Personal Watercraft Accidents
With thousands of miles of beautiful coastline, boating is incredibly popular. However, boating also presents serious dangers when operated by an inexperienced or careless driver. This is especially the case with Jet Skis, WaveRunners and other personal watercraft. If you’ve been injured in a Florida personal watercraft accident, a personal injury lawyer with Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada can help you pursue a claim for compensation. At Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, we have been helping accident victims and their families successfully navigate the complex recovery process for more than 45 years and know what it takes to hold negligent boat operators accountable for their actions.Florida WaveRunner and Jet Ski Accidents
Out of all the states in the country, Florida has the highest rate of boat accidents. According to recent statistics, there were more than 530 injuries and 54 deaths caused by Florida boating accidents. Personal watercraft accidents account for about a third of all fatal and non-fatal boat accidents.Dangers of Personal Watercraft
Personal watercraft are dangerous for several reasons. Some of these dangers relate to their design, and others relate to the fact that users often lack the experience necessary to safely operate these vessels. For example, personal watercraft are among the smallest vessels on the water, making them much more difficult for other boaters to see. They also offer very little protection in the event of an accident. Even a low-speed personal watercraft accident will almost certainly send a passenger into the water.
While there are inherent hazards with personal watercraft, many of the dangers these vessels present stem from the fact that they are often operated by inexperienced drivers or those who lack an appreciation of the dangers they present. Florida law requires no one under the age of 14 to operate a personal watercraft. Additionally, it is illegal to operate a personal watercraft while under the influence of alcohol. However, these laws are commonly disregarded. Other common causes of personal watercraft accidents include speeding, reckless operation and improper lookout.Types of Personal Watercraft Accidents
A personal watercraft is essentially a motorcycle on the water. However, there is one major difference: an operator of a personal watercraft cannot apply the brakes. To slow down, the operator can only stop accelerating, which will then cause the vessel to slow down as it travels through the water. This makes a quick stop almost impossible. As a result, the most common types of accidents involve personal watercraft colliding with another vessel or with a fixed object. Some personal watercraft accidents involve a driver making too sharp of a turn, causing them to fall from the vessel.Common Injuries in Personal Watercraft Accidents
The most obvious danger after a personal watercraft accident is drowning. While there are many accidents involving a driver or passenger drowning, other types of injuries frequently occur. For example, the most common injuries in a personal watercraft accident include:
- Back and spine injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Cuts and lacerations,
- Contusions, and
- Head injuries (including traumatic brain injuries),
Anyone injured in a personal watercraft accident can bring a lawsuit against the party they believe to be responsible for their injuries. This includes passengers injured by a driver’s negligence, as well as drivers injured by another boater’s negligence.Have You Been Injured in a South Florida PWC Accident?
If you, your child, or another family member suffered serious injuries in a South Florida personal watercraft accident, contact Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada for immediate assistance. Our dedicated team of injury advocates works tirelessly on behalf of our clients, helping them obtain the compensation they need and deserve following a serious accident. We handle personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of all types of motor vehicle accidents, including boat and PWC collisions. To learn more about how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve, contact us at 877-448-8585. Our lawyers represent accident victims throughout South Florida, including but not limited to Miami, Miami Beach, Naples, Homestead, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.