Hundreds of people die each year and thousands are injured as a result of boating and jet ski accidents in the United States. It is important to note that a number of these accidents occur because of negligent operators. The most common cause of boating or jet-ski accidents is operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless operation and lack of knowledge, skill or training in terms of how to operate the vessel. According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s boating statistics, 709 people died as a result of fatal boating accidents in 2008.
Jet-skis and similar personal watercraft can definitely offer a thrilling experience and be a lot of fun. But, at the same time, they can be quite dangerous, especially in the hands of an inexperienced rider. It is, in many ways, not that different from riding a motorcycle on the roadway. Just like motorcycles, jet-skis, because of their size and the speeds they can reach, may not be visible to operators of larger boats or vessels. In many instances jet-ski accidents occur because larger boats do not see them.
The most common causes for tragic accidents involving these types of personal watercrafts are:
- Reckless operation of the recreational vessel
- Use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Passenger or skier behavior
- Mechanical malfunction
- Defective product
- Rough weather
- Water conditions, choppy waves
As with any type of vehicular accident, if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a boating or jet-ski accident caused by a negligent operator, that person could be held accountable for your injuries. If an accident results in death, then, the families of the deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation. If the boating or jet-ski accident was caused by a defective product, the manufacturer of the vessel can be held responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. Please contact our skilled boating accident attorneys immediately to discuss your case.