While personal watercraft – often called by the brand name Jet Skis – can be thrilling to ride, an accident on one can have serious consequences. Depending on the model, Jet Skis and other personal watercraft can have top speeds of 40, 60, and even 70 mph. Riders have little to protect them from harm in case of an accident on the water. They often suffer severe injuries as a result.
The United States Coast Guard tallied 4,291 accidents that involved 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries, and approximately $46 million in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents in a single recent year. Personal watercraft accidents made up 18% of these accidents.
Connecticut is among the 10 states with the highest fatality rates per 100,000 registered boating vessels. In 2017, there were 49 reported Jet Ski accidents in Connecticut, eight of which were fatal.
What Causes Jet Ski Accidents?
The most common factors in accidents involving Jet Skis include:
- Lack of training or inadequate instruction
- Speeding and reckless operation
- Lack of proper adult supervision
- Failure to watch for other boats, objects, or swimmers
- Equipment defects or failure
- Improper maintenance of the watercraft
- Unfavorable weather or water conditions
- Distracted boaters
- Fire or explosion
Injuries from Personal Watercraft Accidents
A day of fun on the water could quickly turn tragic if the operator, other boaters, or anyone else on the water is negligent. Personal watercraft accident injuries may include:
- Broken bones and fractures (particularly wrists and ankles)
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Head and facial injuries
- Back and spine injuries, including spinal cord damage that causes paralysis
- Bruises, cuts, and lacerations
Jet Ski riders are at an increased risk of drowning because they are more likely to fall into the water in an accident than people on boats.
Who Is Liable for a Jet Ski Crash?
Connecticut has rules for operators of boats and personal watercraft. In addition to laws on the water that boat and Jet Ski operators must follow, there are licensing requirements in Connecticut.
Whether you are a licensed boater or Jet Ski operator, a passenger, or a swimmer, you have the right to enjoy the water free from the negligence and recklessness of others.
Our attorneys can investigate the actions of those involved in the accident to determine fault and a basis for liability. Establishing responsibility and liability will likely begin with the following questions:
- Was any operator under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Did they fail to yield to another watercraft?
- Did they fail to slow down in a swimming area or no-wake zone?
- Were they operating without the proper certification as required by law?
If your attorneys determine someone else’s negligence caused you harm, we will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation possible that will allow you to get the treatment you need and move on with your life.
How Can Wocl Leydon Help Me?
If you have been a victim of a personal watercraft crash in Connecticut, you may have sustained injuries that caused you pain, missed work, lost wages, and other personal and financial losses. Working with the experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Wocl Leydon who understand boating laws and how to pursue a Jet Ski accident lawsuit is essential.
Call today for a free and confidential consultation so we can discuss your legal options.