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Who Is Liable in a Skydiving Accident

Skydiving accidents could result in very severe injuries, and could result in someone being permanently disabled and unable to ever return to work. People who have sustained accidents during skydiving have encountered very severe injuries.

Like every sport, there are very serious accident injuries that could potentially occur. Skydiving accidents are common in the western states, especially in California and Nevada. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada has several skydiving companies that offer tourists the chance to see the strip from several miles up in the sky. Unfortunately, there are instances where skydivers have sustained injuries in a skydiving accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a skydiving accident as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages suffered.

Skydiving Statistics

According to the United States Parachute Association:

  •   Skydiving is a very common sport in the United States
  •   In 2020, 2.8 million skydiving jumps occurred
  •   0.39 fatalities per 100,000 jumps occurred, this is a lower rate than the year 2019
  •   Tandem skydiving, where the skydiver is attached to a skydiving instructor, has a much higher safety rate than individual skydiving.
  •   There is on average 1 fatality for every 500,000 tandem skydiving jumps

What type of compensation could I receive in my skydiving accident?

The different types of damages you could receive in a skydiving accident include:

  •   Lost wages
  •   Future wages
  •   Medical bills
  •   Medication
  •   Hospital stays
  •   Wrongful death: this occurs in certain circumstances when the injured victim passes away, and the claim is brought by the decedent’s family members.

Who’s at fault in a skydiving accident?

Skydiving accidents almost always occur because of a party’s negligence. To determine which party was negligent and caused the accident, there needs to be several investigations held. Our top-rated skydiving accident attorneys will investigate your accident and determine who the at-fault party is. 

It is very important to determine who is at fault in your skydiving accident in order to be able to obtain compensation from them. The parties differ depending on the circumstances of the accident. Examples of defendants who could be potentially liable for skydiving accidents include:

  •   The skydiver
  •   The skydiving companies
  •   The skydiving planes
  •   The skydiving pilots
  •   The skydiving equipment manufacturers

Product Liability Claims with Sky Diving Equipment

If you or a loved one has been injured because of defective sky diving equipment, you may be able to hold the sky diving equipment manufacturer liable. For example, if you pull the harness and the parachute fails to deploy, you may be able to hold the parachute manufacturer liable for creating such a defective product.

 When filing a product liability claim, you do not need to prove any instances of negligence, rather that the product manufacturer created a defective product. There are three different types of defects: warranty defects (such as failure to warn), manufacturing defects (when there is a deviation in one product compared to the other products on the factory line), and design defects (when the product was designed defectively.)

Are skydiving companies liable?

All skydiving companies may supply waivers, but skydiving companies could be held liable for any negligent action on their behalf. When proving that the skydiving company was negligent, the plaintiff, also known as the party who is initiating the lawsuit, has to prove:

  •   The skydiving company had a duty to the skydiver to act in a reasonably safe manner
  •   The skydiving company failed to act in a reasonably safe manner, and breached that duty to the skydiver
  •   The skydiving company’s breach caused the skydiver to sustain injuries
  •   The skydiver now has damages as a result of their injuries

Do skydiving companies have insurance?

Skydiving companies in America are required to have insurance, and they have around $1,000,000 in general liability coverage.

What causes skydiving accidents?

Skydiving accidents could be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  •   Negligent pilots
  •   Pilot error
  •   Faulty sky diving equipment chords
  •   Faulty sky diving equipment handles
  •   Faulty sky diving equipment parachutes
  •   Inadequate skydiving instruction
  •   Inadequate skydiving supervision
  •   Skydiving trainer’s lack of experience

What if I sign a waiver before I skydive?

Many states, especially California and Nevada required jumpers to sign a waiver when skydiving. A waiver is the document that states that the skydiver releases any liability against the skydiving company for engaging in such risky activities. However, even if you sign a waiver before skydiving, you could still have the right to sue the at fault party if you are injured while skydiving.

 You may still be able to recover damages if you sign a waiver of liability. You could also sue the product manufacturers even if you signed a waiver of liability. That’s why it is important to hire an experienced skydiving accident attorney. Our California and Nevada skydiving accident attorneys have decades of experience representing injured victims.

How much do our skydiving accident attorneys cost?

Our California and Nevada skydiving accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay a single dollar out of pocket until we win compensation in your favor. Until we win a settlement or judgment in your favor, you do not owe us anything. This contingency fee agreement allows our skydiving accident attorneys to take on the risks and costs of litigating your claim.

When we recover compensation in your favor, a percentage is taken from the amount. This percentage is communicated to our clients prior to taking on the claim, and it depends on the circumstances of the accident, along with the legal work needed.

California Skydiving Liability Laws

Under Assembly Bill Number 295 (also known as Tyler’s law), skydiving and / or sport parachuting operations are held liable for any negligence on their behalf. This act also makes it unlawful for a person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug to take part in a sport. This includes sky diving operators when packing a parachute.

Parachute operating companies who violate this law will be held liable civilly, and could be fined and imprisoned.

Assumption Of Risk

 It is always important that you prepare any potential defenses that the other side may raise. One of the most common defenses that the liable party may raise in a parachute accident is that the plaintiff assumed the risk of being injured during a parachute accident. However, this primary assumption of risk doctrine only applies to the activity the person undertakes. For example, parachuters may not necessarily assume the risk of falling to their death while being involved in a parachute activity. For more information on potential defenses, contact our top-rated California and Nevada parachute injury attorneys today.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

Sam Heidari

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Sam Heidari

Sam Ryan Heidari

Sam Heidari is the founding principal of Heidari Law Group, a law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and employment law with offices in California and Nevada. Sam Heidari has been practicing law for over 11 years and handles a wide range of cases including car accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and product liability. The Heidari Law Group legal firm is known for its comprehensive approach, handling cases from initial consultation through to final judgment. Sam Heidari is dedicated to community involvement and advocacy for civil liberties.

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