Recreational Boating & Jet Ski Accidents

(Traumatic Brain & Spinal Cord Injuries)

In 2019, the Coast Guard counted 4,168 accidents that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property because of recreational boating accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating or personal watercraft accident caused by someone else’s negligence or a boat or equipment defect, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Loss of wages and benefits,
  • Hospitalizations,
  • Permanent injuries,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Emotional distress

NOTE: Jet Ski, WaveRunner, Wet Jet and Sea Doo are the brand names of certain manufacturers of personal watercraft (PWC). A personal watercraft is any water vessel that the operator rides or stands on, rather than sits inside like a boat.


Did you know that a personal injury lawyer will help boating accident victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options? Fisher Stark, P.A. is a highly respected personal injury law firm in Asheville, NC. We provide experienced legal help for clients in all of Western North Carolina.

Collectively, our legal team has more than 50 years of trial practice. We invite you to call Fisher Stark, P.A. at 828-505-4300 for a free consultation.

Boating While Intoxicated

Top 8 Causes of Boating & Jet Ski Accidents

Just how risky are boats and personal watercraft? Learn how personal watercraft accidents happen, and how to stay safe on the water.

Operating while intoxicated- In North Carolina a person can be convicted of boating while impaired for operating a vessel while under the influence or having a BAC of 0.08 or more, the same as operating a car.

Inattentive operators- While operating a boat or PWC it is imperative to stay vigilant and monitor the boat and its surroundings for unsafe conditions. Conditions on the water can be unpredictable so operators should be on the look out for early signs of hazards.

Inexperienced operators- Operator inexperience is the third most common cause of boating and personal watercraft accidents. Operators need to understand how their vehicles function and the rules of navigation. Along with the knowledge of how to operate a boat or PCW , operators also need to know what to do in emergency situations.

Excessive speed- Just like while driving a car on the road, it is important to operate your watercraft at a safe speed. Traveling at fast speeds gives the operator less time to react and can cause collisions to be much more severe. Boats in particular take longer to stop than cars or trucks, slow down and stay safe.

Equipment failure- Boat maintenance is critical for safe operation. Boat and jet ski owners should make sure that their boats are in good condition and perform the necessary checks to properly maintain their vehicles.

Violating navigational rules- There are similar rules on the water as there are on the road. Boat operators should be aware of the navigational rules to avoid unnecessary dangers. Violating the rules of navigation can prove to be dangerous and lead to crashes.

Dangerous waters- Conditions in the water can change rapidly. While on the water an operator should be mindful of the changing conditions.

Bad weather- Before going out on the water, boat and especially personal watercraft operators should check for the days weather conditions, including storm forecasts and wind patterns. Do not go out on the water in unsafe weather conditions.

How to Stay Safe While on the Water

Stay focused, it can be easy to become distracted on the open water. Constantly scan the area around you to spot other boaters and hazards. Always check for other boaters before turning and frequently look behind you to keep track of other boaters.

Take a boating course, keep yourself and those around you safe by completing a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating a motorized vessel on a public waterway.

Be prepared, wear a life vest, and make sure that it fits properly. Perform required maintenance on your boat and check if all lights and safety features are working. Check the weather and know where you are going before heading out for a day on the water.

Had a Boating or Jet Ski Accident?

Boaters must consider the risks and take safety precautions to keep a perfect day from turning into a nightmare.

Boat drivers must obey the laws of boating and be properly prepared before entering the water. Hundreds of people die every year in boating or personal watercraft (Jet Ski ™accidents and thousands more get injured.

After an accident, victims are often facing physical and emotional harm. Right after an accident, there is an insurance company working diligently, taking as much advantage of the situation.

They are counting on your inexperience dealing with the complicated issues arising after a boating accident. We will work hard to get you the justice & fair compensation you deserve.

Fisher Stark, P.A. is a highly respected personal injury law firm in Asheville, NC. We provide experienced legal help for clients in Buncombe County and all of Western North Carolina.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a boating or personal watercraft accident in North Carolina, call the Asheville personal injury attorneys at Fisher Stark, P.A. today at 828-505-4300.