Boats are not the only way to enjoy a day on the water in Florida. Recreational watercraft like Jet Skis and Sea-Doos are becoming increasingly popular across the beaches of this state. Even though these watercraft are smaller and meant strictly for recreational use, operators must still be very careful to avoid accidents. These pieces of equipment can reach very high rates of speed and a collision could spell disaster.
Being careful on your own Jet Ski or Sea-Doo will not keep you totally safe, though. Other people on the water operating similar watercraft must do their diligence to be as safe as possible, too. If you were in a Jet Ski or Sea-Doo accident due to someone else’s reckless actions, reach out to our Florida Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accident lawyer for help. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762. Ask our legal team about setting up a free consultation for your case.
What Qualifies as a Jet Ski or Sea-Doo in Florida Maritime Accident Cases?
You have probably heard of a Jet Ski, but you might be wondering what in the world a Sea-Doo is right now. Believe it or not, Jet Skis and Sea-Doos are the same things. The terms “Jet Ski” and “Sea-Doo” are the brand names of these recreational watercraft vehicles. This vehicle is actually called a personal watercraft (PWC), but most people refer to all types of PWCs as jet skis.
PWCs are usually big enough to fit one or two people and can be used while sitting or standing. If you are totally unfamiliar, they are sort of like a scooter you can ride in the water. While PWCs are much smaller than boats, they are still relatively large and can be very heavy. PWC rental facilities are common along the beaches of Florida. Call our Florida Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accident attorney if you have been involved in an accident.
Common Accidents Involving Jet Skis and Sea-Doos in Florida
Unfortunately, accidents involving PWCs are also somewhat common across our beaches. Drivers of PWCs are totally exposed while operating the vehicle with little more than a bathing suit and a lifejacket to protect them. For this reason, collisions and other accidents tend to result in severe accidents.
Common PWC accidents include collisions with other PWCs or boats and collisions with stationary objects like docks, piers, or large buoys. It is also possible that PWC operators could be thrown from the watercraft due to careless behavior. Accidents become especially dangerous when the PWC is being operated at a high rate of speed. Injuries like broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord damage, or even death are not unheard of. Our Florida Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need after an accident.
Liability for Negligence for Jet Ski and Sea-Doo Accidents in Florida
Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accidents are typically the results of negligence. Exactly whose negligence is the million-dollar question. In some cases, accidents are due to the reckless actions of the person operating the PWC. In other cases, the owner of the PWC may bear some responsibility. The owner could be negligent if they failed to maintain the PWC properly and it malfunctioned while you were riding it. They could also be negligent if they gave you improper safety instructions that ultimately lead to your accident.
If the PWC owner’s negligence caused your accident, we must establish four critical elements to get compensation. These four elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty refers to the owner’s obligation to provide you with a safe and fully functioning PWC. Owners may also be obligated to provide some training or safety instructions before allowing someone to operate a PWC. In any case, the owner must make sure the PWC is safe so that you do not get injured.
A breach occurs when the owner’s duty is violated. The breach is usually the failure to make the PWC safe. If the owner allowed you to ride a PWC with faulty brakes, this would be a breach of their duty to make conditions as safe as possible. Similarly, if the owner gave you no safety instructions, they may be responsible for any accidents.
Causation is what connects the owner’s breach to your injuries. It is not enough simply to be injured in a PWC accident. You must show that the accident and your injuries occurred because of the owner’s negligence. If your own negligence is to blame, your damages might be reduced or you may even be barred from recovering damages at all.
Finally, damages simply refer to your injuries. Damages must be real and actualized, not just theoretical. If an accident occurred due to the PWC owner’s negligence, but you suffered no injuries, you may not have a case. You cannot sue for injuries that might have happened, only for those that really did happen.
For more information, contact our Florida Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accident lawyer.
Damages for Jet Ski and Sea-Doo Accidents in Florida
Damages from Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accidents can be very extensive and severe. Of course, medical expenses and treatment can be included in damages. For particularly devastating injuries, like spinal cord injuries, this could involve long-term or even lifelong treatments that need to be covered. Additionally, serious injuries might prevent you from returning to work. If that is the case, you can sue for damages from lost wages. If you are so injured that you can no longer work at all, you may even be able to sue for lost future earnings.
You may also sue for non-tangible or non-economic damages. These would include things like pain and suffering. If you are suing for a loved one’s wrongful death after a Jet Ski accident, you can also claim loss of companionship or consortium. To discuss potential damages, call our Florida Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accident attorney.
Call Our Florida Jet Ski or Sea-Doo Accident Attorney for a Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Jet Ski or Sea-Doo accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury or negligence lawsuit. Contact our Florida Jet Ski and Sea-Doo accident lawyer for a free and confidential legal consultation. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762.