It’s only January and the region has already seen 3 major snow storms. Shoveling snow from sidewalks and driveways after the storm passes is certainly not fun, but for many, snow also brings various recreational activities adults and children enjoy, such as skiing, sledding and tubing.
Unfortunately, there are risks associated with these winter activities, especially tubing and sledding. Part of the reason is because adults and children go sledding on hills behind private homes or local parks, and no one makes sure that the hills are safe for sledding. The sled may hit large patches of ice or dirt mounds that cause the rider to lose control and crash. In addition, children and adults who go sledding don’t wear helmets. Therefore, when the sleds crash, riders may sustain serious head injuries because their heads are unprotected. Injuries often associated with sledding accidents involve serious orthopedic injuries like fractured bones and serious head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
There have been a slew of sledding accidents since December across the country. Some of the sledding accidents resulted in fatalities. Last month, a 16 year old teen in Texas was seriously injured in a sledding accident when her sled couldn’t stop and crashed into a nearby ravine. She had a broken nose, lacerations to her forehead, liver and pancreas. Source: http://dfw.cbslocal.com( Flower Mound Teen Suffers Serious Injuries In Sledding Accident)
On New Year’s Eve, a Minnesota high school teen was killed in a sledding accident at a friend’s house. http://www.bringmethenews.com (High school athlete killed in New Year's Eve sledding accident)
Earlier this week a 14 year old teen from Upper Sandusky, Ohio was also seriously injured in a sledding accident when his sled hit a mound of dirt and threw him from the sled. *Source: http://wfin.com (Upper Sandusky Teen Injured In Sledding Accident)
These are just a few of the numerous sledding accidents that happened in the last 2 months.
Sledding and tubing accidents can also happen at ski resorts that offer tubing or sledding. Sometimes, the accidents happen due to a resort's negligence. For example, if a tubing or sledding trail was not safely made or maintained and causes a rider to get injured, the ski resort may be liable for the rider’s injuries. In order to prevent sledding and tubing accidents, ski resorts have the duty to maintain and inspect the course and hills to make sure that they are not unreasonably dangerous for patrons. Further, ski resorts must implement and enforce safety procedures like height and weight limits to reduce the risk of injury. Many people injured at winter resorts believe that the waiver they were asked to sign means their lawsuit is barred. This is not always true, especially when it comes to minors. Click here to read more about waivers of liability in Pennsylvania sports accident cases.
For parents who invite their child’s friend to go sledding on the hill in their backyard, it is important to have adult supervision to prevent sledding accidents. If a sledding accident happens and there was a lack of adult supervision, the parents may be responsible for the friend's injuries. It is also important to have children wear helmets while sledding to prevent head injuries.
If you have questions about a recreational activity accident in PA or NJ, call Dan O’Brien, a personal injury lawyer to schedule a free consultation. 877.944.8396
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