The whole point of going on vacation is to relax, rest, and, most importantly, have fun! For many, this is a time that they chose to travel to places they’ve never been before, eat new foods, explore historical sites, hike in nature and observe wildlife, and spend much-needed downtime with family and friends. It’s also a great time to try new activities designed to give participants a thrill. Unfortunately, many of these activities come with a set of serious dangers.
Common Activities Vacationers Get Hurt During
Depending on where a vacationer has traveled to, a wide variety of fun activities may be available to them. While many participants safely enjoy the following experiences, others do not. In the past, our clients have been seriously injured while:
Ziplining, also known as an aerial runway, consists of riders being placed in a harness and then using gravity and a pulley attached to a stainless steel cable to fly through the air. This practice has been around for hundreds of years, although previous zip-lines were simply made of rope or bamboo. In fact, some children in China use a zip-line to go to school every day, using it to cross bodies of water.
The activity became popular in other countries after biologists studying in the rainforests in Central America started using it as a way to navigate through the dense foliage.
Today, zip-lines are being placed on higher and higher slopes, intended to give participants a thrill and to increase speed. Of course, due to the very nature of the design and that fact that participants are high off the ground, the act is dangerous and if anything goes wrong, victims of a zip-line accident can be serious hurt or killed.
Riding ATV’s & Dirt Bikes
ATV’s known as all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, are a great way to cover many miles of open ground and are also just fun! It’s no secret that most American’s love anything that has a motor attached, but just like cars, speed and power make for a dangerous mix. If the rider crashes, they may not be able to get up and walk away.
Riding Lift Chairs At Ski Resorts
Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular winter sports in the world. While those who participate understand the dangers of the actual sports, most don’t take into consideration that just riding the lift chairs to get to the top of a slope can put them at risk.
These lifts are machines which can have defective parts or break down without regular maintenance. In addition to this, the lifts are operated by a human and operator error can cause serious issues.
Sailing Or Operating A Motorboat
Roaming the open water on a boat, enjoying wind, sun, and surf is a wonderful past time. Yet thousands of sailors and passengers alike are hurt or killed when:
- Two boats collide.
- A boat collides with a submerged object.
- Poor navigation causes the vessel to capsize.
- Someone falls overboard.
In addition to this, swimmers, water skiers, and those enjoying other water sports are at risk if the boat operator isn’t paying attention and runs them over in the water.
Exploring the ocean’s depths - what a fantastic opportunity. Since the 1940’s, divers have been finding ways to go deeper and stay under the water longer than ever before. But even the most experienced divers sometimes go down and never resurface. Poor instruction, lacking safety standards, a failure to pay attention to weather conditions, poor gear maintenance and so much more can cause a scuba diving accident.
Operating A Jet Ski
Think of jet skis and sea doos as the ATV’s of the water. Fun in the surf and sun, but again, when you combine speed with power, accidents happen. The most common cause of these accidents occur when two jet skiers crashing together, which can be as disastrous as a car accident, perhaps even more so because there is no steel or glass between the riders.
Wakeboarding, which combines a small board and its surfer being pulled at high speeds behind a boat, is a spectacle to behold and a thrill for participants. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for participants to lose control because of poor navigation, hitting boats, ramps, or other people.
Who wouldn’t want to feel like they are flying? Parasailing is an excellent way to accomplish this, however, if something happens, those involved won’t just gently float to the water. Instructors and boat operators need to pay careful attention to weather changes, maintain their harnesses, lines, and sails, and provide excellent instruction to anyone who plans on going up and if they don’t, they could risk being named as the defendant in a lawsuit.
Running Through An Obstacle Course
One of the most popular “exercises” to perform these days are “fun runs” which typically consist of obstacle courses. Mud runs, foam fests, and insane inflatable courses are just a few examples of experiences that people sign up for and travel for. The thought behind these events is to make exercise fun and accessible for everyone of almost any age.
Sadly, even the fittest racers are seriously hurt during these runs, and typically, not through their own fault.
Enjoying A Winery Tour
Wineries are appealing to nearly everyone. An afternoon of sipping different vintages in a relaxing atmosphere, often combined with spectacular views of a vineyard is a great way to unwind. Some wineries even offer activities for children and many are pet-friendly, allowing the family dog to join!
Although everyone should always have a designated driver, that does mean not everyone gets to imbibe, which is why many wineries and other transportation companies have joined teams to provide tours. Tours typically consist of 2-4 stops during which a paid driver is responsible so that passengers can safely enjoy their time.
Accidents, however, involving either the transportation or premises liability issues injure thousands every year.
Sightseeing On A Segway Tour
Sightseeing is a fun way to learn about different cultures and visit historical spots but it is physically exhausting, not to mention that if the right footwear isn’t worn, blisters are extremely painful. So when the Segway was invented, a new form of tours, where sightseers only need to balance and steers, was born.
Many people don’t have great natural balance to begin with and are self-proclaimed klutzes, however, any adult and sometimes even children can sign up for a segway tour with no experience. As a result, emergency rooms have seen a sharp increase in the number of head and facial injuries associated with segway accidents over the past few years.
Taking A Bus Tour
Another way to prevent blisters is to take a bus tour, which will stop at various locations for passengers to get off and explore. But just like cars, buses frequently get into accidents. Unlike cars, buses often don’t provide riders with seat belts and also have overhead compartments that may fly open in a crash, sending heavy objects flying through the air.
Riding Rides At A Theme Park
Roller coasters, water slides, and even ferris wheels are all potential death traps if those in charge of making sure they run like well-oiled machines fail to take care of each and every part. In fact, failing safety standards and poor design are the top causes of amusement park accidents.
Visiting the Zoo Or Going On A Safari
The animal world is captivating and endlessly entertaining. Zoos and safari parks give patrons a way to watch thousands of creatures and also work hard on animal conservation, hoping to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy these majestic creatures.
But many of these animals are either predators, whose very nature is to view humans as potential prey, or they are extraordinarily strong and large and equipped with amazing defenses. If the design of an enclosure is poor, a cage door is left open, or the equipment used on a safari defective, animals can and do attack.
These dangers are coupled with everyday premises liability issues, which can cause visitors to be harmed in a slip and fall accident or other personal injury accident.
Tying yourself to a cord and jumping from a height, allowing yourself to fall hundreds of feet in a few seconds - what could possibly go wrong? The answer is: many things. Bungee jumpers always face the possibility that a cord could snap, the device holding their ankles to the cord could release, or during the fall, they could strike an object. Even if none of these things occur, they could become entangled in the rope, cutting off circulation and breaking bones.
Spending Time At An All-Inclusive Resort
The appeal of an all-inclusive resort is undeniable. All vacationers need to do is show up and their every need is taken care of. Food, drinks, activities - all ready at almost any time.
However, just like any other business, resorts must provide a safe environment for their visitors. This includes any part of the property and any activity offered.
Go Karts are like little mini cars, allowing almost anyone, of any age, to enjoy the experience of driving. But go karts crash and the result can be as devastating as a car accident. Common injuries include:
- De-gloving injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Each of these can change the way a victim lives their life - forever.
Staying At A Hotel
A home away from home is what a hotel is supposed to be. Hotels are not just charged with providing a clean and comfortable environment, but also a safe one. Yet wet floors, poorly secured carpets, broken locks, and poor lighting result not just in accidents, but also potentially physical attacks on patrons.
Medical Care Can Be Substandard
Although the United States has some of the best hospitals and doctors in the world, vacationers are frequently out of the country when they are injured. Sadly, poor medical care can make an injury or illness worse, not better, causing additional damage that they otherwise wouldn’t have sustained.
Given that many of these accidents can cause injuries which may end a career and prevent the victim from enjoying life the way they did before the accident, not to mention the financial strain that could result from ongoing medical bills, it's hardly surprising that many chose to file a lawsuit. After searching for answers, victims typically find the only way they can obtain compensation for their losses is to pursue legal action against those responsible.
I Signed A Waiver - Can I Still Sue?
Yes, even if you signed a waiver, it may be possible to pursue legal action. Signing a waiver typically means that the participant understands the risks associated with the activity. It does not mean that the party in charge isn’t responsible for providing the correct equipment and correctly instructing anyone who joins in.
The best way to determine if you have a case is to contact a vacation accident lawyer as soon as possible. Keep in mind that there is always a statute of limitations, meaning that once a certain period of time has passed, the victim will no longer be able to file and obtain compensation. That's why it's important to call as soon as possible and learn more about your rights.
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