Beach Patrol Negligence
Handling Cases Nationwide
Recognizing that beaches are very popular and that there is a risk of injury to beachgoers, some communities have created beach patrols or other similar groups of professionals to provide care and assistance to beachgoers in distress. Armed with life-saving gear and able to reach distressed beachgoers on land and at sea, these groups are usually trained to conduct rescues of near-drowning victims and provide first aid until emergency medical personnel can arrive and transport the individual to a hospital.
As well-intentioned as these groups are, they do not operate flawlessly. Beach injuries and accidents continue to happen even at those beaches staffed by a beach patrol. While some injury accidents cannot be attributed to any action or inaction by a beach patrol unit, there are cases in which, had the beach patrol taken alternative actions, the outcome of the incident would have been different. These are the cases in which an injury victim may be able to recover compensation.
Special Duties of Care for Beach Patrol Members
The heart of any personal injury case is a concept known as “the duty of care” and how the allegedly careless person’s actions or inactions violated that duty of care. Essentially, the duty of care describes how the careless person was expected to act under the circumstances that led to your injury. In most cases, individuals are held to a “reasonable person” standard: that is, each person owes a duty to every other person to act in the manner that a reasonable person would under the circumstances.
In cases of professionals, however, the situation is a bit different. Instead of acting as a reasonable person would act under the same circumstances, a beach patrol professional is required to act in the same manner that a reasonable beach patrol professional (with the same circumstances, training, and education) would have acted. For example, if a reasonable beach patrol professional would have stabilized a surfing injury victim on a straight board before attempting to move the victim, and the beach professional in your case did not do so, then the beach patrol professional may be considered negligent. However, if a reasonable beach patrol professional equipped in the same manner as the actual beach patrol professional in your case would have attempted to move a victim without a straight board, then negligence may not exist – even if you were injured as a result.
Expert Witnesses May Hold the Key to Recovery
Beach patrol negligence cases will often rely on expert witness testimony. These expert witnesses will generally be beach patrol professionals themselves or be familiar with beach patrol policies in your area. They will need to analyze the facts and details of your injury-causing incident and determine whether the beach patrol professionals in your case responded in a reasonable manner. Your testimony alone as to whether you believe the patrol professionals acted negligently is rarely enough to hold the beach patrol professionals liable for your injuries.
At Zinda Law Group, we understand that no one is perfect and that beach patrol professionals must often make decisions in a moment in stressful situations and based upon limited information. But where beach patrol professional does not act in a reasonably careful manner or makes an outrageous decision that results in injury to you or a loved one, that beach patrol professional should be held responsible for the consequences he or she caused. Contact us at (800) 863-5312 to get a free consultation with one of our experienced beach patrol negligence attorneys today. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.