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When can you hold someone liable for injuries suffered at the beach?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2021 | Premises liability |

Among the perks of living in Southern California is easy access to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Public and private beaches are already once again filling up with families, friends and organized events. 

Spending time at the beach and in the ocean carries a wide variety of risks that can range from a nasty sunburn or a nip from an aggressive seagull to the worst-case scenarios, like drowning. You might think that no one can be held liable for injuries suffered at the beach. However, that’s not always the case. Let’s take a look at some examples where it may be possible.

Lifeguard and beach patrol responsibilities

If a lifeguard is on duty (or supposed to be), they have a responsibility to watch for dangerous conditions and provide medical care to anyone who’s injured. They can’t be everywhere and see everything, however. If someone has been injured or worse, it’s worth finding out if there was a lack of lifeguard coverage or if a lifeguard failed to do their duty. 

Some beaches have law enforcement or other personnel on patrol. They also have a duty to protect beach-goers. That includes watching out for sleeping sunbathers as they drive their beach vehicles and not using excessive force if they arrest someone.

Event planning responsibilities

If you’re injured at a beach event due to someone’s negligence or actions, could that injury have been prevented by the event’s host, sponsors or others who organized and ran it? In some situations, they may have liability.

Private beach owner responsibilities

If you’re legally on a stretch of beach that’s owned by a hotel, restaurant, condo or individual homeowner, you’re on their property. That means they may be liable for injuries suffered there. 

Every situation is unique. However, if you believe that someone can and should be held liable for your injuries or those of a loved one, it’s wise to talk with an experienced attorney about your situation. 



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