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Winter Sports and Legal Liability

The Winter Olympics are in full swing, so you might be inspired to get active, take up a new sport, or do that double black diamond like your favorite athlete. While there’s nothing wrong with trying new things, consider the risks first. Before you bundle up, here are some liability issues to be aware of.

While you may not have to sign an Activity Release of Liability for every winter sport, by participating in the more dangerous activities you are basically taking on the inherent risks. Assuming these risks limits your ability to sue if you’re injured. For example, if you were injured in a winter sport, you’d generally only be able to sue the owners of the facility if you could demonstrate that they knew the track or activity was unsafe or if the operators were otherwise negligent. Getting proof of this could be an uphill battle.
Take the example of the luge track in this year’s Olympics. While officials knew it was faster than most luge tracks, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was inherently more dangerous. And the fact that they added more safety features after the Georgian athlete’s death can’t be used as evidence of negligence, since facilities need to be free to make fixes without fear of being sued. You can read more about the luge tragedy and liability in the WSJ Law Blog.
For most people, the fun factor far outweighs the risk of injury, so bundle up and get out there! Remember if you ever need to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer, it’s easy with Rocket Lawyer.

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