Many years ago, my wife and our two youngest children were going through security at Paris Nord en route to the UK via Eurostar. As we descended an escalator I noticed my son, aged around 5 or 6, in animated discussion with a stranger. Although not such a stranger, for it was Gwyneth Paltrow.
The actress and entrepreneur is in the limelight at this time for a different chance encounter. Apparently a retired optometrist and she collided on the slopes of Park City, Utah some years ago. In his version of events the chance encounter with the star of “Sliding Doors” resulted in “permanent traumatic brain injury, 4 broken ribs, pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life”. He claims she knocked him out, she counterclaims that he skied into her from behind.
Whatever the truth of the matter, ski collisions are sadly all too common. My wife, my kids and I have all been hit at one time or another by skiers either out of control or ignoring signage. Fortunately none of us experienced the life-changing injuries the retired optometrist claims to have experienced, but it put my wife off ever skiing again.
But what is the legal position? Keith Dean, at Pennington Law outlines this in an article at his company’s web site. He notes that the situation will differ from country to country , but that FIS guidance is always relevant. He states that, from a lawyers or an insurers perspective, the most useful FIS rule is:
- Identification – every skier or snowboarder and witness, whether a responsible party or not, must exchange names and addresses following an accident. Where an independent witness has given your insured their name, every effort should be made to contact them and take as full a note of their evidence as possible.
The full FIS rules are available here.