Representing Injury Victims of Jet Ski Accidents in Miami
Personal watercraft account for about 14% of all registered vessels in Florida, with many registered right here in Miami and across South Florida. They are involved in roughly 20% of reportable boating accidents. Rented personal watercraft are responsible for 45% of personal watercraft involved in reportable accidents.
While the prospect of a day zipping around on the water may sound enticing, 169 people were injured in personal watercraft accidents in Florida in 2019, and 46% of all personal watercraft accidents involved collision with another vessel.
Personal watercraft and jet skis are fun and fast but among the most dangerous watercraft on the water. Personal watercraft have significant power for their small size. It is easy for people to overdo the throttle if they aren’t used to the power. Jet skis are like motorcycles because they lack material to absorb the force of a collision. If you are involved in a crash, your body will be exposed to severe injury.
Read about a seven-figure result for one of our clients injured on a jet ski.
Jet skis are not the only kind of personal watercraft. Motorized surfboards are quickly gaining popularity. Reaching speeds up to 35 mph, motorized surfboards create significant force but provide little safety support. Motorized surfboards come with a high learning curve. Injuries can arise from inexperience in operating such unique and fast personal watercraft, which, in turn, can present tricky maritime law issues. If you were injured on a motorized surfboard or any personal watercraft in Florida, call an experienced maritime attorney at Mase Seitz Briggs today.
Parties that may be liable for damages include:
- Negligent vessel operators
- The manufacturer (he or she might have sold a defective or poorly designed product)
- The jet ski rental company that supplied the equipment
Rental companies, also called liveries, rarely give customers sufficient training on how to safely use jet skis. Florida law, however, requires rental companies to give specific warnings and instructions. Even if you think your injury was partially “your fault” or you signed a liability waiver, you may still be compensated for your injury.
Common Causes of Jet Ski and Personal Watercraft Accidents
While jet skis and personal watercraft (PWC) are fun activities for most people, the number of accidents is alarming. Miami has begun to crack down on companies that rent jet skis and PWC without the proper licensing. In some cases, a company may be operating an unlicensed charter or livery offering recreational vehicles without adequate safety.
One of the biggest problems plaguing the use of jet ski and personal watercraft is the lack of training when a person rents the device. These water vehicles are designed for speed, but they can cause catastrophic injury or even death. If you were not given safety training prior to the rental of a jet ski or PWC and suffered an injury, you might be entitled to compensation.
In addition to inadequate training, other common causes of jet ski and personal watercraft accidents include:
- Driving under the influence
- Collision with another vessel or bridge
- Collision with another PWC
- Running ashore
- Mechanical malfunction
- Distracted driving
- Fire or explosion
In 2019, Florida Fish and Wildlife reported a marked increase in PWC accidents. Miami-Dade County ranks first in jet ski and personal watercraft accidents. The most common type of accident is a collision with another vessel, followed by injuries related to a fall on a PWC and collision with a fixed object. Many of these accidents can be prevented with sufficient operator training.
If you are injured on a personal watercraft or jet ski accident, even if you believe you were partially at fault, you may still be entitled to damages. Contact our Miami personal watercraft accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
Common Jet Ski and Personal Watercraft Injuries
When a personal watercraft collides with another vessel or stationary object, the driver’s injuries can be catastrophic. Head-on collisions can result in traumatic brain injury or death to the operator or a passenger.
Other common jet ski injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts or lacerations
- Head and neck injuries
- Damage to the spinal cord
- Internal bleeding or organ injury
- Electric shock
According to the United States Coast Guard, over half of those injured in personal watercraft accidents are between the ages of 13 and 29. The vast majority (nearly 75%) of deaths related to personal watercraft and jet ski accidents have a cause other than drowning.
Determining Liability in a Miami Personal Watercraft Accident Case
Initially, you may be unsure of who is liable for your accident or injury. In some cases, multiple parties may be responsible for negligence or wrongdoing. It is important to remember that it is not your job to determine who was at fault, and you should never admit liability without having your case reviewed by an attorney. If the company you rented your jet ski from failed to give you safety instructions or was operating without a license, they may be liable, even if you were partially at fault.
Injured on a Jet Ski or Personal Watercraft in Miami? Contact Mase Mebane Seitz.
If you were injured while riding on a personal watercraft or jet ski, you should have your case thoroughly investigated by a skilled Miami lawyer. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation at (305) 602-4936 or fill out our online contact form. Don’t just settle, get the recovery you deserve.Back to Boating Accidents