A Summer to Remember

Thu 19 January 2017 by Etsuko

As many of our friends know, our family has been keen on water sports. Growing up close to a lake and now living in a place where it is literally just five minutes away from a pristine lake, going kayaking has become a regular activity we all love. I recently bought the best inflatable kayak under 500 that I could. But our penchant for this water sport changed in a blink of the eye. When my daughter turned 13, she said that she would want to learn kayaking on her own and join a club where she could meet friends as well. 

As a father, while I am confident with my kayaking skills, I opted to sign her up for a kayaking club. I thought that taking the class would inevitably help her gain the same confidence and skills I did when I was young and undergoing training myself. Boy, was I wrong or what! And this is why  I became acquainted with the toughest personal injury attorney in our town.

In late summer of 2013, my family decided to head to Florida. Well, more so to bask in the sun, explore the state, and of course buy my growing girl one of the kayaks under $200 she wanted.

It was saddening to know that a vacation we all looked forward to took a sad and traumatic turn. As my other son wanted to do another activity, we decided to leave her in the Kayaking Club. The club boasts of the best instructors and according to them, reassured me that my daughter was in good hands. After an hour, I received the most horrifying news of my life. A employee of the club got in touch with me to inform me that my 13 year old was involved in a 'kayaking mishap’ and was rushed to the hospital.

The lack of details and the inability of the staff to let me know what had happened infuriated me and my wife. Luckily, while trying to get the most information I can get from the staff, a personal injury attorney next to our table overheard us and approached us. Thank God for that man! I was able to think straight and kept my composure while I was distraught and heading to the hospital.

When we reached the hospital, I saw my daughter there, shivering and clearly in trauma. When I asked her, the first thing she said was, “I told him that I could not kayak on my own yet, but he just let me". And somewhere in the middle, her nerves took over and the kayak capsized. She also said that it took a while before she was rescued as she got somewhat further downstream. From her statement, I knew something was not right. 

That night, I met with the personal injury attorney and consulted him as to what steps I could take against the club and the instructor. It was not the best summer, but it was indeed the most memorable as that summer constantly reminds me to become more vigilant in choosing clubs for my children. We never stopped doing this sport, but we have become more careful in choosing clubs or instructors. As a piece of advice, immediately consult with a lawyer when injuries (whether minor or major) take place, even in the most unsuspecting places.