When a customer has caused an accident and possible injury to another person, that person may wish to sue your customer.
There are two parts to this. Bodily injury or damage to property, which includes personal effects. The rest of this document relates to how to handle a situation in respect of an accident causing bodily injury although you can use the same procedure and documents for property damage.
Under the F.I.S. Skiers Code it is a requirement that you stop and administer assistance at the scene of an accident.
If you were present at the scene of an incident and after having conducted the usual first aid procedures please obtain as much information on site as possible including contact details of witnesses and the injured party(s). Take photographs if possible.
You should mark a cross on a piste map showing the site of the incident and note the time of day, weather and snow conditions.
If you were not present at the scene of an incident and a customer informs you in the normal course of events of an incident seeking your help or whether you were present at an incident and your customer is seeking your advise we suggest you do the following:
- Ask the customer to write a short account of the incident, which should be factual only, without any admission of liability in their account (see below).
- Any witnesses should be advised to do the same.
- This account is now the property of the customer and he should keep it safe and in the event of a claim being brought against them sometime in the future they will be able to demonstrating to insurers what happened.
- Under no circumstances should the report fall in the hands of the third party (injured person).
- If the customer is prepared to let you have a copy, send this to the MD of your company for safe keeping.
- Should your customer be asked to accompany the police to give a statement they must oblige and be seen to be helpful. Any fabrication may not help their cause. When giving a statement under no circumstances must they admit liability and the statement of facts document should suffice.
- If they do not return within a reasonable time or it seems they are being held in custody we suggest you make immediate contact with your head office and your local company lawyers.
Please note it is most important that your customer does not admit liability or try to make a settlement locally with the injured party, as this will invalidate their insurance policy. An example could be that the event seems minor such as damage to a third party's ski suit and your customer pays say £100. This is an admission of liability, which could end up with a £10,000 - £20,000 personal injury claim some months or years later.