Causes of Jet Ski Accidents By Chanfrau & Chanfrau on June 08, 2023

Jet ski riderBoating is one of Florida’s most popular pastimes. Boating can be fun, but it also has its risks. Every year boating accidents result in financial losses and personal injuries. Jet ski accidents tend to be especially damaging. Jet skis are smaller than most other maritime vessels, so jet ski riders are vulnerable to catastrophic injuries when an accident occurs.

The maritime law attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau understand the losses that can stem from jet ski accidents. We urge boaters in Daytona Beach, FL, Palm Coast, FL, and surrounding areas to be aware of the most common causes of jet ski accidents to minimize their risk of injury. In the event of a jet ski accident, our attorneys work with victims to explore their legal right to financial compensation for injury damages.

Causes of Jet Ski Accidents

Just as with car accidents and other boating accidents, the causes of jet ski accidents are varied. Jet ski accidents may be related to inclement weather, mechanical malfunctions, or defective parts. However, most jet ski accidents are caused by a boater’s reckless or negligent actions. Common causes of jet ski accidents include speeding, boating while intoxicated, reckless boating, and distracted boating.


Many boats (jet skis included) can travel at high speeds. While there are no speed limits on the open water, boaters must use caution when operating a maritime vessel because speeding is a common cause of jet ski and boating accidents. Boats usually take longer to slow down than a car, so boaters need to be aware of their surroundings, particularly when other boats, jet skis, or swimmers are nearby. And some areas of the water do have speed limits. These “no-wake” areas tend to be around harbors, marinas, and swimming areas.

Operating a Vessel While Intoxicated

Boating and jet skiing are recreational sports, so people often forget there are responsibilities and regulations involved. Just as drunk driving is illegal, it is unlawful to operate a maritime vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Boaters with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher are considered legally intoxicated. Operating a boat while intoxicated compromises physical and cognitive functions and increases the risk of an accident.

Reckless Operation of a Maritime Vessel

Boaters have a duty of care to others on the water. It is each boater’s responsibility to operate their vessel in a reasonably safe way. Reckless operation of a maritime vehicle neglects that duty of care and increases the risk of a boating accident. Examples of reckless boating include:

  • Following other vessels too closely
  • Jumping another vessel’s wake too close to that vessel
  • Swerving between other vessels
  • Overloading a vessel beyond the recommended capacity
  • Operating too close to swimmers or divers
  • Ignoring posted speed limits or regulations

Distracted or Inattentive Operation of a Maritime Vessel

Jet skiers and boaters must be attentive at all times. Distracted boating is any act that takes a boater’s eyes, hands, or minds off their vessel. This may include texting, eating, talking to other passengers, or leaving a vessel’s controls unattended. Distracted or inattentive operation of a maritime vessel is a leading cause of jet ski accidents.

Know Your Legal Options

Individuals injured in a jet ski accident caused by another person or party have a right to pursue financial compensation for damages. Our attorneys work with Daytona Beach jet ski accident victims to establish crash liability and file a claim in pursuit of injury losses. Potential areas of compensation include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact Our Practice

If you or a loved one has been injured in a jet ski accident, the lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can advise you on your best course of legal action. To discuss the details of your case with our legal team, contact our law firm online to schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.

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Attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Chanfrau & Chanfrau has been serving Floridians in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas since 1976. With three attorneys and two locations, we have the resources to help you after an accident or injury. We are proud of our many achievements, including inclusion in:

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For more information about our legal services, contact our firm online or call (386) 258-7313 today.

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