Florida Jet Ski Accident Attorneys
Florida is one of the nation’s best destinations for recreation on the water. With countless lakes, rivers, and miles of coastline, Florida’s waterways are the busiest with recreational boating in the nation. Jet skis and other personal watercraft are one adventurous way to enjoy Florida’s waters, but they can come with a cost. Jet skis can be dangerous to novice and experienced users alike.
Jet ski accidents can cause devastating injuries to the riders and others sharing the water
Personal watercraft, such as jet skis and Waverunners, contain a great deal of power in a small frame. While many believe them to be safer to operate due to the fact that they’re smaller and lightweight, they can in fact be quite dangerous. Jet skis can reach high rates of speed. When collisions do occur, there is little material available to absorb an impact, which can result in serious injuries to jet ski operators, their passengers, and those occupying the vessel with which they collide.
Jet ski operators don’t often carry liability insurance, meaning that getting compensated for your injuries after a jet ski accident is rarely as straightforward as filing a claim with an insurer. Victims of major jet ski accidents often seek the help of an experienced Florida watercraft accident attorney to make sure they get the money they need to cover accident-related costs.
The team at Meldon Law has years of experience helping jet ski accident victims get the compensation they’re entitled to after a crash. You can trust that, with Meldon Law on your case, you’ll have the help of some of Florida’s best and hardest-working personal injury attorneys fighting for you. Contact the Florida jet ski accident attorneys at Meldon Law to get a no-cost consultation after an injury accident.
Are there special laws that apply to riding a jet ski in Florida waters?
The State of Florida publishes a set of regulations governing boating on Florida waterways. These regulations include special rules that apply to personal watercraft, such as jet skis, which do not apply to the operation of other vessels. All jet ski operators must be a minimum of 14 years old, and 18 years old to rent one. Jet ski operators, as well as any passengers or people being towed by a jet ski, must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times.
Any operator of a vessel with a motor that has 10 or more horsepower who is under age 30 must complete a boating education course as offered by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators or have passed an equivalent course. Jet ski operators cannot operate their watercraft more than a half-hour after sunset nor more than a half-hour before sunrise. Operators must have their navigation lights on anytime after sunset or before sunrise.
There is a special definition for “reckless operation” that applies only to jet skis. Jet ski operators who are found to have operated their jet skis recklessly can face charges of a first-degree misdemeanor. “Reckless operation” is defined in the law as:
Weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably close or when visibility around the vessel is obstructed, or swerving at the last possible moment to avoid a collision.
How do jet ski accidents happen?
- Drunk operating: Jet skis are often out on the water on weekends and holidays, a time when people want to have fun on the water. This often involves drinking, but safe operators must know their limits. Drunken operation is often cited as a factor in jet ski accidents.
- Mechanical failures: A defectively manufactured or repaired jet ski can fail on the water, causing a collision, fire, or other serious accident.
- Obscured vision: Waverunners are designed to shoot a jet of water out of the rear of the vessel. If you are riding behind a Waverunner, you might be unable to see the water in front of you, causing a crash.
- Reckless or aggressive operation: If operators are riding closely behind or between other vessels, or traveling at an unsafe speed, this behavior can cause a crash.
What injuries are common in a Florida jet ski accident?
Jet ski accidents can be highly dangerous and violent. In nearly half of all reported jet ski accidents, the jet ski was involved in a collision with another watercraft. Jet skis have been compared to motorcycles, in that both vehicles can travel at high rates of speed and maneuver quickly, and both offer little in the way of protection to riders should a collision occur.
Common injuries in a jet ski accident include:
- Spinal injuries
- Brain damage caused by partial drowning
- Burns from fuel fires
- Broken or cracked ribs
- Traumatic brain injuries
Get Strong and Experienced Legal Help After a Serious Florida Jet Ski Accident
After a serious jet ski accident, don’t settle for less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Contact the effective, determined, and trial-ready Florida jet ski accident attorneys at Meldon Law to discuss your legal options after an accident.