Michigan Skiing Accidents
It was a well-spent weekend in northern Michigan riding skies and snowboards. Goodwin & Scieszka thought it would be informative to talk about negligence in terms of the Ski Area Safety Act 1962.
Negligence is a 4-part inquiry:
- Causation – both proximate cause and actual cause
First, the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit), must establish a duty: either to act reasonably, by pointing to a statute thus conferring a duty, or a duty that was voluntarily undertaken.
In terms of the Michigan Ski Area Safety Act of 1962, the duty is to ski reasonably.
408.342 Duties of skier in ski area; acceptance of dangers.
(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.
Here, sections (a) through (d) clearly indicate acceptable skiing behavior. Even if a person is not in direct violation of the written statute, there’s still always the duty to ski reasonably.
A breach could be anything: a direct violation of the listed duties or an injury that would not have occurred had someone been more reasonable or adhered to the statute.
Causation is the trickiest part of proving a negligence claim – you need to ask two questions. 1) But for the negligent act, then would the injury have occurred; 2) was the injury foreseeable? You need to answer both of these questions affirmatively to prevail in any negligence claim.
Lastly, if you can prove both types of causation, then all you need to prove are your damages. Ask yourself, “what’s your injury?” If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligent skiing, then contact our firm. We’re here for you when you need us the most…
Our Southfield, Michigan personal injury firm has been handling any and all types of negligent acts for over 27 years. Call today and we’ll try and put you back in the position you were in before your injury. Don’t wait, your claim could be time barred if you wait too long…