Lafayette residents are fond of enjoying the state’s beaches and waterways and many take every possible opportunity to do so. Swimming and boating are all favorite pastimes for locals. Unfortunately, when some fail to follow basic safety requirements and act in a reckless or negligent manner, the results can be tragic.
Recently, a boat accident sent two victims to the hospital. The victims were boating on the Ouachita River when they were suddenly struck by a jet ski carrying a driver and one passenger. Their boat capsized and they were thrown from the boat. Another group found all four parties and brought them ashore, but two had to be hospitalized. Authorities have arrested the jet ski driver, indicating that alcohol contributed to the collision.
Scenarios like this occur all too often on Louisiana’s lakes and waterways. A jet ski, while a recreational watercraft, is still a powerful machine and operators are required to exercise caution to avoid causing accidents and injuries. Drinking alcohol and driving a jet ski or similar craft is not potentially only punishable by law, but victims injured due to the negligence of these boaters may have a strong claim for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit as well. Police reports in particular can help establish that an intoxicated boater was not exercising reasonable caution and care for others on the water.
An intoxicated boater can leave accident victims with significant medical expenses, including emergency room bills, but a legal professional can help ensure that victims do not bear the costs alone.
Source: KNOE, “UPDATE: One arrested after boating accident on Ouachita River,” Jillian Corder, Oct. 6, 2013