New Orleans Personal Watercraft Accident Attorneys
While many New Orleans tourists and locals enjoy using personal watercraft, an accident may result in serious personal injuries. In many cases, personal watercraft like such as Kawasaki’s Jet Skis or Yamaha’s WaveRunners move at high speeds while in close proximity to boats, other personal watercraft and swimmers. The potential for accidents is high, especially when the operator is not experienced or is under the influence of alcohol.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a New Orleans personal watercraft accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Speaking to an experienced New Orleans personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is important. At Koch & Schmidt, our lawyers have the experience necessary to develop a winning legal strategy for our clients. We advocate for them to get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
Who Is Responsible In A Jet Ski Accident?
If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a personal watercraft accident, you are likely wondering who is financially responsible for your injuries. Under Louisiana law, you’ll need to prove that the defendant’s negligence, recklessness or intentional actions caused your serious personal injuries. Depending on the facts of your case, you could bring a lawsuit against multiple defendants.
Some of the parties that might be liable for your injuries include the personal watercraft operator, the manufacturer, or the rental company. The most common causes of personal watercraft accidents in New Orleans involve the following:
- The personal watercraft collides with an object such as a buoy, dock, pole, sand bar, or debris
- The personal watercraft failed while moving at high rates of speed
- The personal watercraft collided with another Jet Ski, boat, swimmer, or another watercraft operator
- The personal watercraft operator did not receive adequate instructions
- An accident happened due to an equipment failure
Watercraft Accidents Involving Alcohol
New Orleans is an international tourist destination. Visitors from all over the world come to New Orleans to relax and enjoy the Big Easy. Many vacationers drink alcohol while they engage in watersports such as jet skiing. When people are on vacation, they often feel uninhibited and carefree, but drinking while operating a personal watercraft is a dangerous combination. When operators are intoxicated, their judgment is clouded, and their motor skills are impaired. The decision to operate a watercraft while intoxicated often leads to serious accidents and injuries.
Watercraft operators and swimmers are exposed to injuries. The results of an accident can cause serious personal injuries and even death. For example, an impaired operator could drive over a swimmer and cause him or her to suffer a head injury or drown. In some instances, an intoxicated operator collides with a boat, throwing their passenger off of the watercraft and causing serious personal injuries. Alternatively, an intoxicated boat owner can collide with a personal watercraft, causing the operator to suffer severe injuries.
Bringing A Lawsuit Against The Manufacturer
Under Louisiana law, product manufacturers have a duty to create a reasonably safe product for consumers. When products have design defects or malfunctions, the defective personal watercraft can cause serious personal injuries. Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits need to prove the following elements in order to hold the manufacturer legally accountable:
- The watercraft caused an unreasonable amount of danger due to its construction
- The watercraft’s design caused an unreasonable danger
- The manufacturer failed to give an adequate warning about the watercraft’s operations
- The watercraft does not conform with the express warranty about the product
Bringing A Lawsuit Against The Rental Company
The injured party can also bring a lawsuit against the tour operators, or rental company or trainers. When the watercraft trainers do not properly train the customer and the customer becomes injured as a result of that negligent training, the injured party might have a valid legal claim. For example, if a rental company rents a personal watercraft to a customer who shouldn’t have been operating it, the injured party might have a valid legal claim.
An injured customer could have a valid legal claim against the rental company if the rental company failed to properly maintain the watercraft. The personal injury must have occurred as a result of some sort of negligent maintenance. An example would be when a rental company fails to properly maintain the throttle of the watercraft, and an accident happens due to the broken throttle. There are many different instances in which an injured person can bring a lawsuit, even if the customer signs a release of liability waiver, including the following:
- The liability waiver might have been not legally valid and not legally binding
- The watercraft could have been broken or defective
- The watercraft could experience a malfunction due to flawed machinery
- The rental company might not have adhered to relevant watercraft laws
- The area in which the customer was operating the personal watercraft was poorly maintained
- The instructors failed to stop the customer from engaging in dangerous behavior
Seeking Compensation For Your Injuries
Victims of New Orleans boating accidents might be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused their injuries. Personal injury victims in Louisiana can seek compensation for their past and future medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Louisiana courts will also impose punitive damages when the defendant acts extremely egregiously. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine how much compensation you should seek.
Contact Our Jet Ski Accident Lawyers As Soon As Possible
If you’ve suffered a personal injury in an accident on a Kawasaki Jet Ski, Yamaha WaveRunner or another personal watercraft because of another person’s negligence, the lawyers at Koch & Schmidt are here for you. We are highly skilled litigation lawyers with decades of experience representing victims of personal injury in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast. Contact our New Orleans personal injury lawyers today online or call us at 504-208-9040 to schedule your initial consultation.