It could be a game-changer for California ski accidents. A new bill would require California ski areas to report all fatalities and injuries to the state. According to NBC Los Angeles, that bill was recently introduced in the state Senate.
Our ski accident attorneys understand that there are 24 primary ski areas in the state. Unfortunately, these areas are largely unregulated. As a matter of fact, California is the only major ski state that has no current ski safety law. There have already been attempts to get this kind of legislation on the books, but those attempts have failed.
"When there are injuries or deaths, that should be a matter of public record," said state Senator Bill Monning who sponsored the Ski Safety Bill.
Still, these accidents, injuries and fatalities are never required to be reported publicly. Officials believe that reporting these incidents will help to reduce them in the future by alerting the public to the dangers of the activity and to the areas where these accidents are most likely to happen.
Two years ago, a 9-year-old was seriously injured when she dropped more than 30 feet from a chairlift in Snow Valley. The ski lift didn't have the proper safety bars to keep passengers in. The young skier underwent more than 5 surgeries in 5 days to save her life.
According to the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization, a group that advocates ski area safety, says that there are hundreds of ski accidents that go unreported in the state of California each and every year.
Senator Monning's bill wouldn't only require these incidents to be reported, but it would also make sure that areas also prepare an annual safety plan to help to prevent these accidents and to help to lessen the dangers of California slopes. These plans would have to be posted on resorts' websites.
We understand that these accidents and safety plans are a visitor's right to know. When you're spending so much money at these resorts, you deserve to enjoy them safely and for the establishment to take the necessary safety precautions.
The bill will be heard in committee within the next 30 days. If it makes it though both houses of the legislature, then it will wind up on Governor Jerry Brown's desk later in September.
There have been similar safety bills that have made it passed the legislature in the last 4 years, but they were vetoed by the governors. First, one was vetoed by Schwarzenegger and then one by Brown.
Many skiers and boarders assume that accidents are a part of the sport -- but for many injured skiers, the risks of skiing do not include reckless skiers or reckless snowboarders causing a ski collision, or the negligence of the ski resort operator in designing the ski trail, terrain park or operating the ski lift.
If your or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925 today!
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Traumatic Brain Injuries & Classes on the Road to Recovery, California Injury Lawyers Blog, February 13, 2013