Safety while enjoying yourself on vacation!

We should all enjoy ourselves while away on vacation.  Many of us like to participate in activities that you might not have available to you at home such as sailboarding, jetskiing, and other water sports.  Remember that in general you assume the risk of being injured when you participate in such activities.  If you are injured, generally speaking, you have diminished rights to sue the owner of the equipment or facilities.  Many facilities or rental agencies will require you to sign a waiver which limits the liability of the facility or agency.

Check with your own automobile insurance company prior to your departure to see if they will provide coverage for whatever activity you plan to participate in.  Most auto policies ill NOT cover (for example) injuries sustained or caused by the use of an unregistered vehicle (e.g., moped, off road vehicle, etc).  You might want to seriously consider whether the hour or so of enjoyment is worth recovering from a potential serious injury for months or years.

If you choose to engage in one of the above-mentioned sports, remember to follow the rules of the road (or water), to wear safety equipment, and to always err on the side of caution.  Do not permit underage drivers to participate in such sports.  Do not indulge in alcohol when playing such sports.  Ask questions about the body of water or roadway prior to leaving (e.g., depth of water, any hazards that you should be aware of, any parts of the roadway that have dangerous conditions, etc).

I recently was retained by a client who was a passenger on a moped while on vacation who suffered very serious injuries.  The only redeeming fact of her case is that she was not the driver – she was a passenger – and thus was not subject to the waiver that the driver signed.  Caveat: As a driver or passenger of a motorcycle or moped, you are NOT entitled to the same insurance that is provided to those involved in motor vehicle accidents (i.e., “No Fault”).  You should have private health care insurance in the event that you are injured in a motorcycle accident.

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