A personal watercraft, like a jet ski, can be a lot of fun to use on the water. With their powerful engines and small size, they offer an intense thrill that many other water vessels can’t match. But handling a jet ski or other personal watercraft safely takes training, experience, and the proper mindset. While they aren’t as common as some other accidents, jet ski accidents often leave victims with serious injuries or can lead to death by drowning.
If you or a loved one have suffered a boating or jet ski accident in Georgia, contact the jet ski accident lawyers at Butler Kahn right away. Our Georgia jet ski and boating accident lawyers have earned numerous awards for our exceptional service. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Because we limit our caseload, we are better able to provide you with the care and attention you deserve. Contact our law firm offices today for a free initial consultation.
What Are Some Common Causes of Boating and Jet Ski Accidents?
There’s a lot of overlap between boating and jet ski accidents, and some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
- Unsafe water or weather conditions – Taking a boat or personal watercraft out onto the water in high winds or during a lightning storm can put operators and passengers in extreme danger. Similarly, strong water currents or similar hazards can make it hard to maintain control of a boat or jet ski, leading to an accident.
- Faulty equipment – Leaks in the hull of a boat or the body of personal watercraft can cause the vessel to sink or lead to other mechanical issues. Operators and passengers can also become stranded on the water if there’s a problem with the engine of a boat or personal watercraft.
- Lack of safety equipment – Anyone operating or riding as a passenger on a personal watercraft should wear a life jacket in case of an accident, otherwise, they could drown. Likewise, not having enough life jackets on a boat can put operators and passengers in danger if an accident occurs.
- Not taking safety concerns seriously – Many people don’t take proper safety cautions when using a boat or personal watercraft because they underestimate the risks involved. This can lead them to go too fast, turn too quickly, or take other actions that place them in danger.
- Collisions with other boats or personal watercraft – Getting too close to another boat or jet ski on the water is dangerous. These vessels can be difficult to maneuver in tight quarters, making accidents much more likely.
- Collisions with stationary objects – Operators of boats or jet skis need to be careful and slow down when approaching docks, buoys, or other stationary objects on the water. A collision with a stationary object can throw operators or passengers into the water, causing them to drown or sustain serious injuries.
- Collisions with underwater hazards – Rocks and other underwater hazards can cause accidents if operators don’t pay attention to their surroundings. A collision with an underwater object could cause passengers to fall or be thrown.
- Intoxication – As is the case with operating any other vehicle, operating a personal watercraft while intoxicated is extremely dangerous. Alcohol and drugs can cause slowed reaction times, impair operators’ judgment, make risky or aggressive behavior more likely, and make it harder to respond in the event of an emergency.
What Are Common Causes of Jet Ski Injuries and Deaths?
Many people think jet ski accidents on the water are less dangerous than other vehicle accidents, but this is not necessarily the case. Some of the common causes of injuries and deaths in boating accidents are:
- Drowning – Drowning is a major safety concern when it comes to boating and jet ski accidents. An operator or passenger who ends up in the water without a life jacket or while unconscious can drown and die in minutes. While some drowning victims can be revived with CPR, victims in these cases often suffer brain damage or may not ever regain full consciousness.
- Falls – Falling onto the deck of a boat or from the seat of a jet ski can cause major injuries or death, especially if someone hits their head and suffers a brain injury.
- Being run over by a boat or jet ski – If someone falls off a boat or Jet Ski and lands in the water, they could get run over by the vessel before anyone has time to react. This can cause severe injuries and may lead to an accident victim losing consciousness and drowning.
- Propeller blade injuries – Placing your hands or other parts of your body anywhere near the propellor of an engaged engine is extremely dangerous. If you suddenly slip or are pushed by someone else, your body could get caught in the blades, leading to severe cuts or other injuries.
Is driving a Jet Ski drunk against the law?
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the category of water vessels with the second-highest number of injuries and casualties in a recent year was personal watercraft, such as jet skis. What’s more, alcohol was listed as the primary contributing factor in 404 of the 7,248 overall water accidents recorded that year. 58 of those 404 accidents involved personal watercraft.
Alcohol dulls operators’ reflexes and makes it harder for them to recognize potential hazards and can make them more prone to aggressive or reckless behaviors. What’s more, if someone who’s drunk falls into the water, they’ll have a much harder time avoiding drowning.
How Do I Pursue a Jet Ski Accident Claim?
If you have been injured in a water vehicle accident caused by a negligent operator or another party, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. A Georgia jet ski accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence to show how the operator’s careless behavior led to the accident and your injuries. Then, they’ll work vigorously to seek fair compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
By working with an experienced lawyer, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical care bills, present, and future
- Lost income
- Reduced earning potential due to a disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Damaged personal property
Contact Our Atlanta, Georgia Jet Ski Accident Lawyer Today
A jet ski accident can be just as damaging as any car accident, if not more so. The boating accident lawyers at Butler Kahn want to help if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident on the water, so call our law firm today for your free initial consultation.