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Jury awards $21.7 million for brain injury victim

Many Michigan residents love to hit the lakes in the summer to swim, boat and jet ski. It is crucial for those who do take to the waters to be very diligent about practicing safe and responsible boating. A tragic case that has taken place in California illustrates the risks of failing to do so.

A young girl suffered a traumatic brain injury back in 2008 when the jet ski that she was riding on collided with a boat on the Colorado River. She has sustained permanent brain damage as a result.

The now 20-year-old was 15 at the time of the accident. 

She sued the drivers of the boat and jet ski as well as the maker of the jet ski, Polaris, in the aftermath of the accident. The lawsuit claimed that a known steering defect in the jet ski was the main cause of the collision.

The operator of the boat has been accused of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.

A jury ruled in favor of the victim in this case, and she has been awarded $21.7 million. Polaris is being held liable for about $11.5 million, with the operators of the boat and the jet ski being assessed the rest.

The award includes compensation for the victim's future medical expenses as well as her pain and suffering.

When people or companies are negligent and cause brain injuries, they can often be held liable for medical expenses, lost wages and the other related costs. Suffering a brain injury can change a person's life forever, and no amount of compensation can fix that. However, personal injury law does allow victims of such brain injuries to hold negligent parties accountable and obtain compensation to avoid being unnecessarily financially burdened by their injuries.

Source: Patch.com, "Injured Covina Women Awarded Millions After Jet Ski Crash," Gina Tenorio, July 24, 2013

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