Winter Sports and Traumatic Brain Injuries
As a Florida native, “winter sports” may not have much meaning to you. After all, with our famously temperate climate, people in Florida can typically enjoy outdoor activities all year. In fact, it is not uncommon to see people biking, running, and even people surfing in the middle of winter in certain parts of the state. Many Floridians, however, enjoy a winter getaway to other parts of the country in order to engage in sports that are generally limited to areas that have colder temperatures and snow on a regular basis.
While your yearly skiing trip may be something that you look forward to each year, winter sports can be extremely dangerous. Because they tend to take advantage of the inherent slipperiness of ice and snow, they are often extremely fast and capable of causing extremely serious injuries, including .1 This is true regardless of whether or not you are wearing a helmet. Some of the winter sports that are capable of causing TBIs are discussed below.
Skiing is among the most popular of winter sports, enjoyed by millions around the globe. If you have ever done it, it is not hard to see why. It is fast-paced, exciting, ski areas are often situated in some of the most beautiful areas in the world. Unfortunately, ski accidents can often cause serious head injuries. Skiers can lose control and crash into a tree, fall and hit their heads, or take a fall on a steep mountainous terrain. In addition, there are other TBI dangers associated with skiing, including the lifts, other skiers, and fault equipment like bindings and helmets.
While significantly newer than skiing, snowboarding has become nearly as popular as skiing and is also engaged in by millions of people each year. While they share many characteristics, snowboarding is significantly different that skiing and snowboarders often focus on the performance of aerial tricks that involve jumps, spins, flips, and twists. As a result, head injuries and TBIs are a very real risk in snowboarding, affecting a substantial number of snowboarders each year.
While it is certainly possible to play hockey here in Florida, our climate does not allow for pickup games on frozen bodies of water. Ice hockey is an extremely fast sport that often involves significant physical contact and the use of long sticks that can inadvertently become dangerous weapons. As a result, participation in hockey significantly increases a person’s risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury.
Can You Recover for a TBI Sustained During Participation in Winter Sports?
People who are injured while participating in voluntary sports often have a difficult time recovering compensation because of a legal doctrine known as “.”2 Basically, the doctrine holds that if you choose to participate in an activity and understand the risks associated with that activity, you should not be able to recover compensation if you are injured as a result of one of those risks. For example, a hockey player should not be able to recover compensation if he or she is hit in the face by a puck, and a snowboarder should not be able to hold a ski resort liable for providing a half-pipe on which he or she is injured.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however, including the following:
- If you injury was caused by the intentional conduct of another person
- If your injury was caused by defective equipment
- If your injury was caused by a coach or other person in a position of authority asking you to participate in an activity above your level
- If the accident was caused by gross negligence or recklessness
Contact a Tampa Brain Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you sustain a traumatic brain injury while participating is physical activity, you may be able to recover compensation for the losses you have sustained. The lawyers of the are experienced injury advocates who have the knowledge and experience to get our clients the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765