Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 17, 2015 – Summer is a popular season for spending time outdoors in and on bodies of water, and it is common to see people out on their jet skis or boats. However, these activities may become dangerous, as many watercraft drivers do not have proper training or are under the influence while out on the water.
“Jet skiing can be deadly,” said Austin, T.X. personal injury attorney Bobby Lee, of Lee, Gober & Reyna. “If you do not know how to drive one, have no [or limited] experience handling them or are under the influence when driving one, you are asking for trouble.”
The number of personal watercraft accidents has significantly jumped since the introduction of jet skis in the late 1960s.
In 1998 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report revealing the top four reasons cited for personal watercraft accidents:
· Going too fast for conditions
· Improper lookout
Personal watercraft accidents are the second-largest transportation cause of injury in the U.S. after automobile accidents. The following case points out the dangers of piloting a watercraft without any experience.
A small group of friends spent Easter Sunday on the San Jacinto River in Harris County on what had been intended to be a fun afternoon. Two individuals hopped on one jet ski and were pulling an inner tube behind them with two people on it.
Another member of the group hopped on a second jet ski, but the driver did not know how to operate the craft. The driver got behind the first group and powered up his jet ski to catch up. Just as he was about to come alongside the group, he shut the craft off. “When you shut down a jet ski, it cannot be manoeuvred. Instead it heads in the same direction it was last going when switched off,” said Lee, who is not involved in this case.
The second jet ski was headed straight toward the inner tube. On impact, both tube riders were thrown into the water. One surfaced and sustained no injuries. The other lost his life jacket and drowned.
“It appears there was negligence involved in this case, unless the jet ski sustained a mechanical failure,” Lee added. “However, the second jet ski driver had no training or experience with personal watercraft and failed to follow even common sense safety rules for avoiding collisions on the water.”
For those who have suffered injuries as a result of a jet ski or boating accident, make it an immediate priority to contact a skilled personal injury attorney to find out about obtaining compensation for any injuries sustained.
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759