Who Is Liable When You Are Injured While Playing in the Sand and Surf?

A beautiful summer day could mean hanging out by the swimming pool or hitting up the beach to build sand castles, bodysurf in the waves, or taking a boat or waverunner for a quick trip. As with any fun activities, there is always the risk that someone might get hurt. But if you are hurt on the beach or a loved one is involved in a fatal drowning accident, who is to blame?

While the law varies on the specific circumstances, generally pool owners and municipalities in Florida can be held responsible for accidents that occur on their property. It is common for public pools, lakes and beaches to be staffed with lifeguards. In some areas, local laws require that lifeguards are on duty during certain hours of operation to protect all swimmers. Employing reckless or negligent lifeguards or a failure to properly staff with lifeguards at local pools and public beaches could mean that pool owners or the city could be responsible for a fatal drowning accident.

On public beaches where lifeguards are not required, proper warning signs must be posted. Signs should be posted on beaches warning about rip currents and other water hazards that are not obvious.

When it comes to injuries resulting from a boat or waverunner accident, liability varies depending on where the accident happened, how it occurred and who owned the equipment you were using. Finding the responsible person for most lake and swimming accidents can be complicated, so it is important to talk to an experienced maritime or personal injury lawyer in your area if you are hurt while partaking in all that Florida’s beautiful beaches and lakes have to offer.

Related resource: Findlaw Injured Blog, “Beach Injuries: Who is Responsible?,” Cynthia Hsu, 28 July 2011.