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Florida Tourist Activities Not Without Risks

Florida is home to roughly 19 million residents, but on any given day its total population is much higher thanks to tourism. In 2013, Florida had a record setting 94.7 million visitors, according to recent statistics. It makes sense, too. From the theme parks to the beaches, Florida is filled with activities that draw tourists from around the world. And of course, Florida residents take part in those same activities as well.

But anything – even something that seems mundane – will have some measure of risk associated with it. And certain activities are riskier than others, obviously. Recently, the Florida parasailing industry was thrust into the headlines when a pair of young friends were flung across the Florida shoreline and smashed into a building nearby as a result of a snapped line. This is only one example of the risks associated with some Florida activities, and everything from fishing to jet skiing to riding a roller coaster has its risks.

In the case of parasailing, the accident that occurred this past July triggered the introduction of Senate Bill 320, requiring commercial parasailing companies to hold insurance and meet other guidelines. Other tourist related industries face similar restrictions and guidelines as well. But sometimes, injuries sustained as a result of one of these activities could bring heavier bills than an insurance policy will cover. And things like waivers and other factors could impact the likelihood of getting the financial compensation for your injuries that you deserve. As a result, talking to a personal injury attorney is important.

You should still understand the basics behind determining whether or not you have the right to seek compensation, even before you talk to a lawyer. For starters, the first question most will have concerns the waivers that almost any business will ask you to sign. In general, these waivers do offer some measure of protection for the business, guarding them against legal action. But they’re not an immediate get out of jail free card, and in certain instances you will still be able to seek some measure of compensation following an injury – even if you’ve signed a waiver.

The primary thing to look at is negligence. This is the same thing that a personal injury attorney will look at in any kind of case, whether it’s a slip and fall injury, a workplace injury, or something else entirely. Basically, it must be proven that the company overseeing the activity was knowingly negligent or reckless and that their negligent or reckless actions led to the accident and the injuries.

There are lots of examples of what could constitute negligence or recklessness. Here are some examples.

  • A parasailing company that knows weather conditions are unsafe for the activity, but who allows clients to partake in the activity anyway.

  • An amusement park that knew certain rides weren’t up to safety standards but who operated them anyway.

  • A bungee jumping or parasailing company that knowingly used equipment that was faulty or defective.
  • A jet ski company that used jet skis that had been recalled for some reason, ignoring the recall and using the jet skis regardless of the dangers.

It also must be shown that the person who was injured was not aware of these additional risks before they began participating in the activity. In general, if a company or its employees know that something isn’t safe, and allow it to continue anyway, the odds are good that the waiver you signed won’t mean much and that you could receive compensation for your injuries.

We have more than 100 years’ experience in the personal injury field, and we’re ready and willing to help you. Our clients regularly settle for millions of dollars each year, so don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation regarding your injuries.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

Florida Tourist Activities Not Without Risks

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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