Jet Ski Accidents Attorneys in Richmond & Tappahannock, Virginia

Jet Ski Accidents

Personal watercraft such as jet skis are a fun way to spend a day on one of Virginia’s many lakes and bays. But with the freedom of a personal watercraft comes a legal responsibility to act in a safe and responsible manner. Unfortunately, too many operators are just the opposite–they disregard safety and end up causing an accident that can hurt other innocent people on the water.

If you have been injured in a collision with a personal watercraft, Richmond jet ski accident lawyer Ryan Wind can help. His team at Wind Law, LLC, represents individuals who are dealing with serious, and sometimes life-threatening, injuries arising from the negligent operation of watercraft. He can advise you of your rights under the law and work to negotiate a full and fair settlement with the negligent parties to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your losses.

Personal Watercraft Operators Often Ignore Basic Safety Rules

Virginia law defines a personal watercraft (PWC) as a motorboat less than 16 feet in length that is powered by a jet pump rather than a propeller and the operator stands, kneels, or sits on the vehicle rather than inside of it. (Although people commonly refer to all PWCs as “jet skis,” that is actually the brand name of a particular model of PWC.) Some PWCs are designed to carry passengers in addition to the operator.

There are certain basic safety rules that all PWC operators must follow in Virginia, including but not limited to the following:

  • All operators must take an approved boater safety course.
  • Anyone on a PWC must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • It is against the law to use a PWC between sunset and sunrise.
  • An operator may not carry more passengers than what the PWC was designed to hold according to the manufacturer.

Personal Watercraft Operators

Additionally, all PWC operators are expected to adhere to the basic rules of navigation applicable to all watercraft. Indeed, jet ski accidents are often the result of negligent acts that are common to boating or car accidents, such as:

  • operating a PWC while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • operating a PWC at excessive speeds;
  • failing to keep a proper lookout for other watercraft or people in the area; and
  • making a mistake due to a lack of experience in operating a PWC.

Any type of negligent or reckless operation of a PWC can cause serious injury, either to other passengers on the jet ski or other people who may be harmed if there is a collision with another watercraft or a dock.

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If you have been seriously injured in an accident with a PWC, Virginia law allows you to seek compensation from the negligent parties. This includes damages to not only cover your medical bills, but also any lost wages or income due to time lost from your job, as well as compensation for your ongoing pain and suffering. And in cases where a PWC accident has caused death, the family members are entitled to seek additional damages through a wrongful death action.

So if you need to speak with a qualified Richmond jet ski accidents lawyer, contact Wind Law, LLC, today to schedule a consultation.