One of the Lower Mainland’s best features is its proximity to the mountains. All the hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and skiing you could ever want to do is literally just right there.
Though it’s not a situation any of us would like to imagine ourselves in, it’s an unfortunate truth that the mountains and their adventure activities are the cause of numerous personal injuries each year. If you’ve sustained a personal injury while hiking, biking, or skiing the mountains, you may be wondering if you have a legal claim to compensation for the costs of your injury.
In some scenarios, you may have a case to sue for monetary compensation for your injury, otherwise known as “damages.” Ask yourself the below questions and contact DBM’s lawyers at our Langley, Vancouver, or Coquitlam law offices.
1. Were you part of an organized group activity?
Did your personal injury occur during a group outing, for example a hiking excursion for tourists or a cross-country skiing lesson for which you paid a participation fee? Or were you on your own or with a group of friends where no one was considered to be “in charge”? The context in which you suffered your injury is important, because it helps to determine whether another person may have been at fault for your accident.
2. Were you in an official activity area?
Did your injury occur in a designated area for the hiking, skiing, or mountain biking you were doing? Or were you in an out-of-bounds area, on private property without permission, or in a park with posted signs warning against doing the activity? As with the above point, this contextual factor is important in determining whether or not some other person or organization is responsible, or partially responsible, for the injury you sustained, and therefore your ability to make a claim in court.
3. Did you sign a liability waiver?
If you were in a designated activity area—such as a ski hill—or were part of a group excursion, you likely signed a liability waiver or waived the right to sue just through using the area. Most adventure companies use such forms to legally protect themselves against responsibility for injuries such as the one you have suffered. Additionally, activities like mountain biking and snowboarding have an “inherent risk of injury,” which means hurting yourself just by partaking in these activities is not enough to make a claim.
However, if you followed all the rules required of you and took all necessary precautions for your safety, and still suffered an injury through no fault of your own, you may have grounds for a claim despite the liability waiver. Speak with one of DBM’s personal injury lawyers, located at our Langley, Vancouver, and Coquitlam law offices, to learn more about your options.
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