Injuries or death are probably the last thing on the mind for most people when they head out for a day of fun on the water with a jet ski. It’s incredibly easy to underestimate the power of a jet ski or PWC (personal watercraft) and in a split second, a poor decision can lead to catastrophic results.
Obeying local waterway laws and wearing a lifejacket is your best course of action for avoiding a jet ski crash, but even then, accidents happen. So when should you contact a lawyer after a PWC injury?
Accidents are unpredictable and while there may be similarities, no two are exactly alike. Much like a car accident, if the PWC accident you were involved in was due to the negligence of another operator or the watercraft malfunctioning, you’ll want to contact a personal injury attorney to determine if a claim should be filed as soon as possible.
When You’ve Sustained a Severe Injury
Injuries from a jet ski can be extreme and not all injuries will be immediately apparent, they may even take days to show up. For this reason, it’s incredibly important that you see a doctor following the accident if you think you may be injured. These injuries can often result in costly medical bills and prescription medications in addition to lost wages or the loss of your ability to earn a living.
Understandably, this can be incredibly stressful and an insurance company’s first offer of compensation often isn’t enough to help with the financial burden of a PWC injury. Without legal representation, it can be difficult to account for all the losses, and reach an insurance settlement that can help you get full compensation.
When Accident Responsibility is Unclear
Who is responsible for the PWC injury can often be unclear when several parties are involved. Many different pieces of information must be carefully taken into consideration such as what was the driver’s knowledge and experience with the equipment? Was the equipment maintained and functioning properly? Also, was a liability waiver signed by the victim injured in the jet ski accident prior to getting on the PWC? These waivers are meant to protect rental operators from lawsuits but by no means does a waiver mean a victim of a PWC injury can’t receive compensation.
Figuring out who is at fault can be like putting together a puzzle, and an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to look at the situation and determine who the responsibility falls on.
When the Insurance Company Doubts Your Damages
Insurance companies seldom offer enough compensation right out of the gate to fully help the victim of a PWC accident rebuild their life. They don’t make claims easy and at the end of the day, it’s really all about their bottom line. An insurance company may doubt the damages you’re seeking when you file a claim and will often try to get you to agree to a small payout as soon as possible.
Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult, especially when you’re vulnerable right after an accident. Contact the Malley team to learn more about how we can help.