As the warmer months approach, many people in Kentucky choose to spend their spare time enjoying life on the water. This can include renting boats or jet skis for recreational activities. While this is a great way to spend free time, accidents are surprisingly common.

The U.S. Coast guard reported that in 2015 there was around $42 million of property damage due to recreational boating accidents. If you or a loved one has become injured due to an accident involving a jet ski or recreational boat, you may be confused as to who was liable, and consequentially who will have to pay the cost. It is important therefore that you understand how liability is calculated.

When is the rental company liable?

Companies that rent boats and jet skis to individuals for recreational purposes are subject to strict laws. They need to ensure that reasonable safety is maintained throughout the rental period. The rental company should, for example, ensure that all life vests are an appropriate size for the passenger so that they will perform their job. They should also conduct checks on the functioning of the mechanical aspects of the jet ski or boat. If it can be shown that the rental company did not fulfill their duty in keeping all passengers safe, they may be held legally liable for damages,

When is the individual liable?

If recklessness or negligence is exercised by an individual, they may be held responsible. For example, if a jet ski rider was making risky turns or traveling at excessive speeds, the accident may be considered to be their fault.

It is important to take action to understand your legal rights after a jet ski or boating incident.