Earlier this month in Sullivan County, a 14-year-old girl was killed when she was involved in a personal watercraft accident with her father. According to a report by a local news source, the accident occurred on Boone Lake, on a Friday afternoon.
Evidently, the girl was riding on one Jet-Ski with her mother and her father was riding on another personal watercraft. At some point, the watercraft driven by her father ran into the back of the other jet-ski. It is not clear if she was wearing a life vest; however, it seems as though the blunt force from the accident is what killed the teen, rather than drowning.
The family was from Bristol, Virginia, and was only visiting Tennessee. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has seized both of the jet-skis involved in the accident and is currently conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident.
Personal Watercraft Vehicles Are Deceptively Dangerous
Personal watercrafts are misunderstood by most of the population. While they can be enjoyable to ride, they can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, in most states, teens are not even permitted to drive a personal watercraft unless there is an adult on board. In Tennessee, no minor under the age of 16 can rent a personal watercraft, and all riders born after January 1, 1989 must have in their possession proof that they completed a boating safety course.
Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency notes on their website that “reckless operation” of a personal watercraft is a crime. The agency defines reckless operation as any of the following:
- Operating the vessel in swimming areas.
- Riding on seatbacks, gunwales, transoms or pedestal seats while above an idle speed.
- Excessive speed in crowded or dangerous areas or during times of restricted visibility.
- Operating an overloaded vessel.
- Towing a skier in a crowded area where a fallen skier is likely to be hit by other vessels or towing in areas where the skier is likely to strike an obstacle.
- Using a vessel to jump the immediate wake of another vessel.
Boating Accidents in Tennessee
When boating accidents do occur, Tennessee law allows for the victim of the accident to recover from the person or people who caused the accident. Like with automobile accidents, the laws of negligence govern this area of the law. The final question that must be answered in these types of cases involves whether the defendant was negligent in causing the accident victim’s injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Tennessee Boating Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Tennessee boating accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages from the person or people who caused the accident. To learn more about the boating laws in Tennessee, and to speak to a dedicated personal injury attorney about the possibility of filling a personal injury case, contact attorney Matt Hardin. Matt Hardin has years of experience recovering for his clients in all kinds of Tennessee personal injury cases, including boating accidents. Click here, or call 615-200-1111 to schedule a free initial consultation.
See Related Blog Posts:
Chain Reaction Accident in Knoxville Claims Two Lives, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published June 30, 2014.
The Tort of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress in Tennessee, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published June 3, 2014.