Can I Sue If I Was Injured While Renting a Recreational Vehicle? 

 July 21, 2015

By  LMW Attorneys

Recreational vehicles, such as jets skis, small speedboats, ATVs, dirt bikes and campers, are considered dangerous by nature. That’s why rental companies often go to extreme lengths to protect themselves from lawsuits with intricate liability waivers. However, even though you may have signed a legally binding waiver before renting a recreational vehicle, that does not mean you are not entitled to fair compensation after experiencing an accident. Here, we’ll explain when a personal injury lawsuit may be valid in this situation and how you can strengthen your case.

Suing After a Recreational Vehicle Accident

When someone signs a liability waiver before renting a recreational vehicle, they are legally acknowledging an assumption of risk. In the rental company’s defense, it may use the fact that the plaintiff was aware of potential danger before the accident occurred as a way to invalidate their claim. However, in situations where the plaintiff was not at fault for their own injury (i.e. was adhering to clearly stated rules and safety regulations), the assumption of risk argument may not apply. Here are some situations in which someone injured in a recreational vehicle accident may be entitled to compensation:

Problems With the Recreational Vehicle

– Vehicle was defective or broken at time of rental

– The vehicle experienced a mechanical failure while you were using it

– The area in which you were authorized to use the vehicle was not safely maintained

Problems With the Liability Waiver for Recreational Vehicle Rental

– If liability waiver is poorly written or defined, it may not be legally binding

– If you were coerced or forced to sign the waiver

Other Possible Scenarios That May Validate Recreational Vehicle Injury Claim

– Rental company may not have adhered to state laws regarding the particular recreational vehicle

– A third party operator (someone else operating a separate recreational vehicle from the same rental company) caused the accident by acting negligently.

The Best Odds For Winning Your Recreational Vehicle Injury Case

As with any personal injury case, a clear element of negligence must exist. That means it must be provable that your injury occurred as a direct result of someone else’s negligent action. In other words, you would not have been injured if it had not been for the rental company or third party operator’s malfeasance.

To collect a sufficient amount of evidence for your case, you will want to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, we’ve been helping victims of personal injury for more than 40 years. Call us today at 727-478-4125 or request a free consultation online.