Now that the state is opening up and people are getting back to “normal” life, party buses and boats are back in full swing. Although no one expects to be injured or worse when they get on board a party vehicle, accidents happen all the time.
In late May 2021, passengers were injured when the Cleveland Tiki Barge—“Cleveland’s Only Floating Tiki Bar”—crashed into another boat on the Cuyahoga River. The other boat was moored at the time. Although multiple passengers were injured, no explanation was given at the time. The captain was fired later.
Many party bus or party boat injuries are a result of mixing alcohol and a moving vehicle—two things that can impair passenger coordination and judgement. In those cases, the passenger is usually responsible for their own injuries. However, there are a few instances in which the owners or operators may be liable: defective equipment, lack of proper maintenance and negligent operation.
Sometimes accidents are caused by manufacturer’s defects, whether the entire vehicle or a single part. When a company buys their party bus or boat new, they may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible for any accidents caused by the defective product. If a company purchases a party boat or bus in used condition, they still need to verify that it is in good working order before bringing people aboard.
If the manufacturer or owner isn’t responsible for the injuries, it may be worth investigating whether the refurbisher—usually a mechanic—is to blame.
Lack of Proper Maintenance
Party vehicle owners and operators have a duty to maintain their vehicles properly. Depending on what kind of vehicle and where they operate, they are often subject to a host of federal or state standards. If an accident occurs and it’s found that they failed to maintain their vehicles properly, they could be liable for injuries that occurred as a result.
Finally, negligent operation can cause accidents. Drivers or captains of “common carriers” have a heightened duty of care to their passengers. This means that they are expected to exercise the utmost skill, care and judgement when transporting passengers on roads, rivers or other bodies of water. When a driver or captain fails to uphold that heightened duty of care, they and/or their employer may be liable for any injuries that occur.
Talk to an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Case
No one expects their party to end in injury. Have you been hurt while on a party bus or party boat? If the owners or operators are liable, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.944.4373 for a consultation.