You could be entitled to a settlement if you did not cause your boat/jet ski accident injuries. The exact amount you should settle for depends on factors like:
- Your total damages
- Whether or not you have a lawyer
- Partial fault (if there is any)
It’s best to get help from a lawyer from the beginning. Your boat/jet ski accident lawyer can protect your rights and fight for the best settlement.
To discuss your case options during a FREE consultation, call John Foy & Associates today. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case. We’re also not afraid to stand up to the insurance companies.
To schedule a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
What Is a Fair Settlement After a Boat/Jet Ski Accident?
Since you did not cause your accident, you shouldn’t be responsible for your losses. A fair settlement should fully compensate you for your accident costs.
A fair settlement looks different for each accident case. Personal injury cases can be worth anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. You can only know what you’re entitled to by evaluating your case.
What Damages Help Determine Your Boat/Jet Ski Accident Settlement?
A fair settlement will depend on your damages. There are two main types of personal injury damages: special damages and general damages (Georgia Code Section 51-12-2).
Special damages are financial losses from the accident. You can prove these costs through bills, receipts, and more. General damages are more challenging to show, as they do not have a set dollar amount. You’ll need help from a boat/jet ski accident lawyer to demonstrate general damages.
Let’s look more specifically at expected boat/jet ski accident losses that go into your settlement.
Medical expenses make up the most substantial part of an injury claim. If you were in a boat/jet ski accident, your injuries might be severe. Medical expenses can include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Physical therapy
Save all medical bills, records, and doctor notes. You’ll need documentation of your medical costs for your claim. Your boat/jet ski accident lawyer can help you get copies of any records.
If you’ve had to miss work time because of the accident, you can claim lost wages. The at-fault party should compensate you for not being able to earn income.
Sometimes, boat accident injuries are disabling. If your injuries prevent you from working as you could before, you might claim loss of earning capacity.
You can show lost wages through previous pay stubs, tax returns, and more. Again, your lawyer can help you calculate these damages.
If your boat was involved in the accident, you might have property damage. You can include property damage in your boat/jet ski accident claim.
Do not repair your boat or jet ski without speaking to a lawyer first. You’ll need to assess the damage and factor it into your settlement fully.
If you have your own boating insurance, your insurance company could cover some of the damage, too. Ask your lawyer about your options.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are about how your injuries have affected you. You might also have emotional injuries like:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you have a lot of the above general damages, contact a lawyer right away. Your attorney will use a formula to determine the value of these damages.
You’ll need to factor all of your accident losses into your settlement. That includes future medical costs.
If possible, wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before pursuing a settlement. If you try to settle before reaching MMI, you could end up paying out-of-pocket for some treatment costs.
What Other Factors Affect Your Settlement?
The amount you can settle for also depends on the percentage of fault.
Most of the time, one party is fully responsible for a boat/jet ski accident. But if you’re worried that you were partially at fault, talk to a lawyer.
In Georgia, you can recover compensation as long as you are less than 50% at fault (Georgia Code Section 51-12-33). However, any partial responsibility will affect how much you can settle for. Discuss any of your concerns with your lawyer.
What if the Insurance Company Offers a Low Settlement?
It’s incredibly likely that the insurer will offer a lowball settlement. They’re hoping you’ll accept the first offer and save them money. Never accept the first settlement offer.
Talk to an experienced lawyer to determine what your settlement should be. From there, you can work to negotiate a fair settlement. Don’t try to negotiate without a lawyer on your side.
Boat/jet ski accident lawyers know how to negotiate a fair settlement properly. They are not afraid to stand up to the insurer and fight for what you deserve.
Building Up Your Boat/Jet Ski Accident Claim
You can also increase your chances of a fair settlement by:
- Making sure the boat/jet ski operator reports the accident right away
- Gathering information at the scene
- Taking pictures of your injuries and property damage
- Documenting all of your accident costs
- Talking to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible
Also, be careful if you speak with the insurance company at all. They will be looking for ways to reduce what they pay you. You’ll want to know what your settlement is worth before accepting anything from the insurance company.
Talk to a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Determine what you should settle for after a boat/jet ski accident is not easy. It’s best to work with an experienced lawyer from the beginning. Your attorney can calculate your damages and protect your rights.
At John Foy & Associates, we can help you with all of the above. With over 20 years of experience, we know how to handle insurance companies and accident cases. Plus, we do not charge a fee unless we win you compensation.
To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.