Sports and recreational activities are common pastimes during a weekend trip, family vacation, or a day of fun. Recreational activities bring people closer together and reduce stress, but they can cause severe injuries when they go wrong.
Recreation contributed $374.3 billion to the U.S. economy in 2020. Accidents involving boating, ATVs, snowmobiles, and defective equipment stop your fun in the short-term and create long-term financial losses and pain and suffering. Catastrophic injuries like spinal cord injury or amputation may impact the rest of your life, so you deserve a fair settlement for your injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at Nessler & Associates have extensive experience holding people accountable for negligence, carelessness, and recklessness. Our personal injury lawyers will fight for your rights to fair compensation for your recreation-related injuries.
Who is Responsible for a Boating Accident?
Boat operators are often responsible for boating accidents, but other parties can also be liable for watercraft accidents. Boat owners, maintenance companies, manufacturers, rental companies, or other passengers may be liable depending on the circumstances of the accident.
If a lack of signage or warning buoys contributed to your accident, the jurisdiction responsible for the body of water might be held accountable.
Boating accident victims or their families can sue the operator for negligence or failure to provide reasonable safety. Most states allow victims to bring lawsuits against family members for negligence. Boat owners usually have a liability insurance policy or a homeowner’s policy to cover a potential lawsuit.
Causes of Boat Accidents
Our legal team of boat accident attorneys investigates your boat accident to prove your claim. Proving that the negligent party’s actions caused your injuries is vital to winning you the settlement you deserve.
Injuries caused by operator inexperience or inattention, excessive speed, alcohol or drug use, or the boat running over you may cause you to bring a suit against the boat operator. Falling overboard could be caused by improper piloting or other passengers.
Defective equipment, such as inner tubes, skis, tow ropes, or life jackets, can make an owner or rental company liable for any injuries you sustained.
Mechanical failures allow you to file a claim against a rental company, boat owner, or maintenance company.
Victims of boating accidents can also receive compensation for damage to property if their recreational vessels are involved, such as collisions while jet skiing.
Common Boat Accident Injuries
Recreational boating accidents can cause severe and fatal injuries. In 2020, 21,754 people were injured in water skiing, tubing, and surfing accidents. The pandemic increased the number of personal watercraft in use, and inexperience was the second leading cause of fatal boating accidents. A negligent boat operator can cause several types of severe injuries, including:
Traumatic brain injury
Impact to your head caused by a fall or object striking you causes traumatic brain injury. TBIs can impact your cognitive abilities and personality for the rest of your life.
Spinal cord injury
Falls, collisions with other watercraft, skiing, tubing, and parasailing accidents can cause spinal cord injuries. These injuries are often permanent, leaving you unable to perform your normal activities.
Drowning or near drowning
If you survive a near drowning, you may suffer a hypoxic brain injury, brain damage caused by prolonged oxygen deprivation. Hypoxic brain injuries can lead to lifelong impairment.
Lacerations can cause significant blood loss, putting you at risk for infection and leaving unsightly scars. If you get run over by a boat and the propeller hits you, life-threatening lacerations can occur.
Burns cause intense pain and require extensive medical care. They put you at risk of infection and may require skin grafts to repair. Most burns happen when a fire breaks out onboard, often due to mechanical failure.
Bone and ligament injuries
Broken bones and sprained joints may result from watercraft collisions, falls, or accidents with skiing, tubing, or parasailing. They require weeks of recovery, may require surgery, and sometimes result in chronic pain.
Most amputations caused by boating accidents occur when a boat propeller hits someone in the water, usually when a boat runs over a swimmer.
Most of these injury types require ongoing medical treatment. Contact a boat accident lawyer with Nessler & Associates if you’ve been injured on the water.
Other recreational activities that might cause injuries include riding ATVs, camping, playing on a playground, visiting the beach, hiking, or picnicking. Injuries sustained during these activities in 2020 totaled 373,381. Exercise and exercise equipment caused another 377,939 injuries.
Companies that provide rental equipment or governments that provide public facilities have a duty to keep everything in good repair. From surfboards and cabanas at the beach to picnic tables at your local park, injuries caused by mechanical failures may entitle you to financial compensation.
Companies and governments that don’t maintain the property for the safety of their users could be held liable for their injuries. For example, if a park offers biking trails, it must maintain those trails to protect the cyclists. Companies also have to adhere to commonly accepted safety standards.
People or companies that provide an area for recreational activities, including exercise, golf, playing, skating, tennis, and more, must maintain all facilities and equipment to protect their customers. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable for your injuries.
Sporting goods manufacturers must also provide safe products. If product failure contributed to your injury, the manufacturer can be held responsible.
Many recreational vehicles pose risks similar to road vehicles but tend to offer less protection. Improper care in maintenance and operator error causes most accidents involving recreational vehicles.
The First Step in Pursuing a Recreational Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in a recreational accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The first step in the process is finding legal representation. Contact Nessler & Associates for a free initial consultation to determine if the responsible party used reasonable care to keep participants safe or demonstrated negligence.
Every case is different, and the damages you are entitled to depend on your injuries and their effect on the rest of your life. Your settlement may include compensation for emergency medical services, medical bills, property damage, and non-financial losses like emotional distress or the inability to engage in beloved activities or pastimes.
If you sustained catastrophic injuries, you might need to be compensated for the loss of income and modifications to your home.
If you are hurt in a boat or recreational accident, contact our law firm at 800-727-8010 for your confidential, free consultation today. Having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side can make a difference in the outcome of your case and help bring you and your family the assistance you need to rebuild your life.