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I was severely injured while skiing in New Hampshire – do I have a case?

| Jan 4, 2014 | Homeowners Insurance, Injuries, Insurance, Personal Injury |

The answer to this question, unfortunately, is probably “no.”  New Hampshire has an immunity statute which affords broad protection to ski area operators from claims for injuries to skiers.  The statute, which prohibits civil lawsuits for injuries arising from “inherent risks” of the sport, has been very broadly interpreted by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, particularly in the case of Cecere v. Loon Mountain, a case which I handled a number of years ago.   Basically, if you are injured due to any defect in the mountain or its maintenance or operation, no matter how gross the negligence or serious your injury, you cannot bring a lawsuit for your injuries.   Cases which do survivie include collisions with other skiers, however, your claim must be against the skier him or herself, and NOT the ski area.   The hope in that instance is that the negligent skier has homeowner’s insurance which will cover your damages. Another exception is a defect in the tramway or lift – if a lift collapses or otherwise causes an injury to a skier, there may be an exception in the immunity statute which would allow the injured person to recover.  The lesson to be learned, therefore, is that when it comes to skiing in New Hampshire, you are on your own, and the law will find that you accepted the risks of skiing when you made the decision to ski.   So, be CAREFUL out there.