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How safe are Colorado's ski slopes?

Colorado's numerous ski resorts provide millions to the state economy every day of the season. And though helmets are more common than they used to be, the fact injuries and deaths still happen in our winter wonderlands. But finding out just which trail, resort, or even time of year results in the greatest number of injured skiers can be near impossible to determine.  Why is that?

It's a dangerous sport

First, the resorts adhere to the mantra that skiing is a dangerous sport. Often, broken bones and twisted tendons are expected to be part of an active winter sports enthusiast's medical chart.

Even if you follow all the rules and have years of experience, there's still a chance you may misjudge the terrain and eat some wood. When injuries happen, management is very quick to write them off as just another day in the mountains. That’s one reason so many injuries go unreported or are treated as unremarkable: they’re just part of the experience.

No government oversight means no transparency

According to a recent investigative report, the state has never actively promoted a pattern of investigation into injuries and deaths on the slopes. Until recently there was no database maintained by a public office that shared where and when skiers faced their final run down the slopes. 

Are participants simply sliding off poorly marked trails or falling victim to their own poor judgment?  In the interest of protecting one of the most profitable industries, the report suggests that the government simply never bothered to keep a close eye on the practices employed by the resorts.

Statistics require context

Since no real database has been maintained, the statistics that both the resorts and consumer agencies employ regarding the safety or inherent danger of the sport have no basis for comparison. This creates a fog of mystery and an implied perception that everything must be just fine, since no hard numbers or information is available for interpretation by both sides of the question.

Lodging a claim or complaint can be near impossible

If you or a loved one is injured at a ski resort, and you feel that the injury may be due in part to the negligence of the property, it's imperative that you obtain legal representation as quickly as possible to prevent your situation from turning into just another meaningless statistic. An attorney experienced in personal injury law will be able to help you obtain vital information that might otherwise get lost in the standard paper shuffle often created by insurance companies and large corporations.

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