The Basics of Ski Law in Oregon

Resort Duties

In Oregon, the law regards skiing as an inherently risky activity, meaning the sport is risky within itself. Skiers, whether they realize it or not, assume and accept those risks provided the risks are “reasonably obvious, expected, or necessary.” That means, generally, ski resort owners and operators are not liable to skiers who are injured within the resort while engaged in skiing. Oregon, like all states with skiing, has enacted legislation that limits the liability of ski area operators in an effort to avoid a deluge of claims for every single accident.

However, the law still imposes a number of duties on ski area operators. For example, resort operators are required to maintain a certain level of upkeep and to avoid creating unsafe conditions for skiers. For example, if the way a trail is designed creates an unreasonable risk of collision with man-made objects, the resort might be liable if a skier is injured. The same applies if a ski lift is negligently designed or maintained causing injury.

If you are injured within a ski resort, you have 180 days to notify the ski area operator of your injury. This is a very important deadline which must be met to preserve your right to sue the resort. Accordingly, it is highly advisable to call Oregon ski accident lawyer Richard Rizk as soon as possible after you discover your injury so he can begin the legal process.

Resort Employees

Even though the law gives a level of protection to resort operators, if an employee is negligent while performing their job, the resort may be vicariously liable. Furthermore, the law holds everyone liable for their own torts. That means even if an employee was acting outside the scope of their job when they caused you harm, they can be held personally liable.

Skier Duties

Oregon law lists a series of requirements with which skiers within the state must comply. Any of the following actions by a skier might negatively impact a lawsuit brought following a ski accident:

  • Skiing in an area not designated for skiing
  • Skiing at a speed or on a course which you know is beyond your abilities
  • Not abiding by directions and instructions given by the ski area operator
  • Not familiarizing yourself with posted information on location and degree of difficulty of trials/slopes before attempting them
  • Crossing the uphill track of a surface lift except where clearly designated by the resort operator
  • Overtaking in a manner that involves contact and/or failing to give right of way to an overtaken skier
  • Failing to yield to other skiers when entering a trail or starting a downhill slope
  • Failing to wear retention straps to prevent runaway skis
  • Boarding ski lifts of any type if you lack the ability to use the lift or fail to obey instructions regarding the lift
  • Leaving an accident scene in which you were involved without leaving your name and address
  • Embarking or disembarking a ski lift at a non-designated point

If you are injured in an accident, it is highly recommended you notify the resort before you leave. The ski area operator must give notice to skiers of these duties. You will likely see them on a contract you signed to obtain your lift pass, and/or on signs around the ski area. Still, if you don’t comply, the operator might be able to exclude you from its resort.

If you have had an accident and you see you may have broken a rule in the above list, don’t despair! Call Richard Rizk today, who will analyze your claim. Even if you are partly at fault, you might still have a valid claim.

Protect Yourself in the Event of a Oregon Ski Accident

If you have been hurt while skiing, you need an attorney who knows Oregon ski law. Call Richard Rizk, Attorney at Law at (503) 245-5677 for a free consultation.

If you would like learn more about Oregon ski accidents, please read our page on Inherent Risks of Skiing in Oregon.

Learn More About Oregon Ski Accidents