With the bright sun, roaring waves, and soft grating sand, the beach is a feast for the senses and an affordable way to create priceless memories. Since the beach is a popular spot for all sorts of activities, they tend to draw swarms of people and require lots of maintenance, so personal injury accidents are bound to happen. However, between careless beachgoers and maintenance, who can be held liable for a beach accident in Florida?
Generally, if someone else’s negligence causes your beach accident, you may be entitled to hold that person liable through a personal injury suit. Determining who is liable for your injuries and other losses is a fundamental step in recovering damages. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis have the knowledge and experience to help you establish liability and secure fair compensation for your accident.
Who Is Liable for a Beach Accident in Florida?
Various parties may be held accountable for your losses depending on the nature of your beach accident. For example, the negligence of entities like the city, county, resort, and beach employees could have led to your accident, making them at fault. In some cases, it may be obvious who caused your injuries, but in others, further investigation may be necessary to identify who is responsible and establish liability.
Establishing Liability for Florida Beach Accident Cases
The party liable for your beach accident injury will be the party who owed you a duty of care and then violated it by being negligent. Since this could be anyone involved in the day-to-day operations of the beach, you have to investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to uncover who would owe you a duty of care in that instance.
For example, if your injury resulted from you stepping on broken glass on the beach, then whoever is responsible for Beach maintenance may be held responsible for your injuries. Another illustration is if a lifeguard was on duty and you drowned or were injured while swimming in a safe section of a public beach, in which case the lifeguard may be deemed negligent.
When the Owner of the Beach Is Liable
Most of the time, whoever owns the beach is ultimately accountable. According to state law, you have the right to sue the property owner for negligence that results in your injuries. This holds true whether the owner is a private person, a company, or a government organization.
When this is the case, you need to prove that the property’s owner was negligent by establishing that they neglected to uphold a duty of care given to their visitors. For instance, failing to hire sufficient lifeguard coverage, permitting hazards to stay on the beach, or failing to properly create a secure area for beachgoers to enjoy themselves can all be considered negligence.
Private Versus Public Beach Liability
Although the majority of beaches are public, some are privately owned. The responsibility for beach maintenance falls on the owner, so both state and local governments, as well as private beach owners, are responsible for the upkeep of their property. State legislation states whether a beach owner can be held accountable for any injuries beachgoers suffer.
In Florida, as long as the private property owner doesn’t charge for access, their liability is limited if they permit the public to utilize their land for recreational activities. For government agencies, accident victims must adhere to specific guidelines to hold them accountable for injuries sustained on public property.
However, there are distinct guidelines for holding a government body accountable for injuries sustained on public property. Florida Statute 768.28 waives sovereign immunity but also adds specific limitations on filing personal injury claims against government bodies. For example, every claim against a public entity must meet strict notice requirements under Florida law.
Rely on the Legal Skills of Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
Accident victims must prove that the responsible party did something to cause their beach accident or failed to take certain steps to prevent it. If you can accomplish this, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses, like medical costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages. Although beach accident injury claims can be complex, partnering with the skills and resources of an experienced personal injury law firm may help you secure the compensation you deserve.
At Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, we are a team of qualified trial attorneys with years of experience handling personal injury cases and winning settlements. We have defended clients who have been harmed or wronged across the state of Florida for more than 50 years. You can rest assured knowing you will receive the quality legal representation you deserve. Schedule your initial consultation today by calling (407) 843-7060 or completing our contact form.