One thing I love about my job as a New York personal injury lawyer is that I am always learning new things. A novel personal injury case walks in my door and I say, “wow, I didn’t know that could happen”! But then I research it and find out that not only does it happen, it happens repeatedly. And it happens because someone, and not the poor injured guy, but rather a big, fat, rich company, screwed up.
Here’s a recent example: Two young ladies are riding on a jet ski (some manufacturers call them WaveRunners or Sea-Doos). The driver speeds up and the backseat passenger falls backward into the water. The fall into the water didn’t hurt, of course. It’s a fairly soft landing. And since a jet ski has no propellers, she did not get chewed up by a prop. (We have successfully represented several clients with prop injuries, one who lost her leg). No, what happened was that the jet ski’s “jet” of water pummeled her rectum so hard it caused severe internal damage. She almost lost her life by bleeding to death. And her rectum was so damaged that she ended up needing to wear a coloscopy bag.
These facts stunned me. At first I thought this was just a fluke accident, that the “jet” of the jet ski had coincidentally hit her at just a certain angle so as to be able to enter her anus and her rectum, and that it was a one-off event. I figured at best my client had a claim against the driver of the jet ski for accelerating too quickly. I wondered whether the owner or driver of the jet ski would even have liability insurance coverage for the accident. (Unlike for a car, New York law does not require boat insurance).