Traumatic Brain Injury

Jet Ski accidents can be a common occurrence in places like Florida. In 2011, there were over 115,000 registered personal watercraft and hundreds of reported accidents. Many of these accidents also reportedly involved alcohol. High speed collisions can result in severe brain injuries. The addition of water to the equation can also increase the likelihood of long-term damage to the brain.

Causes of Jet Ski Brain Injury

The majority of Jet Ski accidents occur as a result of operator error. If the operator is intoxicated, the likelihood of a collision or an injury increases. Accidents involving debris, animals, or other environmental factors can also lead to brain injuries.

Common causes of brain injuries while Jet Skiing may include:

  • High-speed collisions with another craft
  • High-speed collisions with land or debris
  • Being struck by a Jet Ski
  • Being thrown off of a Jet Ski
  • Whiplash or high impact

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

A brain injury is serious and potentially life-threatening. If symptoms appear, it is critical to seek medical advice quickly in order to minimize long-term brain damage. Symptoms may be physical or may manifest in the form of atypical or abnormal behavior.

Common symptoms of brain injuries include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or delirium
  • Pupil dilation
  • Nausea
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Impaired memory

Brain Injury Diagnosis

There are several tests a doctor will order if he or she suspects a brain injury. He or she may order a CT scan to image the brain and detect any abnormalities including bleeding, skull fracture, or inflammation. In other cases, the doctor may order an MRI which uses magnets to image the brain although this requires the patient to remain relatively still and is usually not performed in cases of emergencies. There also exists a scale known as the Glasgow Coma Scale which is a series of physical tests designed to test a patient’s motor skills, reflexes, and attention.

Treatment of Brain Injuries

Once a brain injury is detected, a doctor might order one or several courses of action. Depending on the severity of the injury, a doctor will order anything from continuous rest to medications to surgery. Medications may be used to reduce the chance of seizures or to induce a coma to increase the time available for treatment. Surgery may be used to remove damaged tissue, repair a fracture, or reduce swelling in the brain.

If you suspect that you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury as a result of a Jet Ski, it could be beneficial to speak with a lawyer who specializes in Jet Ski injuries. They will examine your case in order to determine if a wrongful injury occurred and what type of compensation you may be entitled to. They will also advise you on your rights and current Jet Ski laws in states like Florida with heavy personal watercraft use.

 

Sources:

“Symptoms.” Traumatic Brain Injury. Mayo Clinic. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/symptoms/con-20029302>.

“2011 PERSONAL WATERCRAFT STATISTICS.” Personal Watercraft Statistics. FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION DIVISION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, 1 Jan. 2011. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <http://myfwc.com/media/2233192/2011-Personal-Watercraft-Data.pdf>.

“Personal Water Craft (PWC).” Personal Water Craft. National Association of Rescue Divers. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <http://www.rescuediver.org/articles/pwc.htm>.