Small watercraft are becoming more popular every year. Because they are so lightweight, they are easier to maneuver than larger boats, and many operators prefer them. However, these lightweight vessels don’t provide as much protection during collisions and other accidents, so the injuries sustained tend to be more serious. One such outcome is known as “traumatic brain injury.”
About Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a TBI may occur when the victim receives a strong jolt or blow to the head that is strong enough to disrupt the brain’s normal function. TBIs may also occur as a result of penetrating head injuries. TBIs vary in severity from mild to severe, depending on the symptoms the victim experiences. Symptoms of a TBI may include amnesia, unconsciousness or changes in mental status.
Watercraft and TBIs
Watercraft injuries are common, especially for lightweight vessels, such as jet skis. Even though only 7 percent of registered watercraft are jet skis, jet skis are involved in over 1/3 of all watercraft accidents. In addition, 70 percent of all jet ski accidents involve another watercraft. Because jet skis are so powerful and so small, the operator of the jet ski is at risk for serious injuries, such as TBIs, when involved in an accident. If the operator of the jet ski falls from the craft, or if the craft overturns, head injuries are virtually unavoidable.
When watercraft collisions occur, one of the parties may be liable for the crash. If one of the operators isn’t paying attention, is operating his vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or doesn’t operate the craft properly, he or she may be at fault for any injuries sustained during the accident. In such cases, the injured party may be able to file a lawsuit against the person responsible. In some cases, the responsible party may even face serious charges resulting in fines and/or jail time. The more serious the injury and the degree of negligence, the worse the consequences will be for the person at fault.
In cases involving TBI, the injured person may experience anything from mild discomfort to complete debilitation. If the injured person is unable to earn a living or take care of himself on a daily basis, the party at fault may be forced to pay for medical care and lost wages. In many cases, the person at fault will also owe money to compensate the injured person for pain and suffering.
Hire an Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a watercraft accident, hire a qualified attorney as soon as you can. If another watercraft caused the accident, you may be able to sue the owner of the craft or the craft’s operator. If the operator of the craft was a minor, you may also be able to sue the child’s parents. Only an experienced attorney can fully explain your rights and options, so don’t hesitate. Contact an attorney now.