Jet skiing is one of the favorite activities for water sports enthusiasts. Unfortunately this fun sport may also result in injuries due to accidents. Jet Ski injuries can be severe and typically affects back, neck, head, and spine of the individual. These accidents can also lead to drowning accidents.
Majority of the Jet Ski accidents include collisions with fixed objects or other vehicles. Accidents can also be caused due to poor weather conditions, damaged vehicle, intoxicated driver, minor driver, and providing insufficient instructions to the drivers. In these cases the Jet Ski rental or owner can be liable for damages. However in some accidents, the driver could be at fault, for instance, not following the instructor’s instructions, failing to pay attention or following the rules, and excessive speeding.
Major Reasons of Accidents
It can be thrilling and fun to Jet Ski in the open ocean, but merely a second can change a fun outing to a traumatic one. These vehicles are easy to use, have low cost of maintenance and are affordable. As a result, this sport has gained popularity throughout the country. This has in turn also increased the rate of accidents which can be caused due to numerous reasons.
Following are some of the major causes of Jet Ski accidents:
Even though jet skis have low maintenance costs, some rentals fail to do regular maintenance. As a result, accidents happen that not only injur the driver but also other drivers or swimmers close by.
Many instructors often fail to share full instructions to the drivers. Without proper information about the rules, the vehicle and other details, the driver is bound to make some mistake leading to injuries.
Since jet skiing is easy and barely require any experience, therefore majority of the rental services don’t offer a safety course. Inexperienced drivers can result in risky maneuvers, like speeding constantly or trying out risky antics.
It is the responsibility of the Jet Ski rental or owner to ensure that the individual they are renting out the vehicle to is not intoxicated. An intoxicated driver cannot properly control the vehicle and is more likely to perform risky stunts.
These are three of the major reasons of Jet Ski accidents but such accidents can be caused due to many other reasons as well.
Liability for Jet Ski Accidents
If you or someone you know have been involved in a jet ski accident, you or other parties can be held liable for the accident depending on the situation. If you, as a driver, have shown negligence in following the instructions and rules while operating the vehicle which caused injuries to others then you will be held accountable.
However, the accident is not always the driver’s fault. In some cases the Jet Ski model might have some fault which means the manufacturer of the vehicle can be held liable. Moreover, the jet ski rental services might be liable if they rented out a defective vehicle, failed to give you proper instructions and share the rules and regulations with you.
Other factors can affect the liability case in these accidents. For instance:
- Driver consumed alcohol or used drugs after the vehicle was rented out to them. In this case, the owner or rental service cannot be held liable.
- The vehicle was altered to speed more.
- The accident occurred during a competition or a race.
- Local and state laws involving water sports accidents and operations.
It is important to consult an experienced injury lawyer to help you with the liability case.
About Boating Accidents in Florida
Boating accidents occur at a much higher frequency in Florida than anywhere else. These accidents sometimes end up in severe injuries, wrongful deaths, and property damages. It is reported that last year Florida experienced over 700 serious watercraft accidents where 400 were severely injured and 50 lost their lives. The top three reasons for accidents on the water are:
The same number one cause of car accidents is also the leading cause of boating and jet ski accidents. Most people enjoying recreation on the water do so with a playful mentality rather than a responsible mindset. Many forget that the machines they are operating are large, fast, and dangerous which can cause serious damage. When operating a boat or jet ski a high level of respect and care go into the operation of these vehicles and those who violate this responsibility accountable.
Many who have never driven a boat or jet ski do not know that propulsion and steering are nothing like driving a car on the road. First time operators tend to learn in the moment rather than prior to boat driving. All jet skiers and boaters have a responsibility while on the water, if inexperienced or unsure about how to drive one of these vehicles on the water they should not put themselves or others in hazardous positions. If someone gets hurt because of an inexperienced operator it does not excuse the at-fault driver from from the responisbility of victims who become injured.
Distracted driving causes hazardous conditions on the road, but even worse and more dangerous is a distracted or unattentative boat or jet ski driver. Boats, jet skis, paddle boarders, and other people on the water may be coming from multiple directions. Due to this it is extrememly important heed extra atention to everything around you at all times. According to the U.S. Coast Guard it is the responsibilty of all water vessel owners to maintain sight and sound of all prevailing conditions and circumstances that may present a situation and risk of collision.
Other Contributing Factors That Cause Accidents
Though it is not the leading reason for boat and jet ski accidents, alcohol is the leading cause of accidents that result in wrongful deaths. Due to the complexities of operating a vehicle on the water, alcohol effects boat and jet ski operators far greater than roadway drivers. The amount of environmental factors are highly increased such as moving water, waves, sun, rain, wind, engine noise, music, and sea animals.
How Can Injured Individual Find Legal Remedy?
It can be confusing and complex to file a financial compensation claim when you have been involved in a Jet Ski accident. As mentioned above, the skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer can be beneficial in proving who was negligent and to ensure you get properly compensated for the trauma. A strong ski accident claim case is usually based on the following various factors:
- Negligence – the most important factor that makes your claim stronger is proving the negligence of others. Your lawyer will create a solid claim stating how the avoidance of the negligence would have prevented the accident from occurring.
- Third Party Operator Suit – other ski driver who intentionally exceeded the speed limit, driving under influence, not being attentive, driving too close to your vehicle, or not following the rules can be responsible legally for the accident. Your lawyer can help you in suing the third parties to ensure you get your right to financial compensation.
- Suing Rental Company or Vehicle Manufacturer – in case the rental service or the manufacturer of the vehicle is responsible for the accident, then your lawyer can help in proving them liable. Defective or faulty parts of the vehicle typically leads to complex cases related to process of product manufacturing, product design and warning labels. These issues can be properly examined by an expert.
- Other Factors – the force of waves, not following waterway rules, alcohol or drug usage, dangerous waters and weather conditions can help in creating the base of your financial claim to prove the negligent party responsible.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries due to a Jet Ski accident caused by a negligent party, it is important that you consult an experienced injury lawyer immediately. It is highly recommended that these claims are filed as soon as possible after the accident.
A skilled lawyer will assist you to claim compensation for disfigurement or scarring caused due the accident, suffering and pain, future and past lost wages, and to recover medical expenses. If you are looking for an injury lawyer to create and fight the case for you, call Shiner Law Group now at 561-777-7700 to get a free evaluation of the case.