As evidenced by the devastating parasailing death of a Connecticut woman in 2012 in Pompano Beach, tragic accidents can and often do happen while vacationing in the United States and abroad. Unfortunately, many times U.S. travelers fail to understand the risks involved with vacation travel, and focus only on the enjoyable aspects and that puts them at a legal disadvantage if a death or serious injury does in fact occur.
That’s because resort operators, hotel companies and cruise lines do everything possible to reduce potential liability. In practice that means including “standard” legal disclaimers in fine print at the bottom of a travel agreement where only a few people will take the time to read them.
After the details of the tragic parasailing accident involving a Connecticut woman and her husband vacationing in Pompano Beach are still unfolding, it is clear that there are important legal implications for the personal watercraft industry as a whole. This horrific accident put manufacturers on notice that they need to pay far more attention to safety, so that future tragedies can be prevented.
It is also far better for travelers to understand the potential risks involved in signing legal disclaimers and to protect their rights before partaking in shore excursions of any kind while on vacation.
Clearly, the first step is to read and understand everything in the documentation provided by the travel agency, resort, cruise line or other provider. Because of recent court decisions, these disclaimers are typically emailed well in advance of the actual travel date. If the travel agent does not send this information, the agency itself could face a liability issue if a problem occurs.