Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular activities to enjoy during the winter here in Canada. But whether you’re hitting gentler slopes or testing your skills on the more challenging runs , accidents can and do happen.

Common Types of Ski and Snowboard Accidents

The most common types of ski and snowboard accidents include:

  • Collisions with other objects including trees, fences or signs
  • Collisions with other skiers or snowboarders
  • Falling from a chair lift
  • Being struck by a chair lift
  • Ski or snowboard equipment failure

Common Ski and Snowboard-Related Injuries

When ski and snowboard enthusiasts find themselves involved in these types of accidents, they often sustain some type of injury. Depending on the type of the accident, individuals can sustain injuries ranging from minor to life threatening. Some of the common injuries include:

  • Brocken bones and fractures
  • Knee injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head and brain injuries


Due to the risks involved in the activity of skiing and snowboarding, ski resorts and equipment rental shops will always seek to maintain protection and exclusion from liability. They do this by having customers complete a liability waiver before allowing anyone onto the slopes or when renting equipment.While this waiver acts to release the resort from liability should an injury occur, it does not always release the resort or others who may be involved in an incident from liability in an instance where a duty of care is not being provided.

Duty of Care

Under the Ontario Occupiers’ Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, the manager or owner of a property must provide a duty of care to keep all guests on the premises reasonably safe in the circumstances. This includes properly maintaining the resort and slopes , providing regular maintenance to all chair lifts and ensuring all rented equipment is in a safe, working condition.

Note: Some waivers will require customers to waive any claims with respect to negligence and/or duty of care as stated under the Occupiers’ Liability Act. Remember to read the waiver you are signing carefully and keep a copy of it for your records.

Accidents Caused By Others

If your injuries were sustained by an accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation, depending on the situation.

For example, in 2009 a teenage girl sustained fatal injuries after running into a tree while on a class trip to Blue Mountain. Her family filed a lawsuit against the school board for neglect, as they argued that the school did not take the appropriate safety precautions on that ski trip. The teacher of the teenage girl was also alleged in the lawsuit to be liable because he pushed her to tackle a hill she wasn’t ready for.

In another instance, if your accident is caused by another skier who is exhibiting dangerous or reckless behaviour, they could be considered negligent and held accountable for your injuries.

Product Liability Claim

If you sustain injuries due to an accident that was caused by a piece of malfunctioning equipment, you could be eligible to file a product liability claim.

Injured at a Ski Resort

If you become injured at a ski resort due to the negligence of the resort, someone else on the hill or another involved party, it’s important to do the following:

  • Seek medical attention
  • Take pictures, or direct someone else to take pictures, of the scene of the injury
  • Record details of the event and report the incident to the ski resort
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible

Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer

In accordance to the statute of limitations in Ontario, you only have a certain amount of time to file a personal injury claim. That’s why it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer soon after the injury in order to get the legal process started.

Harrison Pensa Personal Injury Group

Filing a claim for a ski or snowboard-related accident can sometimes be confusing and complex, and building a successful case will require a thorough incident review and investigation. In cases of this nature, it’s important to hire a professional personal injury lawyer that is experienced in this specific area. Our team at Harrison Pensa has the knowledge and experience you need to represent you and your case. Get started with a free consultation by contacting us by phone at 1-855-744-9228, or by email at personalinjurygroup@harrisonpensa.com

A word from our clients

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"I am a former client of Mr. Sean Mackintosh at Harrison Pensa law firm. I highly recommend" 
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January 8, 2016

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