Beach umbrellas can be a great way to avoid getting a sunburn at the beach. But on a windy day, they can also pose a significant danger. A strong wind can turn an umbrella into a dangerous object, with the potential to cause serious injuries. In addition to beach umbrellas possibly being lifted out of the sand, umbrellas can also come out of outdoor dining tables or even outdoor store displays.
Lawsuits against individuals or business owners based on an umbrella injury generally allege that the defendant was negligent in properly securing the umbrella. Even the government is a potential defendant in beach umbrella cases. If the incident occurs on a public beach, for example, the government may be responsible, particularly if the lifeguard was aware of the potential hazard caused by the wind but failed to minimize the danger.
In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to protect them against an unreasonable risk of harm, the defendant breached that duty, and an injury occurred that was proximately caused by the breach. The plaintiff has the burden to prove all four elements in a negligence claim. This means that the plaintiff has to present evidence that would allow a rational juror to reasonably conclude each of the elements of the claim is met.
Woman Killed by Flying Beach Umbrella
According to one news article, a woman was celebrating her 55th birthday and wedding anniversary at the beach when she was struck by a beach umbrella. It was a windy afternoon in June, and as the wind grew stronger, a beach umbrella was lifted from the sand and flew toward the woman. It hit the woman in her chest and knocked her unconscious. A lifeguard administered first aid, and paramedics arrived soon afterward, but the woman was no longer breathing by the time they arrived. She died soon afterward.
The chief of the beach’s Emergency Medical Services said that people sometimes get hit by flying umbrellas or flying debris, but he had never seen someone killed by an umbrella before this incident occurred. He cautioned beachgoers to properly secure their umbrellas with both a stake and ropes. He also said beachgoers should readjust and check the umbrellas if winds pick up, and they should take them down when necessary. A nearby shop owner also said beachgoers should never leave umbrellas open if they leave their site.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
No amount of money can make up for the untimely death of a loved one. However, compensation can help a struggling family get back on their feet financially, particularly when they have lost someone who contributed to the family’s wages or provided guidance. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Moll Law Group represent individuals and families nationwide in personal injury claims, including medical malpractice, product liability, transportation accidents, and premises liability. We have the sophistication and boldness to fight powerful corporations around the globe. We represent individuals in Cook County and surrounding counties, as well as in many other states, in product liability cases. If you would like a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case, contact us by using our online form or by phone at 312-462-1700.
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