Jet Ski Accidents on Georgia Lakes

Many Georgia residents and visitors to State frequent our beautiful lakes during the summer months, and jet skiing is an increasingly popular way to have fun on the water. Just spend some time on Lake Allatoona, Lake Blackshear, Lake Lanier, High Falls Lake, or Lake Oconee and you are likely to see jet skiers skimming over the waves. Unfortunately, the number of jet ski accidents in Georgia has risen with the number of watercrafts on the water, not only due to volume but also because of factors such as inexperienced and underage operators, risk taking, and alcohol consumption.

Factors Contributing to Jet Ski Accidents

According to the United States Coast Guard (USCG), jet skis (officially referred to as personal watercrafts or PWCs) have a higher collision rate than any other type of boat, and there are several reasons why, including:

  • Jet ski operators are often inexperienced, and many jet ski owners think nothing of allowing a novice friend or relative to take a jet ski out for a spin with no safety education or special instructions. The USCG found most jet ski accidents involve operators aged 11-20, and 73% had been riding less than an hour when their accidents occurred.

  • Jet skis have very limited slow-speed maneuverability and hardly any high-speed maneuverability when the throttle is suddenly closed. If a jet ski operator releases the throttle to avoid hitting another boat or person in the water, he or she effectively loses the ability to turn, and is likely to cause a collision notwithstanding the decrease in speed.

  • Jet ski operators frequently engage in potentially dangerous behaviors like wake jumping or making sudden turns. When these maneuvers go wrong, the operator (and/or passenger) is typically thrown from the jet ski, often resulting in broken limbs, broken tailbones, broken necks, and in the most serious cases, death.

In addition to operator error and the deceptively simple nature of jet skis and wave runners, mechanical failure and defective or missing safety equipment can also contribute to accidents. Unsurprisingly, intoxication is another leading cause of jet ski accidents, with either the waver runner operator or the operator of another vessel (or both) under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

After a Jet Ski Accident in Georgia, Call the Legal Team at KWFDM

If you or a loved one has been injured in a jet ski or wave runner accident, please contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC for a free initial consultation. Jet ski, wave runner, and boating accidents are often complex, and we can determine if a watercraft operator, manufacturer, rental company, or other party caused or contributed to your injury. We will also fight to ensure you are compensated for your lost wages, hospital bills, damaged property, and pain and suffering. Our office is here to assist you at 404-460-0101.

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