiganders will be hitting the slopes over the holiday season. Goodwin & Scieszka thought this presented a good opportunity to inform you about a particularly interesting Michigan statute.
Did you know Michigan has a statute covering skiing? Read on:
408.342. Ski areas; conduct of skiers; acceptance of risks
Sec. 22. (1) While in a ski area, each skier shall do all of the following:
(a) Maintain reasonable control of his or her speed and course at all times.
(b) Stay clear of snow-grooming vehicles and equipment in the ski area.
(c) Heed all posted signs and warnings.
(d) Ski only in ski areas which are marked as open for skiing on the trail board described in section 6a(e).
(2) Each person who participates in the sport of skiing accepts the dangers that inhere in that sport insofar as the dangers are obvious and necessary. Those dangers include, but are not limited to, injuries which can result from variations in terrain; surface or subsurface snow or ice conditions; bare spots; rocks, trees, and other forms of natural growth or debris; collisions with ski lift towers and their components, with other skiers, or with properly marked or plainly visible snow-making or snow-grooming equipment.
The first section of the statute lays out a duty by which all skiers must abide. It really is establishing a standard for negligence. Failure to ski at a reasonable speed, heed signage, or ski within designated boundaries means you are in violation of the statute.
And while you’re likely not going to be fined, it does give the skiing area rights because they have a duty to maintain a safe facility. It puts all skiers on constructive notice because you are presumed to know the law.
What’s constructive notice? Constructive notices means that you’re presumed to know the law: “I didn’t know” is never a valid legal argument.
Section 2 really is laying out a skier’s assumption of risk. You are dealing with natural objects, people that don’t abide by the rules, and weather. It can get dangerous out there. This can limit other people’s liability to you because you are aware of the inherent risks that the slopes offer.
Either way, keep your tips up and enjoy the slopes. If you’ve been injured as a result of some other skier’s negligence, contact our office and we can assess your claim. You don’t pay until we recover the money that’s rightfully yours.
Our Southfield, Michigan personal injury firm has been handling any and all negligence claims for over 30 years. We’re here for you when you need us most:
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