In Canada, with the winter weather comes winter sports – hockey, skiing, sledding, ice fishing, etc. However, thousands of people are injured every year participating in winters sports. It is very common to see head and spinal injuries from people injured in winter sports. Most winter sports are inherently dangerous and accordingly, when you participate in these activities, a legal principle called voluntary assumption of risk applies. Skiing is a good example of this type of sport. Individuals who are injured in ski accidents and try to sue the resort, or perhaps the person that cut them off on the slope are often faced with the defence of voluntary assumption of risk. It essentially means that you have assumed the risk associated with the activity, which could bar you from pursuing a claim.
Safety is very important when it comes to winter sports. Make sure you remember to wear your helmet if you are going sledding or playing a game of shinny with friends. Alcohol often plays a factor when people are injured in winter sports. We get several cases a year involving sledding and alcohol consumption. Remember, if you consume alcohol and it plays a factor in your injury, this could significantly undermine your ability to pursue a claim against another party.