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Does your summer vacation include parasailing activities?

Summer vacations are a great time to head to the beaches in Connecticut and elsewhere in New England. Whether it’s for a family reunion or simply a gathering of old friends, there are always fun activities going on at the shore.

You may prefer to swim in the ocean, fish off the rocks or simply lie in the sun under your beach umbrella. Beach vacations have something to entertain every member of your family or group of friends. But some beach activities carry a much higher risk than others.

The dangers of parasailing

It sure looks like a fun way to while away a sunny afternoon at the beach — gliding hundreds of feet above the surf and enjoying a bird’s-eye view of the activities on the shore. While all that is well and good, you could face incredible danger and even death if something goes wrong.

As it turns out, there are many things that might go wrong on your parasailing flight. This industry operates with almost no oversight, meaning that sketchy operators can employ old or shoddy equipment that might fail mid-flight.

There are no federal standards for training required of the operator of the boat towing the parasailing equipment and the flyer. Anyone with a boat and a minimum investment of tow lines and harnesses can hang out a shingle and start collecting tourist dollars for parasailing flights over the beach.

A popular summer beach activity

Despite the potential dangers, parasailing still attracts between three and five million participants each year in our nation. Some boat operators may be very experienced and diligent about putting safety first over profits. Others, not so much. The problem lies in being able to distinguish one from the other in an industry without oversight.

Ideally, even without oversight by any federal agencies, the operator will insist on inspecting the harness and towline before every parasailing flight to make sure that none of the equipment has deteriorated or shows signs of wear and tear.

What about the weather?

Reputable parasail operators stay briefed on the current and future weather conditions. Since squalls can develop literally within minutes just offshore, it’s important never to start a parasailing flight when there is even the hint of inclement weather conditions.

It’s incredibly dangerous to be flying high above the beach just before a storm hits. Not only can you be buffeted by strong winds which could cause you to break free of the towline and go soaring into tall structures like beach-side condominiums, but you could be struck by a bolt of lightning.

Be safe this summer

If you wind up injured in a parasailing accident at the beach this summer, you may decide to take legal action against the negligent operator who was responsible for your injuries and other damages.

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Verdicts & Settlements

36-year-old laborer for landscaping company fractured wrist when fellow employee hit him with truck. Claimant received in excess of $30,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for total disability and medical expenses and settled with automobile insurance company for fellow employee for $95,000.

1989 workers’ compensation claim settled for $125,000. Claimant originally sustained a low back injury when she slipped and fell at local grocery store resulting in low back surgery in 1989. Several years later, claimant exacerbated her low back injury. Claim was reopened and settled with carrier for $125,000 in 2006.

47-year-old deli clerk sustained low back injuries at work for local supermarket. Carrier originally denied claim on the grounds that the injury was pre-existing. After formal workers’ compensation hearing carrier accepted claim and paid all total disability benefits and medical expenses in excess of $100,000. Case then settled for an additional $100,000 after injured person received a permanent disability rating.

34-year-old male roofer sustained multiple injuries to his shoulder, neck, back and hip when he fell from roof during work. Claimant was provided workers’ compensation benefits in excess of $100,000 and settled remaining claims for an additional $55,000.

40-year-old male working for cleaning company sustained neck and low back injuries when he fell on defective staircase while cleaning local museum. Claimant recovered over $95,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and resolved claim against museum for $85,000.

26-year-old laborer sustained fractured foot when a cast iron pipe was dropped on his foot. Employer and workers’ compensation carrier denied claim on basis that injured worker was an independent contractor. After a series of informal and formal workers’ compensation hearings, carrier conceded that claimant was an employee and settled case for $85,000.

24-year-old waitress sustained back injury while working at Outback Steak House. Workers’ compensation insurance company initially denied the claim. After a series of informal hearings, carrier accepted claim paying medical expenses and total disability benefits. In addition to those benefits paid, claim settled for an additional $75,000.

Delivery truck driver sustained right wrist fracture in rear-end motor vehicle accident while in the course of his employment. Claimant recovered in excess of $40,000 in workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and total disability benefits. Claimant settled case against at-fault driver for $105,000.

22-year-old male working as stocking clerk at “big box” retailer sustained herniated disc in low back. Workers’ compensation carrier refused to accept the claim. After formal workers’ compensation, hearing commissioner ordered carrier to pay over $35,000 in past total disability benefits and pay for surgery and all related medical expenses. Case settled for an additional $35,000 for a total recovery in excess of $100,000.

Rear-end collision on entrance ramp to Merritt Parkway resulting in 49-year-old woman sustaining mid-back injury. Case settled at mediation after filing suit for $300,000.

28-year-old passenger sustained multiple herniated discs in automobile accident in New York state. New York no-fault carrier paid for extended period of disability from work and medical expenses, including expenses for surgery. Case settled against driver of vehicle for $300,000 policy limits shortly after filing suit.

54-year-old man sustains shoulder injury when hit from behind by uninsured motorist on New Jersey Turnpike. Case settled for $135,000 prior to trial.

CT Transit bus driver sustained torn meniscus in collision with another vehicle. Claims made against at-fault driver, workers’ compensation carrier and client’s underinsured motorist policy. All claims settle for a recovery in excess of $100,000.

68-year-old woman sustained neck and back injuries in rear-end collision and required extended course physical therapy, but was not a surgical candidate. Case settled for $100,000 prior to filing suit.

34-year-old woman sustained concussion and neck and back injuries in hit-and-run accident on a New York highway. Claimant settled uninsured motorist claim for her $100,000 policy limits.

80-year-old woman sustained right foot fracture when her foot was run over in a parking lot. Case settled for at-fault driver’s policy limit of $100,000 prior to filing suit.

38-year-old nanny sustained right femur fracture when she fell down defective stairs in home of her employer’s neighbor. All medical expenses and lost wages reimbursed and case settled for an additional $150,000.

Claim against landlord for defective staircase in multi-family rental house. Claimant sustained a right femur fracture. Case settled for $125,000 prior to filing suit.

$95,000 judgment obtained against bar and nightclub for assault by one of its patrons against another patron.

47-year-old woman sustained a broken left wrist when she fell from porch stairs at house she was renting. Case settled for $95,000 shortly before trial.

26-year-old male bitten on leg by German shepherd. Claim against dog owner settled for $65,000 plus payment of all medical expenses.