White water rafting can be great fun and provide an adrenaline rush. While the activity is undoubtedly fun, it can also be dangerous. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a white water rafting accident, it is important to reach out to a skilled Miami injury attorney who can assess the facts of your case.
American Whitewater reports that on average, there are 6-10 white water rafting deaths for every 2.5 million user days on guided rafting trips. Put another way, there is one death for every 250,000 to 400,000 “person visits” for whitewater rafting. Additionally, about 30 percent of those deaths are a result of heart conditions or heart attacks.
In many cases, you will be barred from taking legal action against the defendant because you will have signed a waiver that prevents liability. Courts will typically enforce these waivers, provided they are valid.
However, you should speak with an attorney who can analyze the waiver to determine its validity. A court will look at a number of factors to decide whether the waiver is enforceable. For example, the court will consider the circumstances under which the waiver was signed and whether the injured party was given a chance to properly read and understand the document before partaking in the activity. A waiver is invalid if it is signed through fraud or under the threat of assault or battery.
If the waiver is declared valid, you may still be able to sue if the defendant was negligent. Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care that results in harm to another person. Reasonable care is defined as the level of care a prudent or sensible defendant would have used in the same or similar circumstances. As a result, what is considered ‘reasonable’ will vary based on the specific situation. However, it is important to note that simple negligence, as described above, is not typically enough to overcome a waiver. Instead, the court will typically examine whether the defendant acted in a manner that would be considered gross negligence.
Gross negligence is a high legal standard that requires a conscious and voluntary disregard of the duty to exercise reasonable care. Put another way, gross negligence involves extreme recklessness that could cause a serious injury or even death. For example, a rafting company that does not provide a helmet or a personal flotation device may be considered grossly negligent because a fall into the river can often result in a blow to the head or create the risk of drowning for rafters. Still, you should be aware that determinations of gross negligence are highly fact-intensive and will vary on a case-by-case basis.
White water rafting can be extremely dangerous. Often, people are seriously hurt while taking part in this activity. If you or someone you know has been injured while white water rafting, it is important to seek the help and guidance of a qualified Miami boat accident attorney. We will assess the merits of your case and examine any waiver that you may have signed. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are committed to working for you and seeking the compensation you deserve for your harm. For more information, do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.
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