Jet Skis and Accidents in Florida

Riding jet skis has significantly increased in popularity over the years. This may be because they are substantially cheaper than boats. To many, it seems that jet skis are taking over Florida’s lakes, rivers and beaches. To many, however, jet skis are a major headache. Not only are they loud and numerous, but they are nearly twice as likely to be involved in an accident when compared to boats. Jet ski accidents tend to be tragic and even fatal, as riders have limited protection. In 2011, 44 people were killed on jet skis. 38 people were killed on jet skis in 2010.

Recently, in Florida, Miami Beach Fire Rescue transported a young woman to the hospital after she suffered a severe head injury. She was involved in a jet ski accident. Officials found that the jet ski she was riding on forcefully collided with another one, near 42nd Street. If you were involved in a jet ski accident, and it was the fault of another person, it is important that you retain an attorney to ensure that you are adequately compensated. The Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to help. We continue our 43-year plus tradition of representing injury victims and their families throughout Miami Dade, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, and other areas of South Florida.  

Jet Ski Regulations

Upfront, please be aware that Florida enforces several regulations pertaining to jet skis. To list a few, in Florida, a jet ski operator must be at least 14 years of age. Passengers on the jet ski, including the driver, must properly wear a life jacket. The jet ski must be equipped with an engine cut-off switch. A jet ski must not be driven recklessly. Also, jet skis may only be ridden during daylight hours. There are many additional rules that one should be familiar with before engaging in jet ski riding.

Florida’s Negligence Law

If a person (“Plaintiff”) is injured from a jet ski accident, and it was at the fault of another individual (“Defendant”), the Plaintiff may file a claim with Defendant’s insurance company.  Jet ski accident claims are similar to auto accident claims regarding the way they are settled.  Basically, Plaintiff should document every expense incurred, such as medical bills, therapy, boat repairs, lost wages, etc. Such documents will be compiled into a demand packet and sent to Defendant’s insurance carrier’s claims adjuster for settlement negotiations. These cases most often settle before court. Yet, if there is no settlement agreed to, a lawsuit may be filed in court.  The lawsuit here will normally be brought on negligence grounds. To prove negligence in Florida, Plaintiff must establish five key elements:

  • That Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty of care;
  • That Defendant breached said duty of care;
  • That said breach was the cause in fact of Plaintiff’s injury;
  • That said breach was the proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injury; and
  • That Plaintiff suffered injury or damages.

Nevertheless, please be advised that, if you decide to file such a personal injury lawsuit here in Florida, you must do so within four years of the accident (or three years if it was caused by the state or government). This is known as Florida’s statute of limitations. If you do not file within such time frame, you are most likely barred from a later filing. Thus, it is important that this rule is strictly adhered to.

Hire an Attorney for Your Case

If you have been severely hurt or have lost a loved one because of the negligent, reckless, or intentionally wrongful act of another, it is vital that you hire an attorney for your case. The attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to help. We are experienced Miami personal injury attorneys, resourceful advocates and aggressive litigators for clients seeking to recover damages for the full extent of their losses from negligent individuals, business operators and corporations.  Contact our attorneys for a free consultation. Se Habla Espanol.

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