Sorry for the bulk reply, but I've been sick for a few days and not reading Epic.
Originally Posted by telerod15
If you stop at a stop sign, can see no other vehicles approaching, proceed and are then involved in a collision, you will get a ticket and be named "at fault" if the responding officer is an idiot, which is often the case.
If you really did everything you could to avoid hitting any approaching vehicle, then you should not have been found at fault.
There's an intersection just a few blocks from me where my street has a stop, the cross street doesn't, and the visibility from where the stop sign is isn't great (there's a big building on the left side of the street blocking the view of the corner.) I often have to stop, then creep up further to be sure there isn't any cross traffic flying up the street from the left. If I just stopped at the sign/stopline, said 'eh, I can't see anyone coming from here' and jammed on the gas, I'd be at fault if someone hit me, because driving into a blind intersection at high speed is obviously a bad idea. (We might both be at fault if they were speeding).
Originally Posted by tromano
Bingo. The code contains those rules for a reason. If they wanted the code to read: the down hill skier is always at fault no matter what. Take all possible measure to avoid hitting anyone ever. The could have written it that way. They chose not to do that.
They didn't do that because the downhill skier can be at fault if they do really stupid things. Falling in a blind spot and getting injured or temporarily stuck or knocked unconscious is something that is going to happen, and IMO a reasonable person should expect that and ski/ride in such a way that they take that possibility into account.
Originally Posted by tromano
I am not in the habit of taking elaborate measures to check for things that should not be there in the first place. If people want to make up rules that is not unexpected, this is epic, afterall.
But at the end of the day there is nothing in the code that says I have a clear duty as a down hill skier to go out of my way to do some elaborate check on the roller.
All I can say is: I hope you don't kill anybody, and good luck in court with that argument. You have a duty not to hit or injure people, and you need to take reasonable precaution to make sure you don't do so.
Originally Posted by mdf
The legal idea of fault is different from the real world. In the real world, it is perfectly possible for both parties to be at fault, and one side's fault does not absolve the other of his fault.
Depending on the state and context, courts can sometimes find both parties to be at fault, and dole out financial responsibility accordingly.
Since people have been bringing up driving analogies, the phrase I remember from driver's ed all those years ago is "last clear chance to avoid the accident." So here is a thought experiment: suppose I'm standing on a wide, empty trail, where I am clearly visible, and I see someone uphill skiing straight towards me. Having more righteous indignation than sense, I stand my ground and let him hit me. Am I at fault? Not by the code, but yeah, I think so.
I was actually on a jury in a civil case that touched on this issue. If you had a way to mitigate the damage (financial or otherwise), but chose not to exercise it, the party at fault may not be responsible for that. (IANAL, and it's probably more complicated than that, but this is something that has happened before and there are court rulings about it. In our case we ended up finding for the defendant, so we didn't have to determine what portion of the claimed damage was their fault.)
Originally Posted by tromano
The common wisdom of this thread seems to be that sking in control means not hitting other people or objects.
I would say that 'skiing in control' means skiing such that you minimize the chances of hitting someone due to your own (in)actions or inattention. A collision could still occur due to someone else's actions, or some totally unpredictable thing happening.
And if you do hit someone or something you were by definition not in control or hit the other guy on purpose? ...And it leaves out the possibility of a true accident. Some one is always to blame.
If you hit someone and you could have reasonably avoided it, you were not in control. If there was no reasonable way you could have avoided the accident, it was not your fault.
"True accidents" where nobody is at fault are possible, but from what I have seen they are pretty rare in skiing. I would actually argue that the situation mentioned later in this thread with two people turning into each other from opposite sides of a wide hill could be in this category -- or at least both parties would be equally at fault.
It also apparently requires caution and repetitive checking to see what may lie hidden every time you ski a run with a blind spot.
Yes, you must take reasonable precaution to avoid accidents. Otherwise you will probably be found at fault if you hit someone, regardless of what the 'code' says.
I think the problem in these threads is that they try to use the rules of the game-- the code-- that are written to provide safety and then try to use those rules to apportion blame and achieve justice. Its not the right tool for that, I guess except in CO.
Yes, the SRC is not really written as an airtight set of rules that can be used to apportion blame (ie, 'you broke rule 3, so it's not my fault that I hit you'.) They are a set of guidelines designed to minimize the risk of accidents.
I'm not intimately familiar with how the SRC-like laws in CO are interpreted in cases like this. I would think that if you hit someone in a blind spot that you could have avoided but chose not to (by taking a line that sent you through the blind spot at high speed and/or with no ability to avoid them) you would still be at fault.
Originally Posted by jmaie
I've never considered the code as a way to apportion blame in case of an accident. To me it seems like a set of best practices designed to make the slopes as safe as they can be give the nature of the sport.
Hypothetical case, someone jumps a roller and hits a stopped skier.
Who is at fault? Both.
Who is more at fault? The code doesn't say, that's for the jury / court of public opinion to decide.
If every skier kept the code a little more in their minds, there would be fewer collisions.
DING DING DING! We have a winner!