Retaliation after a Ski Collision in Oregon

A sudden, unexpected heavy contact to one’s person can provoke a wide variety of actions. For some people, it might be a sense of shock and bewilderment. For others, a contact with their person can trigger a more violent response.

It is not uncommon to see physical fights break out after ski collisions. Assault and battery are intentional torts, which means they are the product of a conscious desire to inflict harm, as opposed to negligence, which is the result of a failure to exercise due care.

Battery, in civil law as opposed to criminal, is a voluntary act that intentionally causes harmful or offensive contact with the person of another. A clear example of a battery would be the swinging of a fist with the intention of hitting somebody and causing harm to that person. In order to be a battery, there must be actual contact with the other person. If there is no contact, but the intent to do harm was there, then the law defines that act as an assault, i.e., an attempted battery.

Note that verbal threats are not enough to constitute an assault under Oregon civil law. So if two skiers get into a shouting match and one makes threats against the other, no legal course of action has yet accrued, unless the statements were in some way defamatory.

What all of this means is that even if you have caused a ski collision, if the other skier retaliates and hits you, you have a legal claim for battery. The person who hit you cannot claim your negligence in causing the collision as a defense because contributory negligence is not a defense to intentional torts. If a person takes a swing at you but misses, you have a potential claim for assault.

Things can get more complicated when both parties get into a fight and hit each other. At that point, a court would make a factual determination of who was the initial aggressor and whether a valid claim of self-defense exists for whoever threw the second punch.

Protect Yourself in the Event of a Ski Collision.

If you have been hurt in a ski collision that escalated into a contentious argument, you need to call Richard Rizk, Attorney at Law at (503) 245-5677 to discuss your options.

Learn More About Oregon Ski Accidents