While many New Orleans tourists and locals enjoy jet skiing, a jet ski accident may result in serious personal injuries. In many cases, jet ski riders move at high speeds while in close proximity to boats, other jet skis, and swimmers. The potential for accidents is high, especially when a jet ski rider is not experienced, or is under the influence of alcohol.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a New Orleans jet ski 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 jet ski 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 jet ski operator, the jet ski manufacturer, or the jet ski rental company. The most common causes of jet ski accidents in New Orleans involve the following:
- The jet ski rider collides with an object such as a buoy, dock, pole, sand bar, or debris
- The jet ski failed while moving at high rates of speed
- The jet ski collided with another jet ski, boat, swimmer, or another watercraft operator
- The jet ski rider did not receive adequate instructions
- A jet ski accident happened due to an equipment failure
Jet Ski 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 jet ski is a dangerous combination. When jet ski operators are intoxicated, their judgment is clouded and their motor skills are impaired. The decision to operate a jet ski while intoxicated often leads to serious accidents and injuries.
Jet ski operators and swimmers are exposed to injuries. The results of a jet ski accident can cause serious personal injuries and even death. For example, an impaired jet ski operator could drive over a swimmer and cause him or her to suffer a head injury or drown. In some instances, an intoxicated jet ski operator collides with a boat, throwing their passenger off of the jet ski and causing serious personal injuries. Alternatively, an intoxicated boat owner can collide with a jet ski, causing the jet ski rider to suffer severe injuries.
Bringing a Lawsuit Against the Jet Ski 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 jet ski can cause serious personal injuries. Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits need to prove the following elements in order to hold the manufacturer of the jet ski legally accountable:
- The jet ski caused an unreasonable amount of danger due to its construction
- The jet ski’s design caused an unreasonable danger
- The manufacturer failed to give an adequate warning of the jet ski
- The jet ski 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 jet ski tour operators or rental company or jet ski trainers. When the jet ski 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 jet ski rental company allows a customer to rent the jet ski who shouldn’t have been operating a jet ski, the injured party might have a valid legal claim.
An injured jet ski customer could have a valid legal claim against the rental company if the rental company failed to properly maintain the jet ski. 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 jet ski 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 jet ski could have been broken or defective
- The jet ski could experience a malfunction due to flawed machinery
- The jet ski rental company might not have adhered to relevant jet ski laws
- The area in which the customer jet skied was poorly maintained
- The jet ski instructors failed to stop the customer 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 accident in a jet ski accident 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 to schedule your initial consultation.