Celebrity Accident Shines Light on Jet Ski Safety
R & B star Usher's 11-year-old stepson has been declared brain dead after being hit by a jet ski while tubing at Lake Lanier outside Atlanta, several news outlets are reporting. The tragic accident has raised public awareness about safety issues regarding jet skis and other personal watercrafts.
Child Was Floating on Inner Tube When Hit by Jet Ski
The child was reportedly riding an inner tube with a teenage girl when they were hit by a man on a jet ski. The boy was struck in the head and was non-responsive at the scene. He was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital along with the girl, who suffered a broken arm and head laceration. The boy was declared brain dead after the accident, the girl is in stable condition.
Jet Ski Accident Facts and Statistics
Information below provided by the United States Coast Guard.
- In 2011, jet skis were the cause of 1,158 accidents on the water, second only to open motorboats.
- 44 of these accidents resulted in death.
- 41% of these deaths resulted from drowning.
- The main cause of jet ski accidents was driver inattention or improper lookout ahead.
Types of Jet Ski Accidents
According to National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard, jet ski accidents may be caused by:
- Reckless Driving – This was the leading cause of jet ski accidents in 2007. Reckless driving includes jumping the wake of another boat within 100 feet of the boat, weaving through a congested area, driving fast in an area within 100 feet of an anchored boat or people in the water, or following too close to another boat.
- Driver Inexperience – 32% of people inured in jet ski accidents in 2007 had driven a jet ski less than 10 times. Drivers of jet skis may fail to receive the proper training and are often young in age.
- Off Throttle Steering – 24% of 2007 jet ski accidents cited this as a cause. Inexperienced drivers may believe they can steer a jet ski without engaging the throttle- this is false. Jet ski water crafts are thrust propelled, which means drivers must engage the throttle to have adequate steering.
- Driver Inattention – This caused 17.2% of jet ski accidents in 2007. An increase in the number of jet skis on the water has contributed to this cause. Another factor is the growing number of younger people driving jet skis who may not pay as much attention or have as much experience as older drivers.
Liability Issues in Jet Ski Accidents
When it comes to jet ski accidents, different parties may be liable depending on the conditions of the accident.
- Jet Ski Owners– If the person driving the jet ski was the direct owner and the accident occurred because of his/her negligence, that person may be liable for any damages. The owner may also be responsible if he/she lent out the jet ski without providing proper instruction.
- Jet Ski Rental Company– If the jet ski was damaged before being bought or rented then the company that sold or rented the jet ski could be liable for damages.
- Jet Ski Manufacturers– If the jet ski malfunctioned, the manufacturer that sold the jet ski may be liable for damages caused by any product defects.
- Jet Ski Drivers– If the driver rented the jet ski and the accident was due to his/her own negligence, that person may be liable for damages. If they did not receive the proper instruction, then the renting agency could be liable.
Contact an Experienced Jet Ski Accident Attorney
Anyone who is involved in any type of maritime accident- including boating and jet ski accidents- should immediately seek medical care. Even if an accident seems to be minor, you can prevent further health complications from developing by seeking immediate attention.
It is also essential to document any maritime injury in the accident report immediately after in occurs. The more detailed your report is, the better chance you have of receiving maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a maritime accident, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. We will thoroughly evaluate your case and help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.