California Parasailing Accident Attorneys
Parasailing is on the bucket list for a lot of people – a soaring thrill ride which allows people to glide through the air at great heights and take in spectacular views. But parasailing can also be dangerous. If you have suffered an injury or traumatic experience, contact the California parasailing accident lawyers of Bisnar Chase now.
Accidents can and do happen. Poor weather conditions, faulty equipment, and many other factors can cause terrifying parasailing falls and serious injuries.
Our parasailing injury attorneys are experts when it comes to securing compensation for victims. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation and a ‘No Win, No Fee’ promise. Bisnar Chase can make sure you get the justice you deserve.
What is Parasailing?
Parasailing – sometimes called parakiting – is an activity that allows people to soar through the air at great heights. It involves a rider being attached to a specially designed parachute-like canopy (called a parasail wing) and towed by a boat or truck.
While parasailing, the rider is basically attached to a large kite. As the towing vehicle pulls the wing forward, the canopy is filled with air and starts to rise. It is kept in the air by the forward motion of the towing vehicle.
Similar activities like paragliding and kitesurfing are considered to be extreme sports, but parasailing is classed as a recreational activity. This is mainly due to the lack of control for the rider. Unlike a regular parachute, a parasailing canopy is not controlled by the rider. The direction is controlled by the boat or truck towing it.
Parasailing is mainly a commercial tourist activity, most often taking place over water in lakes or oceans in the U.S., though competitive parasailing is also run in some parts of the world.
The majority of parasailing operations use body harnesses, with the rider attached to the canopy directly. A lesser-used gondola system allows riders to sit in a small gondola which is attached to the canopy.
Is Parasailing Safe?
Is it safe for you to go parasailing? Generally speaking, yes! When the proper parasailing safety measures are taken, it can be a thrilling but safe activity. This means using tested and updated equipment, taking proper precautions, and working with experienced and responsible operators.
However, parasailing statistics show that very real dangers exist. While it has a low incident rate, parasailing accidents and parasailing deaths happen every year. In fact, more than 2,000 parasailors have been hurt or died since 1982.
The Parasail Safety Council has compiled statistics covering the 30-year period from 1982-2012.
Some of the key parasailing accident statistics from 1982-2012 include:
- An estimated 3-5 million people go parasailing every year in the United States
- About 170 million parasailing rides were taken from 1982-2012
- 141 million people took to the skies in body harness systems while 29 million flew in gondola parasails
- A total of 1895 people suffered injuries while parasailing over the study period
- Of those hurt, 522 people suffered serious injuries and required hospitalization
- There were also 79 fatalities over that time
- On average, 66 people are injured or killed while parasailing every year
- There are more than 325 commercial parasailing operators across the U.S.
Parasailing accident statistics show that only 0.001% of rides end in death or injury, which is a tiny percentage. But when you take a step back from the larger figures, 522 serious injuries and 79 deaths show that there are serious parasailing dangers.
If you or a loved one have been hurt, contact the parasailing accident attorneys of Bisnar Chase now.
Common Parasailing Accidents
There are plenty of potential parasailing hazards that can result in riders suffering serious injuries.
Faulty equipment can put parasailors at serious risk. It can be dangerous for riders if their harness, towing line or canopy wing is old, overused, or not up to standard. The towline rope is particularly important, and many accidents are caused by the line breaking, causing the rider to drift without control. In the case of an equipment failure accident, a parasailing lawsuit could be launched against a negligent operator or manufacturer.
Poor weather conditions can be very dangerous to anyone parasailing. This can include anything from high winds to fog and heavy rain. Some of these conditions are not a common problem when it comes to parasailing in California, but riders still need to be aware of the weather. Responsible operators should not run rides in poor conditions.
Once a rider is in the air, they have very little control and have to trust their operators, who will be on the towing vehicle. Mistakes or carelessness could lead to parasailors colliding with objects in mid-air – such as buildings or power lines – and suffering serious injuries. Collision risks are greater if the towline breaks.
Injuries can occur if a rider lands at high speed or with excessive force, whether it is on land, onto the deck of the towing vehicle, or into the water.
Direct Parasailing Operator Negligence
In some cases, a parasailing accident will be the result of a lack of operator training. The people running a commercial parasailing business have a duty of care for riders. If the operators themselves are careless, or are not properly trained, major problems can arise. They may fail to secure the harness, let the line out to an unsafe height, or operate in unsafe areas.
Harness Prevents Escape
A large number of all serious parasailing injuries and fatalities occur when a rider is forced to land in the water and cannot escape from their harness, leaving them trapped while still attached to the canopy.
Almost all kinds of parakiting accidents can be traced back to some form of operator negligence, whether they are taking riders up in poor conditions, have not updated their equipment, or do not have the necessary training.
When you have suffered due to the negligence of another person or business, a personal injury lawyer will be able to help. Contact the parasailing accident lawyers of Bisnar Chase now.
Parasailing accident injuries most often happen at the point of impact when the rider descends and hits the ground or water. An uncontrolled descent can result in a range of injuries, including:
- Cuts, grazes, gashes, and torn flesh
- Fractured bones
- Ligament damage
- Dislocated joints
- Spinal cord damage
- Emotional trauma
Most of these are impact injuries, caused by a heavy landing or forceful crash. Some injury victims suffer broken ankles or knee and spine damage if they are unable to brace properly for the landing. Broken wrists and hands are also common, as riders attempt to break an impact.
The most common parasailing cause of death is drowning, as victims struggle to escape their harnesses and are pulled underwater.
No matter what kind of harm you have suffered, our parasailing injury lawyers can provide expert guidance.
Parasailing Accident Case Studies
Some of the parasailing accidents to make headlines in recent years have involved horrifying injuries and tragic fatalities.
Age: 15 / Location: Pompano Beach, Florida / Year: 2007
White went parasailing with her older sister and was sent up despite high winds and weather warnings. The two girls were pulled off course by the winds, flying over the shore and crashing into the roof of a hotel. Amber suffered severe injuries and died just before her 16th birthday. An investigation blamed careless operation, as well as weather and equipment failure.
Age: 27 / Location: Clearwater Beach, Florida / Year: 2010
Alejandra White went parasailing with her fiancé, but high winds caused their towing line to snap. As their canopy was dragged toward the shore, White’s fiancé was able to free himself and drop into the water, but Alejandra was trapped in her harness. She was dragged backward by the runaway canopy, crashing into beach umbrellas and finally hitting a volleyball post. She was taken to hospital in critical condition but died from her injuries.
Age: 28 / Location: Pompano Beach, Florida / Year: 2012
Miskell suffered a fatal fall while on a tandem parasail with her husband on vacation. While in mid-air she suffered catastrophic equipment failure when her over-worn harness broke suddenly. It caused Kathleen to free fall 450 feet into the water. The operators reeled in her husband and located Kathleen, but she died through a combination of blunt force injuries and drowning.
Age: Both 17 / Location: Panama City, Florida / Year: 2013
While on a tandem parasail, the two teens broke away from their towing boat when their line snapped. Without any control, they were carried toward the shore by the wind, crashing into the 13th-floor balcony of a beachfront hotel, before dropping and smashing onto cars in the parking lot. Both girls survived but were hospitalized with traumatic head and brain injuries. They took legal action and received an undisclosed settlement.
Age: 29 / Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico / Year: 2018
Professional model Katie Malone, from California, was vacationing in Mexico to celebrate her birthday when she decided to try parasailing. But it turned into a terrifying ordeal when her towing line snapped. Malone drifted without any control for 45 minutes before crash landing inland. She suffered a broken pelvis, broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and facial injuries.
If you or a family member have been injured in a parasailing crash similar to these incidents, or involving any type of accident and injuries, Bisnar Chase wants to help.
Our law firm handles injury and wrongful death lawsuits, and has extensive experience in helping victims secure the justice and compensation they deserve. Contact our parasailing accident attorneys in California now for immediate support.
Who is Liable for a Parasailing Accident?
When victims choose to take legal action after an accident, they can sue any negligent parties for parasailing injury compensation. But who is really to blame when a parasailing session goes wrong?
There are several different parties that our personal injury attorneys can target to make sure you get the parasailing accident compensation that you deserve. Some lawsuits will name several different culpable parties, if it is believed that liability is shared by various negligent people. It will always depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Some of the potential parties which could be named in a lawsuit include:
The Parasailing Company
In the vast majority of accident cases, the parasailing company, or a specific employee, is at fault. Forms of negligence could include sending riders up in poor weather conditions, using subpar or worn-out equipment, or failing to train operators properly. The company has a duty of care for riders, and a failure to provide proper care could lead to a lawsuit.
In some cases, the gear used in parasailing – such as the harness, towline rope, and canopy – can fail. When this happens, the makers of the equipment could be liable for any injuries suffered.
Other Parties Linked to Parasailing Operations
Some recent parasailing accident lawsuits have named a range of other parties as defendants. These include management companies that own the operating location of the parasailing business, as well as wholesalers which sold failed equipment.
If you want to know whether you have a case, contact the parasailing accident lawyers of Bisnar Chase now. We have an outstanding 96% success rate and are passionate about providing victims with the support they need.
Parasailing in California
There are California parasailing companies based all along the coast, as well as companies operating at inland lakes. When it comes to Orange County parasailing, you can take to the skies in Newport Beach, Long Beach, Dana Point, and across the water at Catalina. Sessions are also run in San Diego and Los Angeles County.
Most companies are well run and have outstanding safety records. There have been fewer parasailing accidents occurring in California than locations such as Florida, due in part to the less volatile weather conditions here.
However, that does not mean that accidents cannot happen. If you have a parasailing injury negligence case, contact Bisnar Chase to make sure the culprits are held accountable.
Parasailing Laws and Regulations
Parasailing safety regulations have been a hot topic for many years. One of the main problems with the activity is that it is not properly regulated.
A report produced by the National Transportation Safety Board in 2014 found and listed several major issues with the parasailing industry. Some of the problems identified in the report include the fact that there are no official inspections of equipment and no mandated training or certifications for operators. This can leave unsuspecting riders in serious danger.
There have been efforts to push through new laws following some of the high-profile parasailing deaths in recent years. These efforts were consistently knocked back, but there are now some parasailing regulations in place in Florida. Some of the Florida laws include:
- All operators must have liability insurance
- Boats used for parasailing must be licensed by the Coast Guard
- Operations are restricted by weather, distance from shore, and distance from structures
These rules only apply in Florida for now. But responsible parasailing operators in California will also have their own safety guidelines in place, such as:
- Do not fly above 500 feet (in accordance with FAA guidance)
- Do not fly in high winds (15 mph+ winds) or fog
- Stay away from shore. The 3-to-1 rule states that if a rider is at 500 ft, they should be at least 1,500 feet away from the shore, allowing for proper descent
Parasailing Accident FAQs
Have you got questions? Check our parasailing accident FAQs below, but please contact us if your query has not been answered.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries (or worse) while parasailing, you should start by collecting as much information on your experience as possible. Write a first-hand account and assemble any pictures or videos of the ride and your equipment. Then contact a skilled and experienced parasailing accident attorney at Bisnar Chase for a free consultation.
You may still be able to take legal action if poor weather caused your parasailing accident. In order to file a lawsuit, there must be an element of negligence involved in the accident. While the weather may have caused the accident, a parasailing operator may have been negligent in allowing a flight in poor conditions. Contact Bisnar Chase for guidance.
When hiring an attorney for an injury or wrongful death case, you should choose a law firm that offers a free initial consultation and a ‘No Win, No Fee’ promise. Bisnar Chase uses this system to serve clients, working on contingency to make sure victims do not have to pay out of pocket. It means that our lawyers only get paid if they win the case, and ensures that everyone can afford our services.
In California, there is a statute of limitations on injury lawsuits. This means that you must file a lawsuit within two years of your accident taking place. It is always better to act sooner rather than later.
There is no set time limit for a personal injury lawsuit. If you are hurt while parasailing, legal proceedings could take weeks, months, or years. The timeframe will always depend on the details of your case. It will be quicker if a compensatory settlement is reached, rather than a case going to trial.
Parasailing Injury Compensation
If you have been hurt due to negligence, you might be entitled to parasailing accident compensation. But how much money is typically paid out in parasailing lawsuits?
As with all personal injury cases, the amount of parasailing injury compensation a victim could receive will depend completely on the details of their claim. There is no set or guaranteed amount.
Compensation will vary based on:
- The injuries – how serious any mental or physical injuries are
- Level of pain and suffering caused
- Lost wages during recovery
- Permanently compromised ability to work
- Medical bills and expenses
- Rehab costs and ongoing care
Compensation could be agreed in an out-of-court settlement, or it could be awarded in a civil trial. The attorneys at Bisnar Chase are adept in both scenarios. Our lawyers are top negotiators and skilled trial attorneys with excellent track records in court.
In the parasailing injury case of Sidney Good and Alexis Fairchild, a settlement was agreed. The two victims both survived, but suffered serious brain injuries. The size of their settlement was not disclosed but was described by lawyers as an amount that would keep the girls secure for the rest of their lives.
The number accepted in their settlement sould have taken into account their injuries and the suffering they had to endure, as well as any ongoing impact the injuries and after-affects will have on their lives moving forward.
Parasailing accidents often result in very serious injuries that can permanently impact a victim’s quality of life. Trust Bisnar Chase to secure justice – as well as the best compensation payout possible for you. It is up to us to make sure you are made whole, and that is a responsibility we take very seriously.
Hiring the Best Parasailing Accident Attorney
Not all personal injury law firms are of equal standing. At Bisnar Chase, we are proud of the reputation we have built as one of the premier firms in California.
We believe in providing our clients with superior representation. We have been in business for more than 40 years, setting ourselves apart by building strong attorney-client relationships with a personal touch. It is also important to get results; we have a 99% success rate and have won more than $650 million for our clients.
When you contact Bisnar Chase, you will get a free consultation with one of our legal experts. There is no obligation for you to proceed – we want every client to feel comfortable and make sure they pick the right firm for their needs. If our firm is a good fit, our expert lawyers will fight to make sure you get the justice you deserve.
Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys
1301 Dove St., #120
Newport Beach, CA 92660