According to ABC News, there have been 33 serious parasailing accidents in the state of Florida between 1998 and today. Six of those accidents caused fatalities.
Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers know that parasailing can be very dangerous if the boat operator who runs the parasailing operation fails to maintain the boat or other parasailing equipment. Unfortunately, the parasailing industry is largely unregulated, which contributes to the risk of accidents occurring. Many of these accidents involve tourists who visit Florida and who try out parasailing on their vacation, including one recent devastating accident that injured two visiting girls.
Parasailing Accident Seriously Injures Tourists
According to WPTV, two 17-year-old girls recently went parasailing while on vacation in Florida.
Unfortunately, the line on the parasail broke when the girls were out on the water. As a result, the young girls slammed hard into the side of a nearby condo building and hit a power line and a car in a parking lot. The girls were seriously injured as a result of their ordeal, with one suffering from back injuries necessitating surgery and the other suffering neck injuries.
One of the two girls has been walking with assistance despite her injuries, while the other is able to communicate only through nods, blinks and small hand gestures. While there is hope that both girls will make a recovery, there is a long road to go for the young women and their families.
WPTV reports that the owner of the parasailing company has indicated that he is praying for the girls to recover. In a statement, he expressed the company's heartfelt sympathies but seemed to decline to take responsibility for the accident, saying: "While we adhere to best practices to minimize the risks associated with watersport activities, sudden weather conditions can and do occur."
Taking Action After a Parasailing Accident
The wind on the day of the parasailing accident was reportedly severe, which may have been a contributing factor in the line getting loose and the girls sustaining injuries. It is true that parasailing can be inherently dangerous and that those who opt to participate in this activity assume certain risks associated with parasailing. However, the company should not have been operating in severe weather.
Companies offering parasailing trips still have certain obligations to patrons, despite the fact that the activity is a risky one. If the parasailing company failed to maintain the parasailing equipment and/or was otherwise negligent in a way that led to the accident, the parasailing company can be held legally responsible for resulting injuries.
Parasailing accident cases are often complicated by the fact that the injuries occur involving tourists from out-of-state. When someone from another location is injured in Florida and wishes to pursue a personal injury claim, the case will generally still need to be filed in a Florida court of law. Having a local attorney can be invaluable under these circumstances so the case can be successfully pursued.
If you've been injured in an accident, contact West Palm Beach injury attorney David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 for a free case review.