Sunbather Run Over by Lifeguard Truck

April 16, 2012
By Leighton Law, PA. on April 16, 2012 12:42 PM |
Ft Lauderdale beach safety sign.jpg

Sunbathers beware! The beach seems like the perfect place to kick back, relax, and maybe even take a snooze under the sun. But for some vacationers, being run over by a lifeguard truck can quickly change that relaxing mood.

The latest victim was a school teacher from North Carolina visiting Fort Lauderdale.

"All I can tell you is that suddenly I was a human speed bump," she told the Sun Sentinel. "There were tires moving over my body. I could have easily died."

The vehicle was a Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue truck. Surprisingly, the incident occurred near a lifeguard tower. The woman told the Sentinel that her injuries included burns, cuts, orthopedic and neurological injuries, which were treated at Broward General Medical Center. She's lucky they were not more serious, nor fatal.

Although legally sunbathers have the right of way over all traffic, several people have been run over on Florida beaches. Since 1995, there have been nearly 50 beach-driving accidents in Volusia County alone, all resulting in injury or death. Last year, a four-year-old child was hit and killed by a truck on New Smyrna Beach. Volusia County is among the defendants sued in that case, with a claim that the county should have created a safer environment for beachgoers.

Lifeguards are not the only trusted authorities to cause beach accidents. Last year, a woman suffered traumatic brain injuries after being struck by a police officer driving an ATV on Miami Beach, whose blood alcohol level was over the legal limit even five hours after the incident. The City of Miami Beach and the resort hotel that allegedly served alcohol to on-duty police officers on a regular basis were lawsuit contenders.

Resort Torts are cases of civil liability for negligent or criminal acts that arise out of a resort, vacation or recreational setting. These can involve aspects of hotel and motel safety, cruise ship litigation, pleasure boating and jet ski incidents, amusement, aquatic, diving and swimming incidents, foreign travel and medical emergencies, gaming and casinos, aviation (commercial and general), rental car liability, moped, bicycle and motorcycle safety, buses and tour guides, travel industry liability for crime victims, and medical care provided to vacationers.

Resort Torts can encompass a vast array of types of cases but they all have one thing in common: tourists, business travelers and locals alike are all exposed to risk while traveling, vacationing or engaging in resort or pleasure activities.