If you have been injured in a ski or snow board accident in Italy, you deserve to know your legal rights under Italian law. Skiing holidays are extremely popular but, as with any type of sport, participants are often at risk of suffering personal injury.

Approximately 10,000 skiers and snow boarders experience harm every year while taking part in these activities.

Those adversely affected by another person's negligence may be entitled to receive compensation through a sports injury claim. All the skiers must comply with the rules called Skier's Decalogue ("Decalogo dello sciatore").

The Skier's Decalogue was approved in Beirut in 1967 by the International Ski Federation and it is the most complete and organic set of rules on how skiers should behave on the skiing slopes.

In Italy such rules have been receipted in Law n. 363 of 24 December 2003 on Safety in Ski and Snowboard activities ("Norme in materia di sicurezza nella pratica degli sport invernali da discesa e da fondo").

This is the content of the Decalogue

  1. Respect for others: Every skier should behave so that he is not putting in danger other persons or things.
  2. Perfect control of the speed and of one's behavior: Every skier has to keep a speed and a behavior adequate to his own skills and to the general conditions of the slopes, of the clear view and traffic intensity.
  3. Choosing the right direction: The upstream skier has the possibility to chose the trail and has to keep a direction in order to avoid collision risks with the downstream skier.
  4. Overtaking: A skier can overtake another (with sufficient space and visibility) either in upstream or in downstream, either on the right or on the left, but always at a distance that helps avoiding getting in the way of the overtaken skier.
  5. Introduction and crossing: The skier that introduces himself in a slope or one that restarts after a break, has to make sure to do this without danger for himself or the others; in the crossings the skier has to give way to the skiers coming from his right or according to other existing indications.
  6. The stop: The skier should avoid stopping, except when really needed, in the obligated or limited visibility passages.
  7. Moving uphill: In case of urgent need of moving uphill or downhill by foot, the skiers has to stick to the borders of the slope.
  8. Respect of the signalling: All skiers have to respect foreseen signs for the skiing slopes and particularly the obligatory use of helmet for children under 14.
  9. Rescue: Everybody should be ready to rescue in case of accident.
  10. Identification: Anybody involved in an accident or is a witness has to identify himself by giving own particulars.

Besides the 10 rules, this law engages the ski area administrations to provide adequate signs within the statutes and laws.

Each ski accident is unique, but most fall into a category such as skier collisions, ski lift accidents or ski resort negligence.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.