Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury, were once far more common but occurrences have decreased since the majority of ski enthusiasts now wear helmets. But helmets do not prevent all head injuries. The speed of the out-of-control hitter or with which a skier hits the ground may cause the brain to crash into the skull, causing a brain injury. We often see accident victims who experience loss of consciousness or a concussion immediately after the accident. For more detail, visit traumatic brain injuries.
The majority of skier and snowboarder deaths on the slopes result from blunt force trauma to the upper body. The most common scenario is a skier losses control and hits a tree or other stationary object such as a lift tower. Every jurisdiction views this type of accident as an inherent risk of the sport.
Too many skiers head for the trees skiing solo and find themselves upside down in a tree well, unable to extract their body and with no one to assist. Tree wells are notorious for posing an unobvious danger. Best practice is to always ski with a partner so that if a tree well is encountered, rescue can begin immediately.
The forces involved when skiers collide are often more than sufficient to break bones. The physics of the accident can be reasonably surmised by the injuries the parties suffer. Many ski crashes result in severe orthopedic injuries which may permanently impact an individual’s quality of life. With our experience, we know the details needed to reconstruct the accident and how to value an orthopedic injury to gain fair compensation for our ski accident clients.
Ligament and Soft Tissue Injuries
For beginner and intermediate skiers, a tendency to not maintain control of their center of gravity often results in damage to ligaments within the knee. The most common is a complete or partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which generally requires surgical repair. For many, a reconstructed ACL accelerates knee osteoarthritis by about 15 years.