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Florida WaveRunner Accident Results in Teen Losing Leg

On April 24, 2011, two teenage girls were riding a pair of Waverunners side by side on Lake Gibson in Lakeland, Florida. One of the girls, age 14, suddenly turned into the path of the oncoming craft operated by the second girl, and crashed into it. The 14-year old girl's leg was severed below the knee.

A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that, because the Waverunner was turned so suddenly, the second operator couldn't have done anything to avoid the accident.

Florida law allows those age 14 and older to operate a personal water craft upon completion of an authorized boater safety course. The two girls had not completed any formal safety training.

Florida Boating Safety Tips

Boaters should be educated and informed of the dangers of spending time on the water. Many states, including Florida, require boaters to take authorized safety classes before being allowed to operate a vessel.

The U.S. Coast Guard requires every vessel to carry a lifejacket for each person onboard. Boats 16 feet long or longer must also carry an additional inflatable device as well.

Operators or owners are required by federal law to report any and all accidents resulting in a death, disappearance, serious injury or damage to vessels or property totaling $2,000 or more.

Boating Accidents In Florida

With 982,470 vessels, Florida has the most registered vessels of any state in the U.S. According to the 2009 Boating Accident Statistics Report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were 620 boating accidents in the state severe enough to require reporting.

These accidents resulted in 65 fatalities and 426 injuries. Monroe County had the highest number of accidents and injuries with 77 total accidents resulting in three fatalities and 52 injuries.

The most common cause of fatal accidents was a boater falling overboard. Drowning was the cause of death in 69% of fatal accidents. Alcohol or drug impairment caused 18.5% of fatalities. If you've been injured in a boating accident in Florida, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your right to compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.

Client Reviews
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Carolyn Frank and her firm represented me on a workers compensation injury case, under the defense base act. She did a excellent job from the moment I contacted her until 3 years later the case was settled. Every benefit I was entitled too, Carolyn fought hard to secure. E-mails and phone calls were always returned promptly. Definitely 5 star rating. Daniel
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I can't express how grateful I am for Elizabeth Estrada, attorney, and Elizabeth Cantin, secretary, for all the hard work in order to defend me in my time of need. My lawyer and secretary spent time explaining each step and what was to be expected. Because of this I felt a part of the whole process and understood what was going on. Thank you so much for all your hard work!
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Attorney Elizabeth Estrada did an amazing job representing one of my family members. She is knowledgeable, genuine, trustworthy, and one of the most hard working attorneys that I know. She was readily available to assist my family member throughout the entire process. I felt confident my family was in great hands. Krystine C.
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Carolyn is very professional. Honest since the beginning of the process till the end. She set up a game plan with you at the consultation and makes it happen. Peterlee G.
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I would like to thank the staff of Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, P.A. The staff is professional. My attorney, Ronald Rodman, was responsive towards my email and a great advocate on my behalf for my car accident. I highly recommend this office. I hope that I will not get in a car accident again, but if I do, I'm calling Mr. Rodman. Orlando R.