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Non Ski accident on resort - help needed please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All,

I have just returned from a trip to Austria, unfortunately I had an accident on my first day there and have fractured my foot in 2 places, ruptured ligaments in the same foot and have fractured my elbow. This meant I was in a wheelchair for the entire stay, my friend that came with me and my 2 sons could not ski as they were looking after me.

I will be claiming on my travel insurance for the medical costs (had to pay upfront) but I was wondering if anyone has ever successfully sued for injuries caused by negligence? I had gone t book ski lessons at our local ski lift and on the way back down the stairs (I wasn't in ski attire) I fell, basically a piece of the protective mat on the stairs was missing for 2 steps and that's how I lost my footing. My friend took photos of the stairs.

I am self employed so this will cause me great problems with work and our holiday was ruined, we were stuck in our room for most of the time as the resort we were on was too hilly for the wheelchair.

Any help is much appreciated, I hope I have explained things well.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Oh no! It must have been very slippery!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The stairs were covered so no snow on them, it was just the mat was partly missing on 2 steps and that's how I lost my footing Sad
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@MrsClooney, Some years ago a friends daughter broke her leg skiing & it was badly treated in France, resulting in an amputation. He sued successfully, but the legal paperwork & meetings took years to sort out & it really took his toll on him. He would now admit that he was chasing a principle, not financial gain. Out of interest,why did it take 3 people to look after you with a broken foot?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@genepi, how dreadful! Sad
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genepi wrote:
@MrsClooney, Some years ago a friends daughter broke her leg skiing & it was badly treated in France, resulting in an amputation. He sued successfully, but the legal paperwork & meetings took years to sort out & it really took his toll on him. He would now admit that he was chasing a principle, not financial gain. Out of interest,why did it take 3 people to look after you with a broken foot?


That poor girl, I was talking to a lady at my hotel that had had a similar experience, she could no longer ski and had trouble walking but had luckily not had to have amputation.

I probably should have pointed out that my 2 sons are children and as complete beginners they could not ski on their own, my friend would not leave my side as I had to go to hospital every day (wish I didn't).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@MrsClooney, as @genepi says, negligence litigation is a long and gruelling process,especially in another country. But, if you end up with long-term damage (I hope you won't) and/or unmet expenses, and IF - very important if - you can get legal expenses underwritten (either under an insurance policy or on a no win no fee basis) it might be worth a go. The toll on you will be minimised if you go into such litigation in the right frame of mind, which is: it won't cost me anything except time, so I might as well at least give it a try.

Such an unfortunate accident. I hope you recover quickly and completely.

Oh, and welcome to snowHeads. Sad first post. Sad
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hurtle wrote:
@MrsClooney, as @genepi says, negligence litigation is a long and gruelling process,especially in another country. But, if you end up with long-term damage (I hope you won't) and/or unmet expenses, and IF - very important if - you can get legal expenses underwritten (either under an insurance policy or on a no win no fee basis) it might be worth a go. The toll on you will be minimised if you go into such litigation in the right frame of mind, which is: it won't cost me anything except time, so I might as well at least give it a try.

Such an unfortunate accident. I hope you recover quickly and completely.

Oh, and welcome to snowHeads. Sad first post. Sad


Thank you, I actually joined the forum a while ago and lurked, I got lots of great tips for my trip, shame I didn't get to use them Sad
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so why would you think that falling down the stairs is someone else fault, even if a piece of matting isn't there?

were you not negligent in not looking where you were going?
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@emwmarine, I wondered when someone would inevitably be along to say the OP is a vexatious litigant. It is not for us to say whose fault this was, but for the OP's advisers, having examined the evidence. Twisted Evil

But that's nothing when compared to the crime of beginning a sentence with 'so'. Skullie
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

But that's nothing when compared to the crime of beginning a sentence with 'so'

perhaps the absence of a capital letter implies it wasn't the beginning of a sentence?

The current vogue for starting every other (spoken) sentence with "So" is driving me nuts....
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@pam w, me too (obviously).
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@genepi, I know someone whose daughter ended up with leg amputation, years ago, I think it all went wrong in Moutiers hospital . South coast sailor, maybe the same family?

I broke my knee about ten years ago falling down a couple of stairs, but that was in our own chalet and was really my own fault, failure to pay attention.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hurtle wrote:
@emwmarine, I wondered when someone would inevitably be along to say the OP is a vexatious litigant. It is not for us to say whose fault this was, but for the OP's advisers, having examined the evidence. Twisted Evil

But that's nothing when compared to the crime of beginning a sentence with 'so'. Skullie


You are right and I apologise for my grammatical heresy. However, a bottle of malbec has dented my ability to not start a sentence with a conjunction. But my sentiment stands. Someone doesn't look where they are going down a flight of stairs and falls over. Then cries foul and wants to sue the owner of the stairs. Pathetic. Razz
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@emwmarine, have you seen the matting or photographs of it? And how do you know the OP wasn't looking where she was going? It's really not for you to jump to conclusions, not to mention being so unsympathetic to someone who is plainly having a very hard time. I call that pathetic.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am not a lawyer but if my memory is correct (and I may be very rusty) it is necessary under English law to prove four aspects of negligence:

1. A duty of care existed
2. There was a breach in the duty of care
3. The breach caused the injury
4. The injury caused financial loss.

In my line of work I occasionally got involved in the last aspect and that alone was often difficult to prove. Your ability to carry out your work with a broken foot and elbow would depend on the nature of the work. Loss of income would depend on how long it prevented you doing the work and whether the work was just deferred or completely lost as a result of it. Calculating and proving loss of income when you are self-employed is not straightforward.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Commiserations on such an awful accident.
I still don't get why the kids didn't go to their ski lessons, or why you were stranded in resort?
Did your insurers not offer to fly you home early?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@albatross, my memory's​ also rusty, but all that sounds right, including the difficulty of establishing loss. That's why I wouldn't personally pursue a claim unless there were ongoing issues and why I certainly wouldn't throw any potentially irrecoverable money at it.
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Sorry to hear you were injured. I personally think trying to pursue a claim like that in another country simply won't be worth the time and effort. I'd focus on getting better and back to work asap instead.

I've successfully won a claim in this country, and it took nearly two years from start to finish. There was a lot of time, meetings, paperwork, medical examinations, an MRI scan, physio and finally surgery involved. The total bill for the other party's insurance ran into tens of thousands. I hope to never have to do anything like that again but I'm glad I did for the principle involved.

If you do go ahead, best of luck and also best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
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pam w wrote:
The current vogue for starting every other (spoken) sentence with "So" is driving me nuts....


Is that so?


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 9-04-17 12:23; edited 1 time in total
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Hurtle wrote:
It is not for us to say whose fault this was, but for the OP's advisers, having examined the evidence.


It isn't for her advisers either, it would be for insurers to decide to settle or (unlikely) a court. This is a discussion forum. Post something and there is liable to be discussion about it. Blaming someone else for your own lack of attention or plain bad luck is all too common. Whether falling on the stairs because there is no matting falls into that category is a matter of legitimate opinion and comment.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@dogwatch,
Quote:

Blaming someone else for your own lack of attention or plain bad luck is all too common.
I don't disagree with that and those who do it won't get very far in court anyway. What I question is the immediate assumption that this person is in the wrong and that there is no chance of redress. Whether it's her insurers or her professional advisers who contribute to her decision on whether or not to pursue a claim (obviously she will need input from both) I don't think it's for Internet warriors to prejudge the issue from a position of almost total ignorance.

By the way, do you look at your feet going down every single step on a staircase, particularly if you've negotiated the first few steps without incident?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hurtle wrote:
@dogwatch, I don't think it's for Internet warriors to prejudge the issue from a position of almost total ignorance.

By the way, do you look at your feet going down every single step on a staircase, particularly if you've negotiated the first few steps without incident?


I do look at my feet when climbing down stairs in a ski resort. Just because I completely disagree with the idea of trying to blame someone, and get recompense, for every accident there is doesn't make me or anyone else a 'keyboard warrior'. From the moment someone posts on here and asks for comment then anyone is entitled to put their view forward.

This strikes me as falling into the typical snowheads category of 'my first post is about either a rubbish supplier/or I want to sue someone'. I suspect this is the last posting by the OP.
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@emwmarine,
Quote:

I completely disagree with the idea of trying to blame someone, and get recompense, for every accident t
Me too, FWIW.


Quote:


This strikes me as falling into the typical snowheads category of 'my first post is about either a rubbish supplier/or I want to sue someone'. I suspect this is the last posting by the OP.
Not impossible. Guess I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. Look at the splendid Pandora!
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[quote="Hurtle"]@emwmarine,
Quote:

. Look at the splendid Pandora!


Isn't it dangerous opening that box?
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
From my long-ago training in Tort, what @albatross said sounds right, at least as far as the UK goes. Something about reasonable foreseeability also rings a bell. How it works in another country is not, however, necessarily the same, and the cross-border element will in many ways complicate issues.
You should be able to claim losses for things like lift passes etc from your travel insurance, if they were cashed in, other incidental expenses too if receipts were kept ( curtailment unlikely if you stayed the full duration) - so your main claim, presumably, is for loss of earnings and for damages for past, present and potential future pain and suffering. Doubtless one of the online- or TV-advertising legal firms will consider your case and advise you further, so I suggest contacting one who has specialism in accidents abroad. Your travel insurance should have some legal expenses cover, or sometimes cases can be taken cross- country on a conditional fee basis.
It won't be likely to be quick or hassle-free though. Depends on how much you really are or expect to be out of pocket and how much of a problem and long-lasting issue your injury really is as to whether it's worth having a go, and if someone will take it on for you.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Is it not possible for those that are self employed to take out some form of insurance cover in the event of illness or accident?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
richjp wrote:
Is it not possible for those that are self employed to take out some form of insurance cover in the event of illness or accident?


Yep, mine costs a fortune and covers me for nothing like my income, but enough to just about meet essential expenses, nothing more.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
richjp wrote:
Is it not possible for those that are self employed to take out some form of insurance cover in the event of illness or accident?


You can get IPB, MPI or ASU. IPB (income protection benefit) offers most cover, but is capped at 60% of your income. The benefit isn't taxable, but someone on 20k would be around £300.00 a month worse off while claiming. An employed person will recieve another £90.00 a week in SSP, so they should be roughly no worse of if they have maximum benefit and earn national average salary. Self employed person will not recieve SSP, so will be worse off with maximum benefit.....and it costs a fekin fortune.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I used to work with Chris Exall who was/is an expert witness in ski injury cases, a Google search should find him. He may be able to offer advice.

Get well soon BTW
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hurtle wrote:
By the way, do you look at your feet going down every single step on a staircase, particularly if you've negotiated the first few steps without incident?


Actually yes, I believe I do.

Contrariwise, six months ago I fell AoT descending a hotel's marble wheelchair ramp in the rain. The grip strip was worn. No major damage to me but if there had been, it wouldn't have occurred to me to sue. I should have been paying more attention.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
On a slight tangent, I've had 3 weeks skiing this season and almost every restaurant I've been in has tiled floors and stairs that become lethally skiddy with ski boots + water/snow. Torvill & Dean would have been mightily impressed with some of the moves. Embarassed

Have they never heard of grip tape or anti-skid surfaces? Or do they do it deliberately to save the CCTV video footage and collect £200 from You've Been Framed? Barstewards! Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@king key, this is true. I've seen many a skier come a cropper at a restaurant. Best one for spectators was the poor lady with the spaghetti bolognese. She slipped, the plate went up in the air, she landed flat on her back and the spag bol landed all over her face and hair. The whole restaurant was torn between feeling sorry for her and trying not to laugh Embarassed .
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@king key, A well-known observation. Devious plan by locals to gain enjoyment at the expense of recreational foreign skiers who can't walk in thier boots.
Or snide evil tactic by snowboarders for said same chuckling amusement? snowHead
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
maggi wrote:
@king key, this is true. I've seen many a skier come a cropper at a restaurant. Best one for spectators was the poor lady with the spaghetti bolognese. She slipped, the plate went up in the air, she landed flat on her back and the spag bol landed all over her face and hair. The whole restaurant was torn between feeling sorry for her and trying not to laugh Embarassed .


I DREAD this happening!! I've walked across many slippery terraces with trays of food hoping I make it to the table upright....!
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My answer to the OPs question is that I would think it extremely unlikely that you would get anything like a meaningful result from litigation over something after the event and in a foreign court, especially in a winter sports location (even if you weren't in ski gear). But I'm sympathetic inasmuch as when I was an employee of a large corporation, my employment insurance cover would have meant that my employer's insurers would have taken the case up if it had meant that I wasn't able to work. Now I'm self-employed, I could go for cover from someone like Hiscox, whereby I'd have the same sort of facility, but it's so expensive that I don't think it's worth it. You'd be claiming against the insurer who is covering the building's owner or the business operating the facility, so it'd be an individual against a corporate insurer - for which the odds aren't good. If you had work insurance cover then it would be more evenly-balanced.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I would think that thoughts of legal action may make things worse.

You have no medical costs to recover. Needing 3 people to forfeit their time and holidays to care for an adult with broken bones is not likely to have been foreseeable as a consequence of anything. The other party would suggest this was a cost you could have limited.

The fact that your employment can't be done with healing bones ... not foreseeable. Even in the US I've knowledge of cases (they are part of the public record and can be googled) where a dental hygienist with broken fingers could not claim damages for this reason.

As per the recent Ronnie Scott (UK) case, people are expected to take care and use a hand rail. Was there a rail?

Did the building owner take action following the fall and change the stair? Were there any witnesses as to the fall?

Broadly, I'd work on getting better.

---
Carrying food down stairs? Crazy people... actually most North American places are designed to avoid precisely that. And I've never seen one without a hand rail.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@philwig, no-one said they were carrying food downstairs. They were carrying it across a restaurant terrace.
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