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Fatal Jet Ski Accident Provides Reminder of the Importance of Safe Personal Watercraft Operation

July 20, 2013

The summer weekends often usher in a variety of activities that include recreational activities like jet skiing.  While jet skis and other personal watercrafts (PWCs) can provide fun and excitement, they also can reach top speeds that rival a car, truck or SUV on land without comparable handling abilities.  When a jet ski propels a rider across the surface of the water at speeds of sixty mph with no brakes, the decision to avert one’s full attention for even the briefest moment, or the careless actions of another boater, can lead to catastrophic consequences.  Atlanta jet ski accidents can leave injury victims permanently incapacitated or cause the tragic death of loved ones.

When you are injured in a Georgia jet ski accident, either as a rider of the jet ski or someone operating another watercraft, or a swimmer in the water, you may have a legal claim to financial compensation for your injuries depending on the specific facts of your situation.  Those operating jet skis have a legal duty to operate personal watercrafts with reasonable care to avoid causing foreseeable injuries to others.  Violations of this legal duty might include:

  • Operation of a PWC while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Inattentive operation of a jet ski
  • Failure to observe a safe speed while operating a jet ski
  • Non-compliance with basic jet ski and water traffic safety rules
  •  Traveling against the flow of traffic

Even when a jet skier is operating the PWC responsibly, there may be other parties that contribute to a serious jet ski crash.  Many people rent jet skis from companies that re-rent the watercrafts hastily with minimal inspection or maintenance between rentals.  If lack of maintenance by the jet ski rental company causes the jet ski to malfunction so that a PWC accident occurs, the business that rented the jet ski may be liable for injuries to those involved in a jet ski accident.  Similarly, jet ski rental companies also may be liable if they fail to provide adequate instructions and safety guidance to those who rent jet skis and other PWCs.  Sometimes a jet ski may have product defects in terms of their design, manufacturing or warnings, which may mean that the PWC maker is legally responsible for the jet ski accident.

A fatal Fourth of July jet ski accident in another state that led to the tragic death of two riders provides a reminder of the potential danger involved if PWCs are not designed, maintained and operated in a safe fashion.  The woman operating the jet ski fell off the PWC into the water, and someone whom she was with jumped in the water in an attempt to rescue her according to a Reuters report.   The law enforcement agency that investigated the tragic incident indicated that neither party was wearing a life vest based on the Reuters report.  “This is a very unfortunate incident which further stresses the importance of water safety and of wearing a life jacket, especially while riding a jet ski,” Coast Guard Lieutenant Alfred Betts told Reuters.

Our Atlanta personal injury law firm expresses its deepest condolences to the families of this tragic personal watercraft accident.  If you or someone close to you suffers injury in an incident involving a jet ski or other boat or watercraft, our experienced PWC accident attorneys and boat accident attorneys are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.  

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.