What To Do When You’re Injured in a Personal Watercraft

Dennis Sullivan

Dennis Sullivan is a shareholder with Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. in Houston. His trial practice has an emphasis in civil litigation, including representation of individuals injured by the negligence of others, including catastrophic injuries and those injured in aviation and maritime accidents.
Dennis Sullivan

Have you been injured in a jet ski, or personal watercraft accident?

Jet skis are considered to be personal watercraft.  The types of personal watercraft are wide ranging, and include SeaDoos, Jet Skis, or Waver Runners.  These watercraft are commonly used, and can be rented. They can provide endless hours of fun and relaxation, but, there are many risks associated with their use.  There are serious incidents that arise out of their use, including death and serious injury. 

 Did you know that a personal watercraft is considered to be a vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard?

This means that personal watercrafts are subject to the same rules as larger vessels are by the Coast Guard.  Several states require the operator of a personal watercraft to have a special license. Many injuries that arise from accidents involving personal watercraft are the result of the negligent operation of the watercraft.  The operator may have no training on how to operate the watercraft, or, the training may not be up to date. If the watercraft was rented, there is the chance that the rental company did not provide the operator with adequate training in order to operate the watercraft safely.

The owner of the watercraft has a duty to ensure that the watercraft is only operated by competent persons.  As a result, if there is an accident involving a personal watercraft, the owner can be held liable if the owner did not take the precautions that the law requires the owner to take.  This could include allowing an untrained operator use the watercraft, or, allowing an impaired person to operate the watercraft, or, allowing a watercraft to be used that is not received the proper maintenance or mechanical repair. 

Every operator of a personal watercraft should be provided with a personal flotation device.  It is part of the owner’s responsibility to make sure that the operator of the watercraft. If you have been injured as a result of an accident involving a personal watercraft, whether you were the operator who was not provided with the proper training and equipment, or a passenger, or, a bystander who was injured as the result of someone else’s operation of the watercraft, Stepp & Sullivan can help you recover all the compensation you deserve.  Stepp & Sullivan’s experienced lawyers can help with all types of personal watercraft accidents, including those caused by unsafe speed, operator inexperience, operator inattention, lack of training, lack of owner’s oversight, poor visibility, dangerous weather conditions, operating under the influence, and missing or defective safety equipment or improper maintenance and repairs.

Scroll to Top