What is a Jet Ski Accident?
What should you know about a jet ski crash?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, we will break down the notion of a Jet Ski Accident so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let’s dig into our boating knowledge!
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Table of Contents
Jet Ski Accident Overview
Every summer, we hear stories in the news about jet ski deaths, jet ski accidents, and jet ski injuries.
A jet ski (or Wave Runner) is commonly the term used to refer to personal watercraft (PWC).
Many engage in boating and water activities to get away from their usual routine hoping to find a good time to do quality activities with friends and family.
Unfortunately, due to a sudden accident, the activity turns into a fatality or a catastrophic event.
Jet ski accidents are constantly reported in the news during the summer period!
In most cases, when the user exercises care and diligence, follows proper safety guidelines, ensures that the jet ski is in proper working order, then the activity is safe.
However, it can get dangerous when proper safety measures are not taken just like riding a bike, driving a car, or another motor vehicle.
According to the United States Coast Guard, there are over a million PWC accidents in the United States.
What’s interesting is that according to certain studies, personal watercraft represents 8% of all of the watercraft accidents but at the same time represents a total weight of 26% of all reported boat injuries.
Jet Ski Injuries
What are the common injuries suffered in jet ski accidents?
Here are some of the common injuries suffered in jet ski accidents:
- Bone fractures
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Fractured ankles
- Dislocated orbital sockets
- Eardrum damage
- Broken wrist
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bruises, cuts, and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
Cause of Jet Ski Accidents
What are the main causes of jet ski accidents?
Jet ski accidents can happen due to the lack of the operator’s experience, making sudden or sharp turns, cutting the power to the engine, mechanical failure, collision with a rock or object, falling off jet ski, or other reasons.
In many instances, the jet ski wrecks could have been avoided as the operator may have been operating the jet ski under the effect of alcohol or drugs.
It’s important to remember that a jet ski can go up to 60 miles per hour on the water.
That’s a thrilling experience, to the extent it is done safely and with care.
Negligence and improper handling of the jet ski are the two main categories of jet ski accidents and over 60% of the water-related accidents are related to human error.
Here is a list of possible causes of jet ski accidents:
- Collision with a rock
- Collision with an object
- Use of PWC under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Human error
- Lack of experience
- During water sport activities
- Falling overboard
- Falling onboard
- Sharp turns
- Drastic changes in speed
- Mechanical failure
- Lack of training or inadequate instructions
- Reckless operation
- Equipment defects
- Improper maintenance of the jet ski
There are of course other reasons why an accident may occur.
Safety Tips To Prevent Accidents
What safety measures should you take when jet skiing?
There are certain measures that can be taken to reduce jet ski dangers, reduce chances of injuries, and even jet ski death.
All jet ski operators should know these basic measures:
- Make sure that the jet ski is equipped with the property safety equipment
- Respect all signage regarding speed limits, right of way, and idle warnings
- Don’t stay in restricted areas
- Make sure you do not overload the jet ski
- Understand how the engine cutoff lanyard works
- Wear a life vest
- Stay in sight of shore at all times
- Don’t operate the jet ski under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Keep a safe distance from others
- Do not go out in bad weather
- Make sure the jet ski operator meets minimum age requirements
- Ride safely
What To Do After An Accident
What should you do after a jet ski accident?
If you are involved in a jet ski accident, it’s important that you report the accident with the authorities in the event that:
- Someone has been severely injured
- Someone receives medical care beyond simple first aid
- Someone dies
- Someone is missing
- There is property damage
In minor accidents where you do not have a legal obligation to report it, it is best to report the accident to avoid future surprises.
A person involved in an accident may not feel injured or suffer an injury at that precise moment but the injuries may manifest themselves later.
To ensure you have the accident well documented so you can prove your innocence, it’s important to report the accident so the details and specifications are recorded.
It’s also important to ensure that you collect everyone’s names, contact information, gather witness names, and so on.
Personal watercrafts (or PWC) are subject to various state laws and to all general boating laws.
For example, in the state of Texas, a jet ski is subject to unique regulation applying to motorboats that are specifically designed to be operated by a person (or many people) sitting, standing, kneeling on the vessel rather than inside the vessel.
As a result, in Texas, jet skis and wet bikes are covered by the regulation.
For example, in Texas, here are some of the legal requirements that may be applicable:
- The operator must be wearing a United States Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (inflatable life jackets do not work)
- A person towed by a PWC is considered an occupant of the PWC and must have a life jacket
- A PWC equipped with a cut-off or kill switch must be attached to the operator
- You cannot use the PWC at night
- Children under 13 cannot use a PWC alone
Every state will have its own unique and particular requirements with regards to jet skiing, safety rules, and legal requirements.
Jet Ski Accident Lawyers
Jet ski accident lawyers are more generally referred to as personal injury lawyers or boating accident lawyers.
If you are involved in an accident causing personal or physical injuries resulting from the use of a jet ski or a personal watercraft, you may want to consult with a boating accident attorney to better understand your rights.
In many cases, as it relates to jet skis, the local state laws, and the general boating laws will apply.
In that case, the attorney you select should have a good knowledge and understanding of the applicable boating laws.
Some accidents may be caused by the malfunctioning of the jet ski.
In that case, the legal theories relating to product liability and the responsibility of the manufacturer may be at play.
So what does it mean to be in a Jet Ski Accident?
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
Jet Ski Accidents:
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