Pedal boats are small recreational floating vessels that use foot pedals to power them rather than sails or engines. The boats are usually able to seat 2-4 persons, who are seated in the boat and operating the foot pedals. Due to their small size, slow speeds, and limited movement, they can be subject to various injury risks and risks of accident.
In particular, the most dangerous risk for pedal boats is if they capsize, as this can trap the boaters underneath, submerging them and exposing them to drowning risks. Other accidents can include:
- Collisions with other pedal boats
- Being struck by other faster, larger boats or sea vessels
- Collisions with rocks, shore cliffs, or other stationary objects
- Injuries resulting from overexertion due to the pedaling
- Accidents involving weather conditions
- Accidents or mishaps due to pedal boat defects or failures
Who can be Held Liable for Pedal Boat Accidents?
Most of the time, pedal boats are used in public areas where they can be rented for use in a limited area. The group of pedal boat users is often (but not always) accompanied by a guide or instructor during the boat usage. Under such rental conditions, the boat renters are often required to sign a liability waiver to relieve the rental company of liability in the case of an accident.
However, the rental company can still be held liable under certain conditions. For instance, if a guide acted negligently and allowed the boaters to travel into danger situations, they might be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur. Also, the rental company could be held liable if they rented out boats that they knew or should have known were dangerous to use or in need of repair.
Lastly, manufacturers of pedal boats can be held liable if injuries occur to users due to a product defect. An example of this is if there is an issue with the boat’s design that makes it prone to sinking or capsizing.
Are There any Legal Remedies for Pedal Boat Accidents and Injuries?
Pedal boat accidents and liability issues can be complex matters. They often require legal action to fully resolve any disputes involved in the incidents. In such lawsuits, the legal remedy will usually involve a monetary damages award to compensate the injured party for their losses. The damages award may cover expenses such as medical/hospital bills, surgery or therapy costs, and other losses like missed work wages.
In cases where a faulty product was at issue, the product will likely be subject to a recall by the manufacturer. Also, class action lawsuits may follow if many persons were injured by the defect issue.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Pedal Boat Accident Lawsuit?
Pedal boat accidents and injuries can be serious. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need help with a pedal boat accident claim. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and can guide you through the court process.