Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Ski safely on your festive break

Holidaymakers heading for the snow over the festive season should make sure they follow safety rules carefully.

Alison Carter, who leads our Personal Injury Team, said it was vital skiers took proper responsibility for their own safety. “The festive season is an extremely popular time for people to choose to escape to the slopes, but it’s important to remember that safety must always be paramount.”

Alison’s warning came after a court case which decided a French ski instructor should pay damages to a British client who was severely paralysed after crashing into a tree in the French Alps.

“The issue was whether the instructor should have permitted or encouraged the client to ski in the off piste area where the accident happened. But the judge also stressed that the skier was partly to blame, as he could not abdicate all responsibility – after all, the instructor may have suggested the area, but the skier chose to take part.

“And in his decision, the judge ruled that although the ski instructor was two thirds responsible for the accident, the client must also be held one third responsible, which will of course affect the damages he will receive. So don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, and don’t feel that you’ll be the odd one out – your safety is more important than following the crowd.”