With more than 10,000 lakes to explore, riding around on a boat or jet ski is a pretty common summer activity here in Minnesota. These personal watercrafts can make your time in the sun more enjoyable, but they can also be a source of significant personal injury. Every year we handle cases from clients who were injured as a result of a boating accident, and unfortunately they often involve severe injuries.
If you or someone you love was injured on a boat, jet ski or similar personal watercraft, know that you have compensation options, even if it was an accident. Below, we take a closer look at personal injury lawsuits involving boats or other watercrafts.
Boating Safety And Injury
Injuries involving boats and jet skis are more common than you might think, and one of the main reasons for this (and one of the driving factors when assigning fault and determining compensation) is because formal training isn’t really required in order to be able to pilot a boat in Minnesota. Unlike a driver’s license, which requires that you participate in training and pass a formal written and behind the wheel test, you’re considered a legal watercraft driver as soon as you turn 18, regardless of whether or not you have a driver’s license. Younger children need to pass a boater education class to pilot some vessels, but once you turn 18, you’re considered a legal boat captain in Minnesota.
As you can see, even if the young driver follows the rules of the lake, accidents can happen in a moment’s notice simply because of their unfamiliarity with the boat or the water. Similarly, seasoned boat operators can end up in an accident when trying to avoid these less experienced drivers or because they assumed the other boat would move in a direction they did not. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board found that 84 percent of personal watercraft accidents involve operators who received no boater education instruction.
Inexperience and unfamiliarity with the best ways to avoid an accident are common factors that drive boating accidents, and they also play a role in your injury claim. So too does drunk driving, which likely occurs at a higher rate than on the road, only it’s harder for law enforcement to police every single boat on the lakes. But even if the boat operator did everything in their power to avoid an accident, if they are at fault for your injuries, you can pursue compensation.
At Margolis Law Firm, we have won injury awards for countless individuals who have been injured on or by a personal watercraft. If you were violently thrown off a boat because of your driver’s careless actions, you were injured when the boat you were riding on struck a dock or a tree stump or you were injured in a collision with another boat, make sure that you look into your compensation options and contact an attorney.
Some people are hesitant to consider filing a personal injury claim against the boat operator, especially if a friend or loved one was piloting the boat that day, but their actions shouldn’t leave you on the financial hook for medical bills and lifelong injuries you suffered. We’ll handle all the details and work with their insurance company to get you the benefits you deserve while you focus on your health and well-being.
We expect to see an uptick in calls regarding boating-related injuries now that summer is here, and while we hope that you never need to call us, know that we’re here for you if you do. Give Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm a call today at (952) 230-2700 to learn more about your options during our free case review.
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