Determining Liability on Vacation Can be Complex
Nothing can ruin a the pleasant escape of a vacation to sunny Florida beach like suddenly sustaining an injury. After investing so much money into your vacation and now having to spend even more on a series of unforeseen expenses, feelings of perplexity are understandable.
Sometimes an injury sustained while on a Florida beach could have been prevented had certain parties not been negligent. In this situation, someone injured on the beach would have the opportunity to seek legal action against those liable in order to secure compensation for injuries that they sustained. The question is, who exactly can be held responsible for these injuries?
While on vacation, worrying about litigation and searching for liability may seem low on the list of priorities after sustaining an injury. After all, a sudden injury can turn a pleasant afternoon on a sandy beach into a frantic and confusing ambulance trip to the emergency room at the drop of a hat. Calling it an inconvenience would be an understatement since the search for the liable party of a beach accident can be surprisingly complex.
Luckily, these kinds of accidents are not all that uncommon and previous cases have given insight on how to best deal with an injury received on vacation in several unique situations that prove rather confusing and complex.
Beach Related Personal Injury Claims
Florida has the most coastline of any of the contiguous states in the country and they are all pretty much sunny and pleasant all year round unless it’s summer and you happen to get caught in one of the endless storms that roll in around the afternoon. People still flock to the beaches regardless, eager to get tanned and sample the crystal blue waters.
Vectors for Injury at the Beach
- Riptides can pull swimmers away from the coastline and sweep them off into the ocean
- Sharp rocks or debris can cause injuries ranging from lacerations to traumatic brain injuries.
- Increased amounts of algae and bacteria can wash up on the beach and cause illness.
- Various kinds of wildlife can injure like stingrays stabbing with their barbs, jellyfish stinging with long stringy tentacles, and bull sharks nibbling at swimmers.
- Surfers and other water sports participants can fall from their equipment and injure themselves.
- Boating or jet ski accidents can cause serious injury to passengers and swimmers alike.
- General swimming and drowning accidents.
Liable Parties in a Beach Accident
When an accident occurs on a beach and someone sustains an injury the question of is is liable can be particularly complex since beaches occupy a unique niche in premises liability litigation where all kinds of minute variables can change the whole equation.
For example, someone gets injured on the beach by stepping on a stingray and having it’s poison barb jabbed into their leg. They then try to file a claim against the hotel they were staying at whose beachfront they were injured on.
However, their claim has trouble sticking since the hotel says that they have no control over and have no duty to warn of the dangerous wildlife in the ocean. In addition, they do not own the beach and are merely next to it so then the claim would not be valid.
On the other hand, there are all kinds of little variables that could be switched and the claim could be valid. What if the hotel did own the strip of beach that the plaintiff was injured on. What if this had not been the first person injured by a stingray on that beach since stingray injuries tend to come with the seasonal migration of stingrays to certain Florida shores. In that case, the hotel would have known that stingray injuries were a possible occurrence and neglected to inform their guests to be cautious and therefore the plaintiff is eligible for compensation.
Determining Liability for a Beach Injury
The first step is always to determine who exactly owns the exact patch of property that the accident occurred on. While the person that owns that exact patch of property may not always be liable, knowing who they are can take you one step closer to another party associated with them that might be.
A beach could be owned by a hotel, a state or national park, a private residence, or possibly a city like Miami Beach. Knowing who owns the beach can tell you if there was a maintenance provider for beach equipment that could be liable or if a warning sign or lifeguard should have been posted for the safety of beach goers.
Seek an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney
The nature of beach side property premises liability can be fraught with all kinds of legal twists and turns that require a special set of skills to navigate. With the assistance of an attorney experienced with these kinds of injury claims, the process of getting compensation for sustained injuries becomes significantly less stressful.
If you or a loved one have been injured while on vacation in St. Petersburg, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you need to secure the settlement that you deserve.
For more information, please contact the Dolman Law Group at (727) 222-6922.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712