While Florida beaches are packed with people who enjoy the sun, lifeguards are responsible for preventing drownings. As with others whose jobs require them to be specially trained to save lives and treat injuries, lifeguards are held to a high standard of care. When a lifeguard causes personal injury or fails to prevent an injury, the victim might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Standards for the training and certification of lifeguards vary from state to state because no federal standard exists. However, life-saving skills such as CPR and Red Cross lifeguard training are typical requirements for certification. In some states, applicants for lifeguard positions must also have first aid training, and their sole responsibilities are to supervise and ensure the safety of those involved in water activities.
Lifeguards who are on duty when personal injuries occur have legal duties to rescue victims and provide emergency care. Because this is their primary job, they do not qualify for Good Samaritan protection if their negligence leads to death or injury. However, the court will look at how a reasonable person may have acted in similar circumstances.
Anyone who suffered an injury while visiting a beach where lifeguards were on duty might have grounds to seek financial relief. However, navigating the complicated legalities of a personal injury lawsuit could be extremely challenging. For this reason, most people in similar situations choose to seek the support and guidance of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Damages that could form part of documented claims include medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering such as emotional or psychological distress.