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Epic Collision: Will Vail or Other Epic™ Resorts Help With Your Claim?

If you or a family member has been injured in a skier or rider collision at a Colorado Epic™ resort can you expect help with your claim? 

Ski patrol will come to the scene of a skier or rider crash and provide medical assistance as needed. In addition, ski patrol will generate a collision report form. The form includes spaces for the following information: names, addresses, birth dates, home phone, cell phone, email, ski pass or ticket number, driver’s license number, location and difficulty (name of the run and whether it is marked green, blue or black), and signature. In addition, they may gather witness contact information. The ski patrol are not cops. They don’t generate accident reports and tickets similar to what happens in a car crash. The role of ski patrol is to assist and render first aid and evacuate injury victims off the mountain. They have no law enforcement role. 

Epic™ resorts should provide the collision reports voluntarily with a written request. However, sometimes they don’t. What happens when they fail to provide this information and what other information does a skier collision lawyer seek? This depends on whether the at-fault party – the hitter skier or snowboarder and their insurance company accept responsibility. In that instance the injury, damages and harm claims are hopefully resolved without a lawsuit. Not every claim results in a lawsuit and an effort to settle claims for full and fair value without filing suit should always be made. However, sometimes a claim can’t be settled fairly because the insurance company disputes the damages or causation of the claimed injuries or the hitter doesn’t accept responsibility. When this happens a lawsuit is necessary. Gathering all the available information through investigation and ‘discovery’ is essential to help prove the claims and achieve successful results. Vail and other Epic™ resorts may have helpful or essential information that can help prove a claim. Unfortunately, this information isn’t volunteered and must usually be compelled through a subpoena. Once a lawsuit has been filed, a subpoena can be issued by the ski lawyer to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure to produce. This is what is usually required to get “cooperation” from Vail and Epic™. 

What information is typically sought in a skier rider collision? Here’s a partial list that I typically include in a subpoena:

Any and all statements, written or recorded, concerning the ski collision incident; any and all incident reports, including any incident report filled out after the date of the Incident by any person with knowledge of the Incident, specifically including but not limited to any post-dated report completed; Any logs created as a result of the reporting of the Incident; Ski patrol employee reports, diagrams, and statements obtained and/or prepared as a result of the Incident; Identity of all Vail employees with knowledge of the Incident; Photographs taken as a result of the investigation of the Incident; Documents evidencing the names and addresses of all parties involved in the Incident; Warnings, admonishments, or other documents evidencing actions taken by either VICTIM or HITTER as a result of the Incident; Any records, schedules, program materials, or any other documentation related to any “safety classes” attended by either VICTIM and/or HITTER; Pass card usage detail reports and pass card usage by day reports for VICTIM and HITTER; Any photographs taken on DANGEROUS OVERCROWDED ski run at any time during the XXXX ski season; and any other incident cards or reports for incidents that occurred on DANGEROUS OVERCROWDED ski run at any time during the XXXX ski season, with appropriate redactions.

Some of the requested information, if available, might not be provided even with a subpoena. In that case a motion to compel with the court might be necessary. 

I’m sharing this information with you to give you a window into what may be required as part of your ski collision claim or lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured in a skier or rider crash at any Colorado ski area or Epic™  Resort and have questions, please give me a call or email at (303) 300-5060 or Helping injures skiers and riders is what I do and I’d be happy to help any way I can. 

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