Earlier this week on Lake Thurmond, a 14-year-old boy was critically injured when he fell off his jet-ski and then was hit by another jet-ski. According to a report by a local news source, the Columbia County accident occurred near Wildwood Park on a Saturday afternoon.
Evidently the boy was riding on a jet-ski alone when he fell off. As he was attempting to get himself back together and back on the personal watercraft, another jet-ski came by and hit him while he was in the water. The boy was transported by boat to the boat ramp in Wildwood Park, and then by ambulance to the entrance of the park, where he was then flown by helicopter to Georgia Regents Medical Center.
The latest update indicates that the boy is in critical but stable condition. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department are both conducting an investigation into the accident.
Personal Watercraft Injuries
While personal watercraft such as jet-skis and wave-runners can provide a lot of enjoyment when they are safely operated, they can also be extremely dangerous when used by young, inexperienced, or intoxicated riders.
The federal government tracks personal watercraft injuries, and below are some of the major causes of the injuries:
- Driver inexperience,
- Distracted operation of the vessel,
- Driving at inappropriate speeds given the conditions,
- Reckless driving,
- Improper lookout, and
- Off-throttle steering.
Driver Inexperience Is One of the Most Common Causes of Personal Watercraft Injuries
Of all of the above causes of serious and fatal personal watercraft injuries, driver inexperience is one of the most often cited causes. In fact, many states including Georgia have laws in place that restrict the operation of personal watercraft by minors.
For example, in Georgia it is not legal for anyone under 12 years old to operate a personal watercraft alone. Riders between the ages of 12 and 15 years old must first take a course on boating safety or be supervised or accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.
Georgia has other laws that restrict the use of personal watercraft in order to decrease these kinds of accidents. And when these rules are not followed, people are more likely to be hurt. When someone is hurt in a personal watercraft accident that was caused by another negligent rider, that rider can be held responsible for his or her negligent conduct.
Have You Been Injured in a Personal Watercraft or Boating Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a personal watercraft or boating accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the other party’s negligence. To do so, you must prove that the accident that caused your injuries was the fault of the other party. The trickiest part in personal watercraft injury cases may be preventing the defendant from shifting blame onto the plaintiff. To help ensure that does not happen to you, consult with a dedicated Georgia personal injury attorney before filing suit. Click here, or call 770-284-3727 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
See Related Blog Posts
Sheriff’s Deputy Caught in Hit-and-Run Accident, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 24, 2014.
Eight-Vehicle Accident on I-75 Kills Four, Injures Thirteen, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 21, 2014.