It is no secret that Florida residents love to spend their free time out on the water, especially on personal watercrafts. Unfortunately, the total lack of protection these watercrafts offer allows for the possibility of catastrophic or fatal injuries.
If you have been injured on a personal watercraft, a Fort Lauderdale personal watercraft & jet ski accident & injury from Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can help you recover damages from those responsible for your injuries. Schedule your free consultation today: 954-524-2820.
The Coast Guard defines personal watercrafts (PWCs) as any 13-foot vessel powered by a jet pump and inboard motor that a person can operate while kneeling, standing, or sitting.
PWCs are different than traditional boats in that you are not generally able to sit inside them. Some of the most popular types of watercrafts (often referred to by their brand names) include:
Many accidents occur when a PWC collides with another vessel. While an accident can occur for any number of reasons, the most common include:
Those involved in watercraft accidents can suffer from a myriad of injuries including:
People with these types of injuries can have long recovery periods ahead of them. They may require extensive surgery, rehabilitation, and around-the-clock care. They may be unable to return to work after the accident, resulting in months of lost wages. Some PWC accident victims never fully recover from their injuries and cannot care for themselves without assistance.
Filing a personal injury claim after a water accident is not much different from filing a claim after a car accident. Under Fla. Stat. § 95.11, you will have up to four years after the date of the injury to file your claim. A successful claim will hold negligent PWC operators liable for any injuries or damages they caused.
To prove that a PWC operator or other party was negligent, you will need to establish the following elements:
Generally, when someone is operating a vessel of any kind, s/he owes others a duty to handle the craft safely. The PWC operator must pay attention while on the craft, adhere to safety regulations, properly maintain the watercraft, and learn how to operate the craft responsibly.
Owners must properly maintain PWCs and ensure they are in safe operating order before renting them out.
Once you have established the other party owed you a duty, you will need to establish negligence by showing that s/he breached that duty.
You will need to establish that the PWC operator/owner failed to follow federal or state regulations or behaved negligently while operating the vessel. Police reports, expert testimony, regulations and laws, and other evidence will help support your claim.
Gathering evidence when you do not know what you are looking for is difficult. We handle the evidence gathering so you can focus on recovering.
Now that you have established that the defendant breached his or her duty to you, you will need to show that the breach caused your injuries directly or indirectly.
You can establish this by showing that the accident would not have occurred if it had not been for the defendant’s negligence. You must also show that what happened was a foreseeable result of the negligence.
We work with accident reconstruction experts to determine how the accident occurred and who is at fault.
The final step of your claim will be showing that you suffered damages and injuries in the accident.
If you win your claim, the defendants named in your suit will be liable for your injuries. You will be able to recover damages for many of the expenses you incurred due to the accident. Some of these expenses may include:
PWCs can be a lot of fun, but they can also cause severe injuries. Many of these injuries result from irresponsible riders who behave recklessly while on their watercrafts.
If you have been injured by one of these negligent riders, contact Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. to file your claim against them. Our team can help investigate the facts, collect the evidence and give you the best chance possible at recovering compensation for your injuries.
See how we can help you today: 954-524-2820.