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Winter Sports - Tobogganing, Skating, Skiing

ice skating in toronto

As winter comes to a slow end, it is the perfect time to enjoy winter activities as milder temperatures arrive.

Whether you are tobogganing, skating, or skiing, it is important to be aware of the potential hazards associated with these activities, which may result in serious injuries. In Ontario, approximately 14,000 people per year attend the Emergency Department for injuries related to skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing.

When an individual participates in winter activities, there is an implicit acceptance of the risks associated. This means that the risks are implied, and the individual accepts these risks though they may not be directly expressed. If you participate in these activities as a guest of a commercial hill or arena, it is typical that your ticket includes a waiver of liability. This means that when a patron purchases a ticket to enjoy the amenities, they are consenting to the associated risks of the activity and cannot subsequently hold the facility or its owners liable for any injuries sustained as a result of participating in the activity.

There are, as there always are, exceptions to accepting risks and waivers of liability. Where an injury is sustained as a result of negligence, you may be in a position to hold the wrongdoer liable and pursue legal action. Where a facility’s management is aware of hazards on their premises and fails to repair these defects or adequately warn their patrons about them, the facility may be responsible for injuries sustained on their premises. Where other patrons are behaving irresponsibly in their enjoyment of the winter activity and cause another patron to sustain an injury, they may be considered negligent and therefore legally responsible.

To best protect yourself from injury, take the following precautions when enjoying winter activities:

  • Select trails and hills that are suitable for your experience.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and other patrons.
  • Wear the proper and fitting safety equipment for your activity (goggles, helmet, padding, etc).
  • Check the functioning of your equipment and replace faulty equipment as you become aware of it.
  • Do not participate alone and always bring a family member or friend.
  • Understand and follow all rules related to your activity.
  • Do not stop where you obstruct the trail or are not visible from the above.
  • Ensure you know how to contact medical assistance in the event of an emergency.

Injuries arising from winter activities can be serious and may include spinal injuries, traumatic brain injury, dislocations, and broken bones. Understand your rights and practice proper safety measures to keep winter activities fun and enjoyable.

If you suspect that your injuries arose due to the negligence of a facility owner or other patron, consult with a personal injury lawyer. They can assist you in determining if there has been wrongdoing and prove that the negligence of another has caused you to sustain injury.

Contact us at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.
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