In recent years, stand up paddle (SUP) boarding has gained notoriety as an exciting recreational activity and a competitive sport. In 2013, there were more first time paddle boarders than first timers of any other outdoor activity. Most easily described as gliding through the water on top of a surfboard using a paddle to propel oneself, the activity provides a great source of exercise, thrills and adventure to those who enjoy water sports.
With the increase in volume of paddle boarders has come an increased concern over the safety of the sport, however, and how quickly things can go wrong when proper precautions are not taken.
Common Causes of Paddle Board Accidents
The majority of paddle board injuries and deaths are the result of drowning after the paddle boarder has been separated from his or her board for some reason. Paddle boarders are advised to wear personal floatation devices and to use leashes to ensure that they are not separated from their boards, but some do not heed these warnings and choose to take to the water without the recommended equipment.
Paddle boarding also comes with the risk that a boarder will drift into the paths of oncoming vessels or too far from land to be able to navigate back to safety.
Paddle Board Instructional Courses
There are classes available for those who desire to learn how to paddle board in the Chicago area that inform students on the dangers of paddle boarding during their training sessions. Students are taught to use gear such as life jackets and leashes to help ensure that they minimize the risk of drowning. They are also instructed on proper form and technique so that they will be able to balance and propel themselves on their boards simultaneously.
It is important for instructors to be vigilant and alert when training novice paddle boarders, as the risk of injury is much higher among people who have no prior experience with the sport. The failure to provide students with the proper warnings or to act when they are in danger could be classified as negligence if a student becomes injured during a course.
Determining Liability for Accidents Involving Injured Paddle Boarders
While the majority of paddle board accidents are the result of the paddle boarder’s personal choice to forgo the use of personal floatation devices, there are some instances when another party may be responsible. If you have been injured while paddle boarding, it is important to investigate the matter just in case you are entitled to compensation that will cover your medical bills and any other costs associated with your recovery. Examples of negligence that can result in paddle boarding accidents include the following.
- The actions of another party cause the injury such as when a boat operator acts recklessly and collides with a paddle boarder.
- A lifeguard fails to notice a paddle boarder in distress and fails to reach him or her in time to prevent a severe injury or death by drowning.
- A paddle board training instructor fails to teach a paddle boarder how to correctly use safety equipment and the student is harmed as a result.
- The accident is the fault of equipment designed to protect the victim, but for some reason fails to meet its purpose.
- A paddle boarder is injured due to a lack of warnings about dangerous conditions, such as when a lifeguard fails to warn of an incoming storm.
Get Help From Paddle Board Accident Attorneys
Were you or someone you love injured while paddle boarding? If so, it could be possible that you can recover the cost of your medical bills, wages lost due to being unable to work, pain and suffering or the loss of a loved one who helped provide for your family.
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are experienced Illinois marine accident attorneys who care about your needs and want to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so that we can investigate your case more closely and let you know what your legal options are.
Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you will never be required to provide payment upfront for our time. If we are unable to take your case or cannot collect compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.