Utah Skiing Laws
This is a brief summary of the liability involved with skiing - yours, other skiers', and the resorts'.
Liability WaiversYou know those liability waivers on the backs of you ski passes? The ones you always sign but never read? Well guess what, they are not enforceable! That's so important, I'm going to repeat it: ski resort liability waivers are not enforceable. Currently, the law says that the ski resorts give up this ability to waive liability by enforcing the Inherent Risks of Skiing Act.
Resort IS NOT LIABLEThe Utah Inherent Risks of Skiing Act protects the resorts from suits arising out of dangers that are integral characteristics of skiing. (Confusing?) In other words, if the risk that caused your injury, is something that skiers generally want to encounter, then the resort is not liable. For example, if you get hurt because you lost control going down a steep hill, or went off a jump and wrecked, or hit an ice patch, the resort is not liable. Jumps, hills, moguls, and etc. are things that most skiers want to encounter. The resort is not liable for you injuring yourself because of those risks. This law precludes a large number of suits because the majority of skiing injuries are the fault of the skier. For example, when I was 16, I thought I was super cool so I thought to hit a jump on a school-ski-day. Well, the jump was bumpy just before the lip, causing me to lose my balance, go off the jump torqued sideways, land on my shoulder and break my collarbone. (owww but still cool...) The resort was not at fault for this and the law would prevent a suit.
Resort IS LIABLEThere are things that the resort is liable for: like negligent warnings or negligent design. For example: If there is a blind hill, or merging trail that the resort does not warn you about with proper signage, then the resort can be held liable. Also, resorts can be sued for negligent lift maintenance or management.
You are liableLastly, You are personally liable for collisions on the mountain. Just like a car accident, if you cause a collision by negligently skiing or disobeying the right of way, you are personally liable for it. A good rule of thumb is: the person in front of you always has the right of way. The good thing is that your homeowners insurance or travelers insurance will indemnify your liability for skiing collisions. (This means they likely pick up the bill.)