Boating Accidents – Recent Recoveries

17 year-old female was riding as a passenger on a jet ski when she was thrown off and injured during a collision. The evidence supported that the motor boat operator was operating his vessel close to the jet ski in an attempt to splash its female occupants and that previously, the jet ski operator had begun performing 360 degree turns on the lake. After the jet ski completed these maneuvers, the jet ski operator spotted the motorboat just a split second before the impact. The collision caused plaintiff to be thrown several feet into the water, leaving her face submerged in an unconscious state. She sustained several fractures, dislocations, infractions, pulmonary and cardiac contusions and blunt head trauma with resultant partial brain damage affecting memory and cognitive skills. Plaintiff was unable to complete college courses following the incident and sustained permanent injuries with lifelong limitations on her earning potential.

Jane Doe’s parents sued the operators of the motor boat and the jet ski, alleging that the motorboat driver steered his boat too closely to the jet ski, operating his boat at too great of speed, failing to slow, stop or otherwise maneuver away from the idled jet ski. The boat operator and the jet ski driver each blamed the other for the “horseplay” and should have been farther away from boat traffic before initiating any jet ski maneuvers.

The extensive injuries and subsequent necessary surgeries and rehabilitative periods caused serious and permanent scarring and lifelong limitations. Furthermore, plaintiff’s cognitive shortcomings are permanent. Medical charges alone exceeded $225,000.00. The boat’s insurance company previously refused to acknowledge the seriousness and extent of Plaintiff’s mental and emotional injuries. Medical specialists, a vocational rehabilitation expert and economist were retained to establish plaintiff’s injuries and damages. It was shown that the plaintiff would be unable to complete college and unable to work in her planned vocational choice with higher earnings.

Settlement – The parties settled for a low 7-figure amount paid by both defendants.

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