Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Residents and visiting tourists enjoy the excitement, fun, and water sports experience in the Chicago area. Still, Illinois’ jet ski and boating accidents often pose a severe risk to operators and passengers with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the inviting waters of America’s waterways, oceans, streams, rivers, and lakes, including Lake Michigan along Chicago’s shoreline. Unfortunately, many water activities, including jet skis, cause significant hazards, leading to severe injury or death.

Did a personal watercraft cause your injuries or property damage? Did you lose a loved one in a jet ski accident caused by the negligence of another?

A Chicago boat accident lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can ensure you receive financial compensation for your damages, including lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering.

Contact a jet ski accident attorney today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation to discuss your particular case. Our legal team holds outdoor equipment and jet ski rental companies financially accountable for personal watercraft accidents.

Jet Ski Accident Attorney

Accidents Involving Jet Skis, Boats, and Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Often, companies that rent various watercraft equipment do not provide sufficient instructions to their renters. Insufficient boating training often leads to horrific jet ski accidents and severe injuries in preventable death.

The jet ski operator’s inexperience makes them incompetent to use the equipment in a restricted area or a boating lane. Jet ski accidents cause serious personal injury to equipment operators, boaters, and passengers.

Alcohol and drug use can cause horrific accidents when operating a boat or jet ski. Many catastrophic boating events happen every year as a result of congested traffic on America’s waterways.

The personal watercraft act stipulates that all riders must wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices such as life jackets at all times while operating the boats.

Many boat accident victims with injuries will hire a jet ski accident lawyer to ensure they receive the financial compensation they deserve for the personal injury damages.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) Vessel Collision

A PWC driver can be seriously injured if involved in an accident. An operator error in boat accidents is the leading cause of injuries. Unlike other vehicles, such as cars or motorcycles, boats don’t have brakes. Additionally, alcohol can play a role in boating accidents.

The dock is the busiest place on the waterway. Jet skiers zip in and out of the water, boats cruise by, and people are always coming and going in the area. Consequently, many accidents happen here all the time.

A PWC has the potential to create waves and a large wake which can create a danger for other vessels and swimmers. If a vessel hit you while you were skiing, and you were injured, you may have a personal injury claim.

<pJet Ski Accident Lawyers

Safety Measures to Prevent Personal Watercraft (PWC) Accidents

Be sure to complete training courses and familiarize yourself with the proper safety procedures before taking your jet ski out on the water to have fun. The anchored or moored vessel is obligated by law to have its navigation lights on at night.

The age limits for PWC drivers vary by state but are generally between 16 and 21 years old. When a jet ski hits the shore, it can cause serious injury to the rider. If you’re involved in a jet ski accident, seek medical attention immediately.

Boat services can be beneficial if you have a jet ski accident. If you are not familiar with the area, they can help you get to a safe place to get medical assistance.

A signaling device is an important safety feature on a jet ski. It helps other PWC users know your location and can prevent collisions.

Common Causes of Jet Ski Accidents Waverunners Crashes

In many boat incidences, outdoor enthusiasts could have avoided jet ski accidents if it were not for the unsafe and reckless operation or negligent acts. Many jet ski injuries result from intoxicated or reckless PWC operators or the negligence of jet ski rental companies.

Most accidents happen with other personal watercraft (PWC) or due to other common causes that include:

  • Colliding with various objects. including debris, sand bars, buoys, docks, poles, and other jet skis
  • Falling off the personal watercraft (PWC) at a high rate of speed
  • An accident caused by jet-skiing and sea-doo equipment failure
  • Jet ski accidents resulting from inadequate instruction
  • Renters with a lack of experience who fail to obey United States Maritime laws and regulations [1]
  • Not wearing life jackets
  • A jet skier traveling at high speeds
  • Personal watercraft constructed with defective products

These personal injury accidents often involve a visit to the emergency room followed by extensive medical treatment, hospitalization, and time off from work to heal.

Jet Ski Accident Attorney

Compensatory and Punitive Damages in Personal Watercraft (PWC) Accidents

Compensatory damages are awarded to a plaintiff to make up for the injuries and losses that they have suffered as a result of another party’s negligence.

Punitive damages are available in a jet ski collision lawsuit if the defendant’s conduct was so reckless or careless that it rose to the level of gross negligence. Gross negligence is defined as a wanton or reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Filing a personal injury claim for financial compensation when involved in personal watercraft (PWC) accident can be complicated and confusing. While there is little difference between a Chicago water accident and a Florida jet ski accident that ranks first in the nation, determining which party is liable can be complicated.

It often requires the skills of a reputable personal injury lawyer that can prove others’ negligence. Factual claims to obtain monetary funds are often based on various contributing factors that include:

  • Negligence: Most successful liability injury claims and lawsuits are based on the negligence of others. Skilled attorneys can usually show legal responsibility by demonstrating that theboat victim would not have suffered injuries if not for the responsible party’s action.
  • Filing a Third-Party Operator Suit: Others that could be responsible for causing the accident include operators exceeding the posted speed limit, inattention, operating a motorboat while intoxicated, riding too closely, or operating contrary to Illinois state waterway rules. Any person at fault could be held legally responsible. Skilled personal injury attorneys could sue third-parties to maintain their clients’ rights to ensure they are compensated.
  • Suing the Jet Ski Manufacturer or Rental Company: Sometimes, boat equipment manufacturers could be liable for the accident or severe harm when the victim’s personal injury attorney proves that the equipment was broken or defective. Jet ski rental companies may be held responsible if the liability waiver is not legally binding or poorly written. The rental company may not have adhered to jet ski laws regulated by the state of Illinois or provided properly maintained or malfunctioning equipment.
  • Other Factors: Weather conditions, dangerous waters, drug or alcohol use, failure to follow specific waterway rules, and the force of wakes and waves can also serve as the foundation for a strategy to prove the negligence of a responsible party.

Jet Ski Accident Attorneys

Filing a Claim Against a Responsible Party for a Person Injured in an Illinois Jet Ski Accident

Injured victims can file a civil lawsuit against any responsible party and their insurance company when involved in a jet ski crash caused by others’ negligent acts. A personal injury lawyer can ensure you, a loved one, or a PWC rider receives adequate compensation to pay for medical bills associated with the accident.

Our jet ski accident lawyers can help victims file a compensation claim against:

  • Another personal watercraft (PWC)driver
  • Manufacturer for a manufacturing or design defect
  • Rental companies with improperly maintained equipment

Jet Ski Accident FAQs

Our personal injury law firm knows that many families are concerned about complications with filing and resolving outdoor injury cases when the negligence of another harms the victim. A water skiing accident lawyer from our law office has answered some of those water skiing accident questions below.

Call us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for more answers.

Can You Get Hurt While Riding Jet Ski?

According to the National Safety Council [2], jet skiers have little protection when operating their personal watercraft (PWC) when involved in a crash. Due to a lack of protection, the victim can suffer severe injuries ordeath.

Common injuries associated with a personal watercraft accident include broken bones, lacerations, near-drowning, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and internal organ damage.

What Happens When You Fall Off a Jet Ski?

Jet ski makers manufacture their vessels to automatically turn around when the operator falls off in a circular motion. New personal water vessels are manufactured with a lanyard turn-off feature that kills the engine when the driver falls or jumps off the personal watercraft.

Personal watercraft repair shops can retrofit lanyards on older models to update the safety features, including a kill switch.

How Dangerous Is Jet Skiing?

According to the US Coast Guard, there were a significant 30% rise in personal watercraft (PWC) accidents resulting in over 35% increase in boat-related injuries.

Many of these accidents involve:

  • Inexperienced jet skier
  • Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Mechanical failures
  • Operator inattention
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Dangerous waters
  • Operating at a high speed
  • Not obeying waterway rules
  • Not providing other boaters the right-of-way

How Many Jet Ski Deaths Every Year?

The United States Coast Guard [3] reports that up to fifty individuals die in jet ski accidents every year. Statistics show up to 700 moderate to severe injuries reported to the waterways regulator every year involving jet ski events.

As of 2019, approximately twelve million recreational vehicles, including jet skis, are registered in America. Statistically, personal floating vessels are significantly more hazardous than speedboats and other vessels.

Can You Die From Falling off a Jet Ski?

According to the National Safety Council, personal watercraft can travel upwards of 60 mph or more, creating a dangerous environment for an inattentive operator. Inexperienced boaters are often unaware that jet skis do not have a braking system or do not understand boating laws to ensure they, and others, remain safe.

Personal watercraft cannot be operated at night, and children under the age of fourteen cannot operate jet skis unless accompanied by an experienced operator eighteen years or older.

Can a Jet Ski Tip Over?

Jet ski makers have manufactured later models to be extremely stable and challenging to tip over. However, if the vessel is rated for an operator and passenger, there may be an increased risk of tipping over if additional passengers are on board.

Ultimately, staying safe on a jet ski will rest with the operator, ensuring that all those on board follow established boating laws.

Jet Ski Accident Law Firm

Hiring a Jet Ski Accident Lawyer to Resolve Your Boating Accident Case

Was your loved one killed in a jet ski accident as a driver? If so, a personal injury accident attorney from the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC law firm can determine who is at fault or responsible for the injuries caused by an Illinois jet ski accident.

Our Illinois boat injury attorneys can pursue an internal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit against appropriate parties for financial recovery based on the damages involved.

Damages often include financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages due to missed work, emotional distress, pain, and suffering. Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) to access real-time assistance.

Speak with a Chicago jet ski accident lawyer during a free consultation for legal advice. All sensitive information you share with our injury lawyers remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.

Resources: [1] US Legal, [2] National Safety Council, [3] United States Coast Guard

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
Free Consultation (888) 424-5757