Your Charleston accident attorneys have taken notice that the media outlets large and small, as well as all major social media platforms, have been abuzz following a jet ski accident involving the former stepson of pop icon, Usher. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the 11-year-old boy, son of Usher’s ex-wife, remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon, noting that various entertainment news sources have indicated the boy has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and left him with irreversible loss of brain function. Those claims concerning the child’s condition, however, have not been publicly verified or announced by officials due to privacy concerns. The serious jet ski accident also involved a 15-year-old girl.
According to reports, the two children were floating on inner tubes this past Friday afternoon when a man on a personal watercraft struck them. The pair was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta following the accident. The young boy was reported to have sustained a severe head injury, while the teenage girl’s injuries were less serious. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has disclosed that alcohol does not appear to have been involved in the Lake Lanier accident, but investigations remain ongoing. Fox News reports DNR will recreate the accident using specialized computer programs to determine exactly what happened. Once the investigation is complete, DNR will give their recommendation to the relevant district attorney who will then decide whether or not to file criminal charges against the operator of the jet ski.
The jet ski accident comes only days after the funeral of two young boys, ages 9 and 13, who were killed in a boating accident earlier this summer on Lake Lanier. It was reported the two boys were on a pontoon boat with a total of 13 people, including their mother and driven by the boys’ father, when a fishing boat collided with the pontoon. The driver of the fishing boat then proceeded to flea the scene of collision, but was subsequently arrested several hours later at a nearby marina. Unlike the above-mentioned incident, alcohol was determined to be involved in the fatal June 18 accident. According to CBS Atlanta, DNR arrested and charged a 44-year-old man for boating under the influence in connection with the crash.
Additional charges may be forthcoming for the 44-year-old man, including homicide and failure to render aid, according to the Hall County District Attorney. But before those can be handed down, DNR must first complete its investigation, as many unknowns remain surrounding the boating accident. Such as how fast the boats were traveling and who had the right of way. Reports did not mention whether or not the man has a criminal defense attorney. A hearing is scheduled in state court August 15.
To compound the tragedy, the 13-year-old boy was missing for more than week following the June 18 crash. While another older brother recovered the 9-year-old immediately following the accident, reports indicate the 13-year-old was not wearing a life jacket. Divers and rescue teams searched Lake Lanier tirelessly for 10 days before finding the teen. According to Georgia State Law, only children under the age of 10 are required to wear a life jacket.
Although the above-mentioned accidents occurred in Georgia, your Charleston personal injury lawyers would like South Carolina residents to know that if you, a friend, or a family member suffer serious injuries or death in boating accident or drowning, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. Many boats and watercraft have insurance policies similar to those provided to cars. This means that when an unfortunate accident occurs on a lake, creek, river, or other waterway, there may be compensation available to the victims to be reimbursed for damages including, but not limited to, medical bills, lost wages, permanent injuries and loss of enjoyment of life.