Charleston Jet Ski Accident Attorney
Jet Ski, Sea-Doo & WaveRunner Accidents in South Carolina
Often referred to by Kawasaki’s brand name, “Jet Skis,” personal watercraft offer a fun, popular alternative to traditional recreational boating. While many people safely enjoy using Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, WaveRunners, and other personal watercraft, accidents can still happen.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics report, personal watercraft accidents made up approximately 19% of all reported recreational boating accidents. Additionally, these vessels were among the most dangerous in terms of recreational boating casualties, second only to open motorboats. In the vast majority of personal watercraft accidents, operator inexperience played a contributing role.
When another person’s negligence causes injury or death, surviving victims and/or their families could be entitled to financial compensation for their losses. At Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC, we understand the devastating impact personal watercraft accidents have, including the many long-term challenges victims face. We dedicate a significant portion of our practice to this complex area of law, giving us a high level of knowledge, experience, and insight. If you or someone you love was involved in a Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, WaveRunner, or similar personal watercraft accident in the Charleston area, turn to our firm for the personal attention and guidance you need.
What to Do After a Jet Ski Accident
Because Jet Ski and other personal watercraft accidents occur on the water, there is a high risk of serious injury and fatal drowning. Immediately after the accident, it is critical that you check yourself and others for injuries and then get to a place of safety right away. If necessary, call 911 and/or the Coast Guard.
Once you have ensured your own safety and the safety of others, here are a few steps you should take after a Jet Ski accident:
- Exchange information with the other person/people involved. Get their name(s) and contact information, as well as their insurance information (if applicable).
- Avoid admitting fault, even if you believe you were partially or fully to blame for the accident. Further investigation may reveal that the other party was negligent and/or liable.
- Take pictures of your injuries, vessel (if damaged), and gather other evidence from the scene. Talk to any witnesses who saw what happened and get their name(s) and contact information.
- If you have boating insurance, you may need to report the accident to your insurance provider. Be sure to check your policy or contact an attorney for help.
- Report the accident to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) if it resulted in injury, death, loss of consciousness, disability, or property damage.
- Seek medical treatment for any non-emergency injuries. You should always see a doctor after a Jet Ski accident, even if you believe your injuries are minor.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering; an attorney can help you protect your rights.
When you contact our Charleston Jet Ski accident lawyers at Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC, we will begin an immediate investigation into what happened and who is liable. Because recreational boating insurance is not required in South Carolina, recovering compensation after a personal watercraft accident can be difficult. We strongly urge you to get in touch with our firm right away.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Jet Ski Accidents?
Every year, negligence plays a key role in the majority of personal watercraft accidents. This negligence takes many forms, from operator inattention to excessive speeds.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the most common causes of Jet Ski and other personal watercraft accidents include:
- Operator inexperience
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Excessive speed
- Navigational rules violations
- Intoxication/alcohol use
- Machinery failure
- Force of wave/wake
- Hazardous waters
- Sharp turns
If you were injured or if your loved one was killed in a Jet Ski accident in the Charleston area and you believe someone else’s negligent, reckless, or wrongful conduct was to blame, contact Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC right away to learn how we can help.
Who Is Liable for a Jet Ski Accident?
As in other types of personal injury claims, establishing the liable person or party is a key element of your recovery. Although boats, Jet Skis, and other vessels are motor vehicles, these types of accident cases are not like standard car accident claims. South Carolina boaters are not required to carry specific boating insurance, meaning you may need to bring a lawsuit directly against the individual who caused you harm. In other instances, a third party, such as a manufacturer or rental company, may be liable for your damages.
Determining who is liable for a Jet Ski accident involves investigating how the crash occurred and what factors—such as unsafe boater conduct, negligent rental policies, and defective machinery—played a role in your injuries. Our attorneys draw on decades of combined litigation experience to conduct exhaustive investigations and build powerful cases on behalf of our clients. In every case, we strive to maximize our clients’ recoveries, seeking fair compensation for their economic and non-economic damages.
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Moving forward after a Jet Ski accident can be difficult, but with the right legal team on your side, you can focus on healing. When you work with Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC, our attorneys will handle all the legal details of your case, from investigating the incident to negotiating for a fair settlement to preparing your case for trial.
To date, our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of the seriously injured, as well as the family members and loved ones of those wrongfully killed. We understand what you have been through, the challenges you face, and how to aggressively advocate for your recovery.
Thank you!- Scott S.
I highly recommend Christy and her partner.- Teresa Z.
Extremely professional!- Sue W.
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