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Colorado Ski Accident Lawyer

D.J. Banovitz

Skiing and snowboarding in Colorado is a great activity. Skiing is my passion. Unfortunately, skier and snowboarder collisions happen far too frequently. Getting clobbered by a careless or reckless skier or snowboarder often results in significant injuries.

Under the Colorado Ski Safety Act, § 33–44–102, C.R.S, skiers and snowboarders are all considered “skiers”. Safety principles in the Act are known as “The Code”. Most collision cases occur when an uphill skier crashes into a downhill skier. Colorado law creates a presumption that the uphill skier is at fault. Why? Skiers are responsible for maintaining a proper lookout and skiing in control. In addition, the passing skier has a duty to avoid those below him or her. When a skier fails to look where they are going or ski in control or pass safely and crashes into someone – they are responsible for any injuries that result.

Everyone skiing or snowboarding in Colorado is responsible for knowing and abiding by The Code. A Colorado Ski Accident lawyer will understand the interplay of the rules when a collision occurs that triggers more than one. The Code provides the following:

  1. Always stay in control, you must be able to stop and avoid people or objects. Often this rule gets broken by someone skiing too fast for the conditions and their ability. Conditions include but are not limited to the density of skiers on the slope and the relative hardness of the snowpack.
  2. People ahead or downhill have the right of way and must be avoided.
  3. Stop only where visible from above and do not restrict traffic. A downhill skier standing below a roller or headwall where she is invisible from uphill skiers may be partly at fault when a collision occurs depending on the totality of circumstances.
  4. Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
  5. You must prevent runaway equipment. Functioning brakes or leashes are required on all skis, snowboards, AT skis, telemark skis (I tele and I care!).
  6. Read and obey all signs, warnings and hazard markings.
  7. Keep off closed trails.
  8. You must know how to load, ride and unload lifts safely. Sometimes someone that doesn’t know how to safely ride a lift collides with someone. I’ve witnessed this occur early season on the mid-Vail Express and the victim had her knee blown out.
  9. Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and marijuana is legal in Colorado. Partying is enjoyed by many before, during and after skiing. Some people take it too far and are impaired and collide with someone. This may give rise to a punitive damages claim.
  10. If involved in a collision or incident, share contact information with the other party and a ski area employee.

Ski collision injuries can be extreme and life changing. A Colorado ski lawyer usually encounters clients with broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, knee injuries, and spine and shoulder injuries. Many skier collision injuries require surgery and significant rehabilitation. Sadly, many victims of ski collisions are left with permanent impairments to their ability to live full and productive lives or enjoy their time on earth without pain and limitations. The economic harms and losses that result can be tremendous and devastating pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Justice for the injury victim is not complete without consideration for all the harms and losses. An expert attorney versed in Colorado ski law is essential to getting the best possible settlement.

Who will pay? Medical bills, wage losses, out of pocket expenses and harm for pain and suffering can easily reach six figures. In most circumstances involving skier collisions, the ski resort is not responsible. The skier or snowboarder may be held responsible. The at fault or responsible skier’s homeowner or renter’s insurance provides coverage for ski accidents.

Colorado ski safety law requires people involved in skier collisions to stop and help. See #10 above. It also requires them to provide their name, address and ID. Should you be unable to do this yourself have a companion or witness help and hopefully take some pictures as well. In the age of smartphones and GoPro type cameras it is easier than ever to document what happened. Colorado is a uniparty state when it comes to recording conversations so you do not need the other person’s consent. What about Ski Patrol? Most of the time Patrol will generate a complete report on location and causes of a skier/snowboarder collision. However, sometimes they do not. Please don’t rely on them to get this done for you. Be aware that areas that are part of Vail Resorts Epic Pass may not produce the Patrol investigation or file without a subpoena.

I’m Different From Other Personal Injury Firms

As a dedicated Colorado Ski Accident Lawyer, I limit my caseload to make sure that the client gets the total focus they deserve. Big firms often shuffle clients off to caseworkers, paralegals and ‘pre-lit’ departments and miss the details. It’s critical to get the important details right. Proper investigation can be key. A collision on the slopes isn’t the same as a rear-end car crash. Preparing every case from the beginning as if it will go to trial ensures the best possible settlements.

I Only Accept Cases From Those Legitimately and Seriously Injured by the Carelessness of Others

Your best chance for success is having a Colorado Ski Accident lawyer that is an expert on and off the slopes. As an expert skier, I have an intimate understanding of the trails at most Colorado ski resorts. Careful preparation and understanding of the dynamics of ski injury cases including how terrain, angles, speed and ability factor in can make all the difference. If you or loved one has significant injuries than I invite you for a free consultation. The easiest way to get your questions answered quickly is to pick up the phone and call. I answer questions about skiing cases every day and would love to chat with you. You can reach me at (303) 300-5060 or email

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Meet D.J. Banovitz

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. At age 7 on a family ski trip to Summit County, Colorado, I determined to make Colorado my home. The mountains are a place of beauty and spirituality that infects the people that live here. People that play in the mountains get it.

Client Reviews

I was referred to DJ by another personal injury attorney and wow am I fortunate that he agreed to take my case. I was in an...

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DJ Banovitz worked tirelessly on my case and I was thrilled with the outcome. He communicated with me on a regular basis...

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DJ was a blessing to find! He was contentious, compassionate, thoughtful, and always available to talk through issues. We...

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Welcome to my website. View my video series on ski-related injuries, where I provide valuable insights and legal guidance for those affected by accidents on the slopes.

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