Parasailing alone is done by more than 3 million people every year, but many aren’t fully aware of a surprising fact: in Florida, parasailing is practically unregulated by state or federal laws. In fact, there’s no requirement for licensing operators or enforcing safety regulations related to operation, equipment, and so on. The only thing that’s really required is Coast Guard approval of the boat itself, a license to operate the boat, and life preservers onboard. When it comes to things like parasail chutes, harnesses, and so on, there’s no regulation in place. And ziplining is similar, with few regulations in place for inspection of equipment, lines, and platforms.
So what does that mean to you when you decide that you want to start heading out for adventure like this? Primarily, it means you should check for insurance. Insurance rates have climbed for these adventure based pursuits, which has lowered the number of operators to a small degree. Only use an operator that is fully insured, and be sure to check for it before you sign up. You have a right to know that you’re using a parasailing or ziplining provider who is covered.
Also use your gut instinct and review the overall setup. Does it seem especially gusty out? Do the lines or harnesses seem old or damaged? While experienced operators are obviously more knowledgeable about things like this, if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular operator it’s well worth avoiding them in favor of someone you trust more.
Another thing to understand is that insurance companies are hesitant to pay out large settlement amounts immediately where thrilling adventures are concerned. The reason is obvious – all who participate are accepting a basic element of risk and assuming some responsibility for their safety. That’s the reason that operators have participants sign waivers.
But those waivers don’t mean that you have no rights if you’re injured. They will protect the operator in the event of unforeseen issues, but not preventable ones. For instance, if you have a heart condition and agree to zipline only to suffer a heart attack, that responsibility is on your shoulders.
However, if there are safety risks that you couldn’t have been aware of and that the operator should have known about, then circumstances are very different. That’s because failure to properly maintain equipment or to choose to operate in unsafe conditions will be considered reckless or negligent behavior. These are the two factors that play a major role in determining whether or not a party is held financially liable for injuries sustained to another.
It isn’t always easy proving that you’re owed compensation for injuries incurred from an accident related to a thrilling adventure like parasailing or ziplining, but a good personal injury lawyer can help tremendously. Our team has been serving the St Petersburg area for years and has decades of experience in personal injury law. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident, contact us for a free consultation to find out more about your rights and whether or not you have the grounds to seek compensation. It could help you improve your recovery in a big way..