Ice skating is a particularly popular winter sport that many people take part in – particularly around Christmas time. Whether you skate on a regular basis or go to your local outdoor ice rink with your family during the festive season, you shoulder some responsibility for your own safety. As with any sporting activity, there is the risk of accidents happening that could leave you injured, and whilst you might be lucky enough to walk away from an ice skating accident with minor cuts and bruises, you could be seriously injured. If somebody else was to blame for your accident then there’s a chance you could.
The dangers of ice skating
It seems like the most common time of year to be injured whilst ice skating is between December and January, when many temporary, outdoor ice rinks pop up in cities across the UK. In fact, the London Ambulance Service said they had been called out on average around 101 times over the festive season to deal with injuries at the capital’s 16 seasonal ice rinks. Serious injuries sustained whilst ice skating could include lacerations from sharp skate blades, muscle injuries and fractures, with the majority of injuries sustained after a fall. Many people who decide to ice skate over the winter period aren’t seasoned skaters, which means they may overestimate their abilities and put themselves more at risk of being injured in an ice skating accident. It’s important to take things slowly and ensure that you don’t overdo it when you first get on the ice.
Who is to blame for your ice skating accident?
Whilst we all take some responsibility for our own safety when taking part in any sports, it’s important to determine if it was actually negligence that caused your accident. When you’re skating at an indoor or outdoor rink, the management assume responsibility for the safety of the rink and any equipment that is available to hire. So if, for example, you are injured due to faulty ice skates or other equipment, you could find you’re eligible to claim personal injury compensation. The management is also responsible for the condition of the ice – for example bumps or uneven patches, cracks or other defects in the ice could lead to a trip and fall, resulting in serious injuries. Failure to maintain the ice to a safe standard could be classed as negligence. It’s also important that staff ensure the ice rink does not get too crowded, particularly during holidays and the festive season, when crowds can flock to smaller rinks. The more people there are on the ice, the more at risk of injuries you could be.
Common ice skating accident injuries
Ice skating, particularly figure skating, is growing in popularity and as a result the number of ice skating accidents is on the rise too. Around 66% of all reported injuries are to the lower extremities, most commonly ankle injuries, which have the potential to be serious. Here are just a few examples of the types of injuries that you could suffer in an ice skating accident:
- Knee injuries – these are extremely common and if you dislocate your patella (kneecap) then progressive damage can be caused to the knee if this is not treated
- Concussion if you fall and hit your head
- Wrist injuries such as sprains or fractures
- Medial collateral or anterior cruciate ligament injuries – the latter may require surgery
- Foot injuries such as Achilles tendinopathy
- Tendonitis of the ankle
- Fractured legs, wrists, ankles or arms
- Serious lacerations
If you have suffered an ice skating accident injury then you could make a claim for personal injury compensation within three years of your accident, provided somebody else was at fault.
Is ice skating more dangerous than other winter sports?
Ice skating is usually seen as less dangerous than some other winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Statistics from 2010/11 show that there were 16,948 admissions to accident and emergency for head injuries sustained snowboarding and skiing, compared to just 4,608 admissions for head injuries sustained whilst ice skating. Head injuries are statistically the leading cause of severe disability or death in winter sports accidents and they can often lead to a traumatic brain injury that could change the rest of your life.
In 2014/15, according to data from the National Safety Council, almost 59,000 people were injured in the USA whilst taking part in winter sports such as snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice skating. The majority of these accidents were caused by snowboarding and snowmobiling – but whilst ice skating carries a lower degree of risk, there’s still the potential for accidents to happen.
How much compensation could you get for an ice skating accident?
It’s difficult to say how much compensation you could get for an ice skating accident, but the best thing to do after your accident is to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor. Accident Advice Helpline’s team of professional personal injury lawyers can help you to get the compensation you deserve, whether you have suffered a brain injury after a fall on ice or a more minor injury such as a broken ankle or torn ligament. Every claim is processed individually, which means we consider a variety of different factors when working out your personal injury settlement. But you could take the 30-second test on our website for an idea of how much you could be entitled to claim.
Next steps after your accident
There is a three-year time limit in place to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to claim compensation after your accident, but we always recommend calling us sooner rather than later. You can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline by calling our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to find out more about making a claim. There is no need to lose sleep worrying about paying expensive solicitor fees, as our personal injury lawyers provide a 100% no-win, no-fee service. Get in touch with us today and you’ll benefit from over 16 years’ experience, and confidential, no-obligation advice from our team of expert advisors.
Date Published: January 3, 2014
Author: David Brown