Who Is Liable in a Jet Ski Accident in Dallas?
For those of us who enjoy being in the water during the summertime, there are many fun activities in which to partake. If you and your family enjoy fishing, for example, you can rent a boat and go out on the water from morning to evening. If boating or fishing isn’t your thing, you can enjoy activities like surfing and wakeboarding.
People who want the best of both worlds enjoy Jet Skiing. However, serious accidents can happen when you are on the water, Jet Skiing included. Jet Ski accidents are one of the more common watercraft accidents that happen during the summer months.
What are common causes of Jet Ski accidents?
Jet Ski accidents occur as a result of negligence. Some of the common causes of Jet Ski accidents include:
- Alcohol use. Jet Skiing is one of many fun activities people do on vacation or the weekends. Unfortunately, many riders decide to Jet Ski after they have consumed alcohol. Similar to driving a motor vehicle, riding on a Jet Ski after drinking alcohol clouds your judgment and affects your cognitive abilities.
- Lack of experience. There are no serious requirements for riders who want to rent a Jet Ski. Many people who ride on Jet Skis often do so for the first time with no experience. This can easily lead to accidents if drivers begin to panic and lose control of their watercraft.
- Speeding. Another common cause of Jet Ski accidents is reckless operation. Reckless driving can occur when drivers decide to excessively speed while operating their Jet Skis. This puts them at risk of striking another watercraft and/or being ejected from their own.
- Distracted driving. Just like motor vehicle drivers, Jet Ski operators can become distracted while on the water. If there are other people around heckling or stealing the rider’s attention, the driver can lose focus and strike an object or swimmer.
How often do Jet Ski accidents happen?
Many people would assume that boating accidents are some of the common watercraft accidents that happen each year. However, Jet Ski accidents are considered one of the more dangerous water vessels between the two. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 670 reported injuries and 55 fatalities involving personal watercraft in 2021. Of those deaths, 29 were the result of drowning.
What are common injuries from Dallas Jet Ski accidents?
Jet Ski accidents can cause the following injuries for riders:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Limb loss
- Compound fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death
Who is liable in a Jet Ski accident?
When you or a loved one have been seriously hurt from a Jet Ski accident, you deserve to seek compensation for your injuries. There are several parties that you may hold liable:
The rental company. Companies who rent out Jet Skis to consumers must follow strict licensing laws. There are certain procedures that rental companies must follow to ensure the rider’s safety. For example, the rental company is required to ensure that all life vests are appropriately sized for their riders. Rental companies also have the responsibility of ensuring that the Jet Ski is properly maintained and functioning.
The Jet Ski driver. If you or your family member has been hit by a Jet Ski, the Jet Ski operator can be held liable for your injuries. Whether they caused your accident through intoxication or excessive speeding, they can be held accountable for their negligent actions.
An establishment that served alcohol. Based on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to hold the establishment who served a Jet Ski operator alcohol liable for your injuries. Texas follows what is known as dram shop laws. Dram shop laws hold establishments that serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons responsible for the damages they cause.
If the person was clearly intoxicated to the point that they could present a clear danger to themselves and others, it will be easier to hold the establishment liable for your Jet Ski accident. Your Texas attorney will also need to prove that the person’s inebriation was a direct cause of your injuries.
Jet Ski manufacturers. Product manufacturers can also be liable for your Jet Ski accident. Your accident could have been caused by defective parts, for example. If your personal injury attorney can show dangerous or faulty parts caused your accident, you can file a claim against the Jet Ski manufacturer.
How a Dallas boat accident lawyer can help
This may be your first time dealing with a personal injury case of this kind. Many victims of Jet Ski accidents are not familiar with the licensing requirements or the duty of care that rental companies have towards their safety. An experienced boat accident lawyer can help prove how the rental company’s negligence contributed to your accident. Your Dallas injury attorney can also help evaluate your claim and ensure you secure the proper compensation for your injuries.
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas Personal Injury lawyers are avid boaters and understand from experience the risks associated with spending time on the water. We have served Texas for three decades, and want to help you after a serious injury. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth, call 888-340-4028, or complete our contact form.
The firm handles cases involving catastrophic personal injuries and deaths. Our work spans three decades of handling airplane and helicopter crashes, truck and car accidents, oilfield and construction accidents, and other devastating accidents. We try lawsuits throughout the country in both federal and state courts and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. To date, we have handled or tried cases in 47 states, read more about our attorneys and firm.