Boats and jet skis provide a special kind of thrill on the water. However, these watersports don’t come without risks. If a boat or jet ski causes injuries or deaths, there will be damages. As the victim, you’ll need to know what costs you can collect for the accident.
You might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. An injury claim typically involves two types of damages:
- Special or economic damages
- General or non-economic damages
Economic damages are about the financial losses from the accident. They can include both current and future accident costs. Non-economic losses are about the physical and emotional effects of the accident.
Let’s look at the different types of damages you might collect after a boat/jet ski accident. It’s best to hire a boat/jet ski accident lawyer for help in pursuing these damages. A lawyer can give you the best chance at a full recovery.
Medical costs often make up the most substantial part of an injury claim. You can collect damages for:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Medical testing
- Physical therapy
Boat and jet ski accidents often cause severe injuries. If you have any injuries at all, you should see a doctor. It’s essential to know the full extent of your medical needs. Many injury victims assume they are okay, only to realize that their injuries worsen with time.
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You will probably have to miss work time because of the accident. You can claim the missed time as “lost wages.” The at-fault party should compensate you for the wages you’ve missed because of your injuries.
If you had to use your sick days or vacation time, you should get compensation for those days too.
Pain and Suffering
A severe accident often has emotional effects. You might have pain and suffering damages, which can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These are examples of non-economic damages. A boat/jet ski accident lawyer will need to help you calculate these losses. The formula for pain and suffering usually involves multiplying economic losses by a certain number.
Future Treatment Costs
You’ll also need to consider the long-term costs of your accident. For example, you might have ongoing medical needs.
If you have future medical expenses, you should include those in your claim. We recommend waiting until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) to file your claim. MMI is the point where you’ve healed as much as possible with treatment.
After reaching MMI, you’ll know if there are long-term medical needs. You can seek compensation for these costs from the at-fault party.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Sometimes, severe injuries make someone unable to work as they could before. If the accident has affected your earnings, you can include the losses in your claim. For example, an injury might disable you from working full-time anymore.
Talk to your lawyer about lost earning capacity. Being unable to work is a significant life change that shouldn’t be your responsibility.
Punitive damages are only allowed in specific situations. The courts award punitive damages with the intent to punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages also discourage similar future behavior.
You might be eligible for punitive damages if your accident involved wanton or malicious behavior.
Wrongful Death Damages
Unfortunately, boat or jet ski accidents are sometimes deadly. Some people die from drowning while out on the water. If a loved one died in a boat/jet ski accident, you might have a wrongful death case.
Wrongful death cases cover damages like:
- Funeral costs
- Burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial support
- Pain and suffering
Talk to a lawyer if a loved one died in this type of accident. Specific family members can bring a wrongful death claim for the deceased loved one.
Is There a Cap on the Damages I Can Collect?
The laws on caps vary per state. If you have questions, talk to an experienced boat/jet ski accident lawyer.
Who Is at Fault for Your Boat/Jet Ski Accident?
The fault in a boating or jet ski accident depends on negligence. When someone is negligent, they have been careless. If someone’s carelessness causes your accident, that person is legally liable.
Boats or jet skis can include:
- Fishing boats
- Small yachts
- Jet skis
- Personal watercraft
Several parties might be at fault for this type of accident. Most of the time, the driver of the boat/jet ski is responsible. Any boat operator owes others a duty of care. If they put others in harm’s way and cause damage, they must compensate the victims.
Here are some ways that accidents can happen:
- Someone suffers injuries as a passenger on a boat. The injured passenger might have a claim against the boating company or the boat’s owner.
- Someone suffers injuries because of a boat company employee. The company is usually liable for the employee’s actions.
- A passenger is injured because of defective boat or jet ski parts. In that case, the boat manufacturer could be at fault through a product liability case.
An experienced lawyer will investigate how your accident happened. They’ll also determine all of your damages. The goal is to get you full compensation for your injury costs.
Talk to a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If you suffered injuries in a boat or jet ski accident, John Foy & Associates can help. We are well-versed in local boating laws and personal injury cases. With over 20 years, we know what it takes to win.
Contact us online for a FREE consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for your FREE consultation.