Gweneth Paltrow
Source: Getty Images / AFP

The internet has been all abuzz over the somewhat comical ski trial, starring American actress and businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Other than playing the unflappable Pepper Pots in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she usually makes headlines for outlandish claims through her wellness and lifestyle brand, Goop. The most confusing include bee venom theory and how water has feelings. 

Although Goop is one of the most controversial brands, it was still valued at US$250 million in 2018. Paltrow’s recent return to the limelight has certainly increased this number. 

The he-said-she-said court trial began when 76-year-old retired optometrist Terry Sanderson accused Paltrow of skiing “out of control” while on the beginner’s slope at the Deer Valley Resort in Park City.

He claimed that she skied into him, resulting in brain injury, four broken ribs and other painful injuries. 

Confident, Paltrow denied the claims and countersued, saying that Sanderson skied into her back. She was found not at fault and awarded one US dollar as per her request in the countersuit. 

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow speaks to Sanderson following the reading of the verdict. Source: Rick Bowmer / Pool / AFP

Other than being a highly entertaining courtroom drama and a great platform for Paltrow to showcase her fashion-forward wardrobe, there is no real reason to care about this trial. 

Unless you’re an international student in the US. Then we’d like to argue that you should care a little, particularly around the big questions of: What do you do if you get into a skiing accident abroad?

Whether you’re are a skiing veteran or newbie, it’s important to know the do’s and don’t of skiing etiquette. The National Ski Areas Association also has a responsibility code to help you navigate the rules. 

The snowy slopes are not the only place one can meet with an accident (or run into Gwyneth Paltrow for that matter).

In your home country there is always that parent or guardian you can lean on, but what should one do while studying abroad?

Gwyneth paltrow

Those who frequent snowy slopes like Gwyneth Paltrow must be aware of skiing etiquette and what to do when things go south. Source: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP

7 things you should do if you are involved in an accident abroad like Gwyneth Paltrow:

1. Be calm

Most students cannot afford Paltrow’s Pure Calm wellness oil to calm their nerves but taking a few deep breaths can help.

Accidents happen and the only way you will be able to deal with them properly is to be calm and act with a clear mind.

2. Check yourself for injuries

Your safety is paramount. If you’re injured in any way, head to your closest clinic, or if the case is more severe, the emergency room. 

Have your identification and insurance number or details handy as well as the means to pay. 

In Europe, you need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In the UK you would have applied for a National Insurance number.

There are many healthcare options for international students.

Tell the nurse the severity of your injury so they may help you in the best way possible.

3. Check on anyone else involved in the accident

Paltrow confessed during the trial that she didn’t ask if her assailant was hurt. Don’t be like Paltrow. 

Only if you are able, check on others involved. If they are hurt, help them straight to the hospital so a doctor may assist them. 

Gwyneth Paltrow

Netizens were charmed by Gwyneth Paltrow’s wardrobe during the trial. Source: Rick Bowmer / Pool / AFP

4. Gather names and contacts

Some might argue that it was testimony from Patrow’s ski instructor which swayed the jury to her side. It goes to show that having a witness makes a massive difference. 

Take down the names and contacts of everyone involved. This could be whoever was in the accident as well as any witnesses of the accident. 

Then if the police or, if things get very serious, the court needs more information then you have all of it ready. 

You should also exchange insurance information.

5. Call your emergency contact 

Either call your emergency contact or have someone near you (such as a witness, paramedic or nurse) do so. 

Before flying abroad it would be best to have a list of emergency numbers saved on your person at all times. This is not limited to police, hospitals, student services and an emergency contact of your choice (could be a friend or student services staff). 

6. Inform the local police

Depending on the type of accident it would be best to contact the local authorities so they have your statement on record. This will ensure that your side of events is down in black and white. 

7. Seek legal advice

Gwyneth Paltrow had a team of highly paid lawyers to fight her defence. (Her obvious wealth is why she asked for only one US dollar in her countersuit). 

If you have access to a lawyer, you should consider reaching out to them. 

If not, contact your student services and they would be able to put you in touch with someone or give you the advice that you need.