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Jet Ski Accident Lawyer in Chicago, Illinois

jet skis

Whether you are riding in Lake Michigan, Des Plaines River, Chicago River, Fox River, Illinois River, Chain O’Lakes or the many other rivers, streams and lakes in the Chicago area, jet skis can be a fun and thrilling way to travel. However, they also present significant dangers.

A jet ski accident can happen for a number of reasons. If you are a passenger on a jet ski, the driver of the personal watercraft (PWC) may take dangerous risks. You may be thrown from the jet ski and injured. Another driver you are sharing the waterways with may be careless and cause a jet ski accident. In some cases, the design of the jet ski itself may create problems or cause malfunctions that lead to injury.

Whenever you are involved in a jet ski accident caused by another, it is important to speak with a Chicago jet ski accident lawyer to find out what legal relief you may be entitled to receive.

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we help victims of jet ski accidents to recover money for their losses. We can put our legal skills to work for you. Call us today at 312-372-1227 or use our online form to arrange a free consultation.

Jet Ski Accidents Occur in the Chicago Area

Jet skis (also called “wet bikes” and “wave runners”) have become popular. Roughly 11 percent of all registered boats in the U.S. are personal watercrafts.  As more people ride jet skis, the risk of accidents increases. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, PWCs were involved in 19 percent of the 4,588 reported boating accidents in 2011. These accidents led to 44 deaths (18 involving drowning) and a total of 764 injuries.

Common Causes of Chicago Jet Ski Accidents

Jet ski accidents throughout Chicago and the U.S. have a number of potential causes. These include:

  • Inattention of the operator
  • Inexperience of the operator
  • Failure to look for other boaters
  • Excessive speed
  • Machinery failure
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Dangerous waters
  • Weather conditions
  • Failure to follow the rules of the waterways
  • Force of waves or wake

Some of these causes can be attributed to errors on the part of the person operating the jet ski, and others can be attributed to manufacturing defects or poor maintenance of the jet ski.

Legal Liability for Chicago Jet Ski Accidents

When a jet ski accident occurs as a result of operator error, design defect or improper maintenance, those who suffer injury may be entitled to legal relief. Possible scenarios include:

  • When you are a passenger on the jet ski of a friend or acquaintance, and the driver fails to operate the PWC in a reasonably safe manner. This could lead to a collision, being thrown from the jet ski, capsizing or a host of other injuries.
  • When you are a driver of a jet ski, and another jet ski operator fails to obey the rules of the waterways or fails to notice you. If an accident results, that driver could be held responsible for the harm caused.
  • When you are the driver or passenger of a jet ski that had a design or manufacturing defect that caused or contributed to your injury. This would give rise to a claim against the manufacturer of the jet ski. Product liability laws impose strict liability on manufacturers when their products are unsafe when used as intended.
  • When your jet ski was not properly maintained. If you have someone who performs jet ski maintenance for you, or if you are on a jet ski that someone else owns and is responsible for maintaining, you may be able to recover money if improper maintenance leads to an equipment failure and resulting injury.

The Chicago jet ski accident lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., can determine what potential defendant or defendants may be responsible for your jet ski accident. We can pursue a claim for damages against the appropriate party. These damages may include payment for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, wrongful death and other damages.

Proving Negligence in Chicago Jet Ski Accidents

When you are seeking to impose legal responsibility for damages on either a jet ski operator or a person whose negligent maintenance caused an accident, you will need to prove that the other party was negligent. You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Negligence – Under common law negligence principles, you can show that a reasonable driver/operator would have been more careful and that no reasonable person would have behaved as carelessly as the driver in question.
  • Negligence per se – A person is automatically considered negligent if he violates a safety law in a way that leads to harm. For instance, the Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act mandates that no one should operate a personal watercraft between the hours of sunset and sunrise. If someone is operating a jet ski at night and causes an accident, that individual could be seen as negligent per se due to his violation of safety law.

Our Chicago jet ski accident lawyers can help you to determine what legal theory or theories will help you to prove negligence and recover money damages after your accident.

Contact Our Chicago Jet Ski Accident Lawyers Today

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our attorneys have obtained substantial recoveries on behalf of our clients. We have secured verdicts in excess of $1 million in more than 180 cases and collected more than $630 million in damages for our clients.  We can put our skill and experience to work for you in your Chicago jet ski accident case. Call us today at 312-372-1227 or fill out our online form to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.