Jet skis can be incredible fun during hot summer months and around Florida’s shores, but riders must recognize how dangerous these personal watercrafts can be. Jet ski owners must exercise caution when using these devices and take care to understand the legal ramifications of injuring someone while riding a Jet Ski.
Florida citizens are no strangers to the water, so the team at SteinLaw has composed this short primer about Jet Ski accidents for your reference. Read through the following information, and if you think a recent Jet Ski injury may constitute a lawsuit against a negligent party, reach out to our team.
As with other types of personal injuries, Jet Ski injuries fall under the purview of personal injury law. This means that to obtain a successful result from your lawsuit, you must prove the other party was negligent.
Establishing negligence hinges on your attorney’s ability to prove three things to a judge:
- The defendant (the person or party being sued) had a duty to act with reasonable care while operating the Jet Ski.
- The defendant breached this duty in some way. For example, operating a Jet Ski while intoxicated would be a breach of the duty to act with reasonable care.
- This breach directly resulted in the plaintiff’s (the party suing) injuries.
Injuries From Jet Skis
If you’ve been injured by a Jet Ski, your first priority should be medical attention. Jet Skis can easily strike swimmers, resulting in head injuries or other wounds from the impact. In some cases, a Jet Ski may knock someone unconscious and cause them to suffer oxygen deprivation or death by drowning.
According to a 2015 Executive Summary from the American Boating Association, the most common cause of death among all fatal boating accidents (with known causes of death) was drowning – accounting for 76% of deaths. The same study indicated that 85% of those victims were not wearing life jackets. A careless Jet Ski driver can easily hit swimmers at high speed, causing them to slip beneath the water if knocked unconscious. This should point out how important safety equipment is for Jet Ski drivers and passengers.
Other injuries that may result from Jet Ski accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Swimmers in deeper water are especially susceptible to harm from Jet Skis. Jet Skis inherently encourage high speeds, so an operator may not notice a swimmer’s head bobbing above the water’s surface in time to avoid him or her. Strikes to the head can result in skull fractures, hemorrhages, concussions, and unconsciousness.
- Damage from oxygen deprivation. Drowning is always a risk on the water, and even though a someone may pull this person from the water in time to prevent death, the victim may suffer serious complications from a lack of oxygen to the brain. This may include permanent impairments or disabilities.
- Broken Bones. Jet Skis may throw passengers off the craft at high speeds, or the operator may collide with solid surfaces or obstructions just below the water, out of sight.
After an injury, your doctor will be able to provide a medical report of your injuries and any possible lasting effects. This document will be invaluable to your case and necessary if you wish to secure compensation for any long-term damages. You don’t necessarily need to be a swimmer hit by a Jet Ski to seek compensation from a Jet Ski injury lawsuit. Passengers injured by a negligent driver can sue that driver if they sustain injuries as a result of the driver’s careless behavior.
If you have recently been injured in a Jet Ski incident and are wondering if you have options for legal recourse, contact the team at SteinLaw for a free consultation today.