NewsKnow the Law


Know the Law: Ski Safety

Posted at 10:42 AM, Jan 10, 2022

Well, ski season in Michigan is underway, and with snow in the forecast and people looking for safe ways to get out of the house, the slopes are bound to be busy. But before you head out, you might want a refresher on the basic legal rules of skiing. Joining us again is Grand Rapids personal injury attorney, Tom Sinas, of Sinas Dramis Law Firm to talk about the Michigan Ski Safety Act.

The Michigan Ski Safety Act is not something that you think about when you're buying your skis or buying your lift ticket or anything ahead of the slopes. Sinas said Michigan actually has a comprehensive statute, or set of laws, that govern most everything about skiing. The idea behind it was to create the kinds of rules that both skiers and ski hills are required to follow.

The statute has a set of rules for ski hills and a set of rules for skiers. Ski hills have to have snow grooming equipment that has a flashing yellow light so that you can see it. They have to mark with a visible warning sign or some other sign a hydrant or another fixture used to make snowmaking as people know ski there's snowmaking equipment on the hills and those have to be marked.

Ski hills also have to mark at the top of the run the type of run it is you know how how easy or difficult green, blue/black and also do things like mark when runs are closed. So those are some of the things that ski hills have to do.

Sinas pointed out there's also a list of things that skiers have to follow. For instance, they have to maintain reasonable control of their speed and course at all times. If a skier is out of control, they're in violation of the safety act because they're required to maintain control. They have to steer clear of grooming equipment. They have to heed the posted warning signs. They have to ski only in areas that are open. Sinas quoted the statute, “A skier shall conduct him or herself within the limits of his or her individual ability and shall not act in a manner that may contribute to his or her injury or the injury of another person. A skier shall be the sole judge of his or her ability.” So that puts a lot on the skier to say look you and only you know what you can ski safely and you're required to ski in a manner that is safe. If you can't ski in a manner that is safe on that particular run or that particular hill then you shouldn't be skiing, because if you ski in a way that risks injury to you or another person, then you violated that rule which is part of the ski area safety act.

Listen to Sinas explain how the Ski Safety Act applies to claims involving personal injuries.

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