Many seek the thrill of parasailing or skydiving for unparalleled freedom and excitement. Yet, the risk of serious injury looms, turning an exhilarating moment into an unforeseen challenge.

If you find yourself grappling with the aftermath of a skydiving or parasailing injury, you should understand the legal avenues to pursue justice and compensation. A skilled West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can help. Contact us online or call (561) 655-1990 to get started.

parasailing injuries

Negligence vs. product liability in parasailing and skydiving claims

For a successful case, your attorney must prove that your injury resulted from negligence or a product defect.


Negligence claims focus on the conduct of the service provider or operator, requiring proof that their actions or inactions were directly responsible for the injury.

For instance, the parasailing company may not regularly inspect or maintain their parachutes or harnesses, leading to equipment failure during use, or the skydiving company may use poorly maintained aircraft or launch platforms, creating hazards for participants.

Skydiving and parasailing injuries are often the result of inadequate training. If a company fails to provide instruction on proper use of equipment, body positioning during freefall, or essential emergency procedures, they could be liable for a resulting injury.

Product defect

Product liability claims do not require proving fault; instead, they focus on the product being inherently dangerous or defective, regardless of the operator’s conduct. Choosing the correct legal theory is essential for the success of your case.

An example could be a malfunctioning parachute that fails to deploy correctly, leading to a hard landing and severely injuring the participant.

What your attorney will need to prove in a lawsuit

When considering legal action after a skydiving or parasailing injury, the first step is understanding the basis for filing a lawsuit. Typically, these cases fall under negligence or product liability claims.

For negligence, you must show that the operator failed to provide a reasonable standard of care expected in the industry, directly causing your injuries. This might involve inadequate safety briefings, poorly maintained equipment, or unqualified staff.

Product liability, however, involves injuries caused by defective equipment, where the manufacturer may be held responsible. Establishing liability requires gathering evidence such as maintenance records, witness statements, and expert testimony on industry standards.

Can I still sue if I signed a waiver or consent form?

Many skydiving and parasailing operators require participants to sign waivers acknowledging the risks and often waiving the right to sue for negligence. However, these waivers are not always ironclad. We’ll examine the waiver’s language, the circumstances under which it was signed, and whether the operator’s gross negligence contributed to the injury. Understanding the limitations and enforceability of these waivers is a key aspect of your legal strategy.

How long do I have to file a claim?

Every legal claim is subject to a statute of limitations, the deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed. This varies by state and the nature of the claim (negligence vs. product liability). Missing this deadline typically results in losing the right to sue. It’s important to consult with a legal professional early to ensure your claim is filed within the appropriate timeframe.

What damages can I recover?

Damages in skydiving or parasailing injury cases can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages (in cases of gross negligence or intentional harm). Understanding the types of damages you’re entitled to and how to quantify them is crucial. This often requires expert testimony on future medical needs, life care plans, and the impact of injuries on your quality of life.

Legal representation for parasailing and skydiving injuries in Florida

Given the complexity of personal injury law, securing experienced legal representation is critical. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath is skilled in evidence collection, negotiation with insurance companies, and litigation. Contact us to learn how we can help.