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Jet Boat Accidents

Alaska, Oregon, California, and Washington are all states that offer incredible water recreational opportunities.  Unfortunately, when accidents occur on the water, the injuries can be severe. The devastating impact of these accidents, especially jet boat accidents, can be lifelong – or life-ending.

If you have sustained injuries after a jet accident, you might wonder when it’s time to get a lawyer. Truthfully, it’s never too soon to contact a lawyer for help with your case.  A knowledgeable maritime lawyer can help you with every step of your accident claim.

Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and California Jet Boat Accident Lawyers

When you are engaged in any maritime activity or aboard a vessel such as a jet boat, the injuries you sustain in an accident may be serious. If you have been hurt as a result of a jet boat accident, Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP can represent in an injury claim. You deserve full compensation for medical costs, pain, and suffering,   emotional distress, or other damages. Our skilled maritime lawyers at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP can help fight for your right to full and fair compensation.

Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP provides representation to injured clients or their families in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and California. Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to secure a free consultation today with one of our practiced jet boat accident lawyers.


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Information Center


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Negligence in Jet Boat Accidents

Generally, state law may apply to a jet boat accident if the accident occurred within state waters. State waters may include lakes and rivers within a state and also a portion of ocean waters bordering a state. Negligence is a major basis of liability under state law. When negligent people cause jet boat accidents, this can give rise to civil liability in state court.

Negligence is a tort with four main elements: duty, breach, harm, and causation. First, individuals must exercise reasonable care when operating their vessels. Essentially, individuals must use their boats reasonably and take reasonable care not to cause accidents and harm others. Second, when someone fails to uphold this duty of care, they have breached their duty to others. Third, harm occurs when a person is injured. Finally, for an individual to be liable for negligence, the individual must have caused the harm the victim suffered. Furthermore, when an individual passes away in a jet boat accident, most states permit family members to sue the person who caused the accident for negligence.

Types of activities that can give rise to negligence include:

  • Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Failure to have appropriate safety equipment on the vessel.
  • Driving a boat recklessly.
  • Speeding, particularly in the presence of smaller boats.
  • Hitting a swimmer in the water with a jet boat.
  • Failing to abide by boating rules, including violations of state inland rules or the United States Coast Guard rules.
  • Failure to bring the proper equipment for night travel.

Suppose an individual operates a boat under the influence of alcohol and speeds, colliding with a small jet boat. As a result, the person on the jet boat suffers broken bones. In that case, a state court may find the individual negligent. First, the individual had a duty to operate the boat reasonably. Second, the individual breached their duty when they sped and operated the boat while intoxicated. Third, another person suffered harm. Fourth, the individual’s actions caused harm. Thus, a court may find that the individual was negligent and may award damages to the person who sustained injuries.


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Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time limit an individual must bring a case. If the individual misses the deadline, they will likely not be able to sue and recover damages for a personal injury case. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations depends on the state. In California, Oregon, and Alaska, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is two years, meaning that people have two years after an accident to file a lawsuit for compensation from the party at fault. However, in Washington, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years.


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Maritime Law

Jet boat accidents that occurred outside of state waters and on navigable waters are subject to federal maritime law. Navigable waters encompass all waters that are or could be used for interstate commerce. A lake or river located only within one state would not constitute navigable waters because people could not use the lake to engage in commerce with other states. However, accidents that happen in ocean waters, as well as lakes and rivers that are within at least two states, often fall under maritime law. Additionally, for maritime law to apply, a jet boat accident must be connected to traditional maritime activities and have the potential to disrupt maritime commerce.

The Supreme Court ruled that recreational boat accidents fall under maritime law, as they are connected to traditional maritime activities and can disrupt maritime commerce. Maritime law also applies to commercial accidents. Although many jet boat accidents are recreational in nature, the Jones Act would apply if an individual injured in a jet boat accident was employed to do work at the time. The Jones Act is a federal law that allows workers injured during their work at sea to sue their employers for personal injuries. When maritime law applies, an individual may file a case in either state or federal court.


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The Federal Boat Safety Act

The Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971 created a federal-state effort to improve boating safety, created the National Recreational Boating Safety Program, and granted the US Coast Guard the power to make boat manufacturing and safety standards. For instance, the US Coast Guard requires all boats, including jet boats, to be equipped with life vests. Failure to follow the US Coast Guard’s rules for recreational boat safety could lead to civil liability if an individual sustains injuries due to a person’s failure to abide by the rules.


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Additional Resources

The Federal Boat Safety Act Timeline– The Safe Boating Council provides an overview of The Federal Boat Safety Act and a timeline showing the effects of the Federal Boat Safety Act on recreational boat accidents. After the Federal Boat Safety Act was passed in 1971, boat accident deaths were reduced.

Boat United States Foundation The United States Coast Guard Minimum Equipment Requirements– The Boat United States Foundation describes the United States Coast Guard’s minimum equipment requirements for boats such as jet boats.

The United States Coast Guard Navigation Rules– The United States Coast Guard promulgates rules for navigating waters, which apply to jet boats. The purpose of these rules is to promote safety.


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Jet Boat Accident Attorneys |  Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California

If you have been injured in a jet boat accident, contact our knowledgeable maritime lawyers at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP. We have represented jet boat operators and passengers injured in accidents since 1977.  Allow us to serve you with excellence.

With a proven track record of performance protecting victims of maritime accidents, Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP is prepared to take your case. If you reside in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and California, call 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.