Jet skiing is a popular recreational activity. Locals and tourists can experience the thrill of riding across the waves on the lakes of Tennessee. However, this activity also comes with the risk of accidents. Whether you are the driver or passenger, you can suffer severe injuries in a jet ski accident. Having an experienced boating accident lawyer on your side after a jet ski accident can ensure your legal rights and possible compensation stay protected.
Jet Ski Accidents on Tennessee Lakes
- Operator inexperience. Inexperienced riders may struggle to control the watercraft properly, leading to collisions with other jet skis, boats, or stationary objects.
- Speeding and recklessness. Excessive speed and reckless behavior, such as sharp turns or stunts, increase the likelihood of accidents and pose significant dangers to riders and others in the vicinity.
- Intoxication. Operating a jet ski under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair judgment and coordination, making accidents more probable.
- Negligence. Negligent behavior, such as failing to observe waterway rules and regulations or disregarding safety guidelines, can contribute to collisions and accidents.
- Mechanical failures. Malfunctions or faulty equipment can lead to sudden breakdowns or loss of control of the jet ski, resulting in accidents.
Liability in Jet Ski Accidents
Determining liability in jet ski accidents can be complex and may involve multiple parties. Some of the potentially responsible parties include:
- Jet ski operators. The primary responsibility lies with the jet ski operator. They may be liable for the accident and resulting injuries if they were reckless, intoxicated, or inexperienced.
- Rental companies. In cases where the jet ski involved in the accident was rented, the rental company might be held partially responsible if they failed to provide proper safety instructions or rented to an inexperienced or intoxicated rider.
- Boat owners. Jet ski accidents can also involve collisions with boats. If a boat owner was negligent in operating their vessel, they could be held liable for any damages or injuries caused.
- Manufacturers and maintenance providers. If the accident resulted from a mechanical failure or defect, the manufacturer or maintenance provider of the jet ski could be held liable under product liability laws.
What to Do if You Are Injured in a Jet Ski Accident
If you are involved in a jet ski accident on a Tennessee lake, taking the following steps can protect your well-being and legal interests:
- Seek medical attention. Prioritize your health and safety by seeking immediate medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen over time.
- Report the accident. As state regulations require, report the accident to the appropriate authorities, such as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency or local law enforcement.
- Document the accident scene. Gather as much evidence as possible, including photographs of the accident scene, contact information of witnesses, and the details of the parties involved.
- Preserve evidence. If possible, keep the jet ski and any equipment involved in the accident intact to preserve potential evidence for investigations.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will make sure that all of your rights are protected.
Recovering Damages After a Jet Ski Accident
If you were injured in a jet ski accident in Tennessee, you might be entitled to the following compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
In the tragic event of a fatality, surviving family members may seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Dealing with injuries and emotional distress after a jet ski accident can be overwhelming. A lawyer takes the burden of legal proceedings off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your recovery. A knowledgeable attorney will do the following to help with your claim:
- Investigate the accident. A skilled lawyer will thoroughly investigate the jet ski accident, gathering crucial evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, and any available video footage.
- Determine liability. Identifying the party at fault in a jet ski accident can be challenging. A personal injury lawyer can assess the circumstances of the incident and determine liability.
- Calculate damages. A lawyer can accurately calculate the full extent of your damages to ensure you seek fair compensation and avoid settling for less than you deserve.
- Negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance companies may attempt to minimize their payout or deny your claim altogether. An experienced lawyer can handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, aiming to secure a favorable settlement.
- Represent you in court. If the case goes to court, a skilled attorney can provide strong representation and advocate for your rights before a judge and jury. They will present compelling arguments and evidence to support your claim.