Scuba diving, parasailing and renting jet skis are all popular vacation activities. But they all present risks as well. Unfortunately, while participants can mitigate some of these risks, many of the risks involved are beyond participants’ control.
For vacationers who get injured in watersports accidents, hiring an experienced scuba diving, parasailing or jet ski accident lawyer is an important part of the recovery process. While excursion companies, manufacturers and other businesses can be held liable for these accidents in many cases, filing a successful claim requires a thorough understanding of maritime law and the legal issues involved.
Understanding Your Legal Rights After a Watersports Accident
If you’ve been injured in a watersports accident, it is important to make sure you have a clear understanding of your legal rights. While you will need to speak with a scuba diving, parasailing or jet ski accident lawyer to obtain legal advice that is custom-tailored to your individual circumstances, generally speaking, your legal rights include:
1. You Have the Right to Find Out What Went Wrong
After a scuba diving, parasailing or jet ski accident, you have the right to find out what went wrong. This will involve hiring a lawyer to conduct a thorough investigation. Depending on what happened, your lawyer may need to speak with witnesses, review photos or videos from the accident scene, obtain maintenance records and other documents, and gather various other forms of evidence in order to determine—and prove—why you are now dealing with your injuries.
While it will be possible to determine what went wrong in many cases, after an accident on the water, the clock starts ticking. The longer you wait to hire a lawyer to investigate, the more difficult it can become to prove your legal rights. As a result, even though you may want to get back to your vacation, it is extremely important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
2. You Have the Right to Sue for Just Compensation
If an excursion company, dive tank or parasail manufacturer, boat owner, or any other person or company is responsible for your accident, you have the right to sue for just compensation. Some examples of potential grounds to sue following a watersports accident include:
- Inadequate Maintenance – Failure to properly maintain scuba gear, jet skis, boats, parasails and other watersports equipment is a leading cause of accidents and injuries.
- Negligent Supervision or Instruction – Excursion companies and other businesses must ensure that their personnel receives adequate supervision and training, and they must provide adequate supervision and instruction for their customers on the water.
- Negligent Boat Operation – Negligent boating is an extremely common factor in watersports accidents. This includes negligent operation by tour and charter companies as well as negligent operation by other recreational and commercial boaters.
- Product Defects – If a dive tank, jet ski, parasail or any other piece of equipment is defective when it leaves the factory, the manufacturer may be fully liable in the event of a serious accident.
- Failure to Meet Safety Requirements – Failure to meet safety requirements on the water (i.e., observing dive flags and ensuring that there are enough personal floatation devices (PFDs) onboard) is a factor in many watersports accidents as well.
Again, these are just examples. If you have any reason to suspect that someone else (or a company) may be liable for your injuries, you should schedule a free consultation with a lawyer promptly.
3. You Have the Right to Seek an Insurance Settlement Out of Court
While you may need to file a lawsuit, you may also be able to obtain an insurance settlement out of court. Most companies (and many boat owners) have liability insurance that covers watersports accidents. If you have access to liability insurance coverage, your lawyer can file an insurance claim and seek the maximum coverage available based on your accident-related losses.
4. You Have the Right to Understand the Long-Term Costs of Your Injuries
Regardless of whether you have access to insurance coverage, you have the right to understand the long-term costs of your injuries. Under no circumstances should you feel pressured to settle before you know how much you are entitled to recover. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will calculate the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
5. You Have the Right to Be Treated Fairly
When filing a claim for a watersports accident, you have the right to be treated fairly. The at-fault party’s insurance company must handle your claim in good faith, and no one should try to get in the way of recovering the financial compensation you deserve. If the at-fault party’s insurance company does not handle your claim in good faith, this may entitle you to additional damages.
6. You Have the Right to Make Informed Decisions
From where to go for treatment to when (and if) to accept a settlement, you have the right to make informed decisions about all aspects of your claim and recovery. You can—and should—rely on your lawyer’s advice, and you should make all decisions with your long-term best interests in mind.
7. You Have the Right to Hire a Lawyer
When you have a watersports accident claim, you have the right to hire a lawyer to handle your claim on your behalf. With contingency-fee representation, you pay nothing out-of-pocket, and you pay nothing at all unless your lawyer helps you recover just compensation.
Do You Need a Scuba Diving, Parasailing or Jet Ski Accident Lawyer? Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you need to speak with a scuba diving, parasailing or jet ski accident lawyer, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. We have decades of experience representing accident victims and their families, and we can use this experience to fight for the financial compensation you deserve. To schedule an appointment as soon as possible, call 800-499-0551 or tell us about your case online now.