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Nicoletti Walker Law Group Oct. 7, 2014

Beach fun and Florida are synonymous. Take, for example, Clearwater Beach, situated on the state’s west coast and famous for its white sand and 1,000-foot fishing pier. Sailing, parasailing, speed boat rides, and dive boats are but a few of the activity options available to residents and tourists alike. With so much adventure seeking, however, accidents and injuries are inevitable. A Clearwater Beach parasailing accident reminds us of this reality, and forces us to think about the issue of responsibility with regard to injuries. While parasailing 50-feet above the water, a winch line malfunction sent a young engaged couple flying. The young man was able to release himself from the line, but his fiancée has dragged across the beach. Her injuries were severe, and she was brought to a nearby medical center in critical condition. The boat used in the pair’s parasailing has been seized by the U.S. Coast Guard for examination by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department. Depending on the cause of the winch line malfunction, the young man and woman may have legal claims against the company that rented them the boat or its manufacturer.

Negligence Is a Basis for Imposing Liability for Beach Accidents

If the reason for the winch line malfunction that caused the Clearwater Beach parasailing can be proven to be a failure by the rental company to properly inspect and maintain the boat, then the young couple will be able to raise a personal injury claim alleging negligence against the rental company. Since it is in the business of renting its boats to Clearwater Beach residents and tourists, the rental company has a responsibility to facilitate the safety of its customers by renting only properly functioning boats. From the law’s perspective, this responsibility is a legal duty that, if breached, can serve as a basis for imposing financial liability for damages suffered as a result of the breach. Damages may include medical treatment, both present and future, lost income from missed work, pain and suffering, and in egregious cases, punitive damages.

Manufacturing and Design Defects Are a Basis for Imposing Liability for Beach Accidents

If neither the rental company nor the young couple bear responsibility for the Clearwater Beach parasailing accident, it is possible that the winch line malfunction that was the result of defect present in the boat from the time of its manufacture. Whether specific to the design of the boat or adherence to the design in the manufacturing process, a defect that results in injury during ordinary use of the product can serve as a basis for imposing liability on all parties in the product’s retail chain. These parties include manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. If you have been the victim of beach accident as the result of another person’s negligence or a defect in beach-related product, reach out to an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer to discuss the legal options available to you. The Mike Walker Law will represent your interests aggressively, working to recover the compensation you need and deserve.