Wyoming Ski Law

Have you been injured while skiing in the state of Wyoming?

If you have been injured by another skier or snowboarder, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for your injuries. Please fill out and submit a contact form or call us on our main line at 303.861.1042. We will listen to your story and help you if we can. If it is an emergency, please call Jim Chalat on his cell and if he cannot pick up right away he will forward your message to a partner at the firm. All of the lawyers in the firm have extensive experience in representing injured skiers or snowboarders who were injured due to another skier’s negligence. The consultation is free, even if it is time-consuming and if we need to read records you have about the possible case. We are always happy to answer your questions even if you aren’t sure yet if you want to hire a lawyer.

Negligent Skiers

Skiers may recover for the negligence of another skier from that skier. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the risk of collision with other skiers is not an inherent risk nor a risk assumed by a skier in an action by a skier against another skier. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-1-123.4(c).

Operators of ski areas

A skier may not make any claim against or recover from any ski area operator for injury resulting from any inherent risk of skiing. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-1-123.4 (b). Wyoming law also does not require Operators of ski areas to eliminate, alter or control the inherent risks of skiing or snowboarding. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-1-123(b). Wyoming law defines the inherent risks of skiing as those dangers or conditions which are characteristic of, intrinsic to, or an integral part of skiing or snowboarding. More specifically, the inherent risks of skiing include: (A) Changing weather conditions; (B) Falling or surface snow conditions, whether natural or man-made, as they exist or change; (C) Surface or subsurface conditions including bare spots, forest growth, rocks, stumps, streambeds, cliffs, extreme terrain, trees or other natural objects; (D) Collisions or impacts with natural objects such as the objects specified in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph including encounters with wildlife; (E) Impact with ski lift towers, signs, posts, fences or enclosures, hydrants, water pipes or other man-made structures and their components subject to W.S. 1-1-123.3(k); (F) Variations in steepness or terrain, whether natural or as a result of ski trail or feature design, or snowmaking or grooming operations such as roads, freestyle terrain, jumps and catwalks or other terrain modifications; and (G) Collisions with other skiers. Other items included in the list, and others that are not listed, and including the use or operation of ski lifts may, as a matter of fact, be “inherent risks” although those questions must be decided by the fact finder based on the evidence presented. See a published article written by Jim ChalatLiability of Ski Area Operator for Skiing Accident, 45 Am.Jur. POF3d 115, 150–51, § 17 (Broad judicial interpretation of inherent danger ski statutes as primary assumption of risk) (1998 and Supp.2005).

Are skier/snowboarder collision cases barred by waiver?

Typically not. The ski pass waiver and/or assumption of risk language on a lift ticket do not immunize other skiers or riders from liability. Except in the rare case where you are run down by a ski area employee in the course of his/her duties, the liability waiver on your season pass or the assumption of risk language on your lift ticket do not protect the other skier from responsibility and liability.

Can claims against the Operators of a ski area be barred by waiver?

Wyoming courts will enforce clauses releasing parties from liability for injury or damages so long as the clause is not contrary to public policy. Generally, specific agreements absolving participants and proprietors from negligence liability during hazardous recreational activities, such as skiing or snowboarding, are enforceable, subject to willful misconduct limitations.

How do you prove fault?

You can help us in the early stages with the evidence in the case.  Here are some items that are helpful:

Safety Considerations:

In addition to the basics of skiing in control, avoiding collisions with things or people, keeping a lookout, here are some basic safety considerations for skiers and riders:

Snowboarders, in addition to the above:

All Skiers and riders: