South Florida Jet Ski Accident Attorneys
Personal Watercraft Accidents
While the official definition of a personal watercraft (PWC) varies from state to state, they are generally referred to as a vessel which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of power, and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel rather than the conventional manner of sitting or standing in the vessel. Manufacturers estimate that approximately 200,000 PWCs are sold each year and there are more than one million currently in operation in the United States alone. Because so many PWCs—in particular, Jet Skis—are bought every year, there are also a large number of injuries and accidents associated with the products—which means that there is a higher demand for a Jet Ski accident lawyer.
PWC usage and popularity has dramatically increased in recent years due to being a fun way to play on Florida’s and the U.S.’s lakes, rivers, and oceans; but too often, the fun turns to tragedy (traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, wrongful death). Although the overall number of recreational boating fatalities has been on the decline in recent years, the number of personal watercraft related fatalities continues to increase. PWCs are the only type of recreational vessel for which the leading cause of fatalities is not drowning. In fatalities, more persons die from blunt force trauma than from drowning. The law provides for victims of Jet Ski accidents who are injured to seek compensation for any damages that result from the negligent or careless actions of another, under personal injury statutes. In order to have the best chances at receiving your compensation, you should work with an experienced Jet Ski accident lawyer you feel you can trust.
View a list of frequently asked questions answered by a Jet ski injury lawyer.
Some of the safety concerns associated with personal watercraft death and injuries include:
- Counter-intuitive operating characteristics of personal watercraft (off-throttle steering)
- Lack of appropriate operator training
- Improper and inadequate warnings
- Orifice injures from water jet
Experienced South Florida Jet Ski Accident Attorneys
The boating accident attorneys at Zimmerman & Frachtman, a South Florida law firm, have successfully prosecuted claims against manufacturers of personal watercraft for various defects. One of the firm’s defective personal watercraft trials was featured on the Court TV network. The firm has gone to trial four times against manufacturers of defective personal watercraft, including against Bombardier (Sea-Doo) and Yamaha (Wave Runner). While every case is different, and there is no way to guarantee an outcome, it’s a good idea to know the success rate of any Jet Ski accident attorney you decide to work with. In order to be comfortable in working with a Personal watercraft injury lawyer, you should interview your prospective attorney before making a decision, and find out what their thoughts are on your case. You should also ask after previous cases they’ve worked on in the particular part of personal injury law that covers Jet Ski accidents and personal watercraft accidents.
Jet Ski Accident Results
- Yamaha Wave Runner – $39 million jury verdict for wrongful death
- Bombardier Sea-Doo – $48.5 million submission to jury; confidential settlement during deliberations
When the driver of a jet ski or waverunner is responsible for an accident caused, the injured riders of the watercraft may be able to file a claim against the driver or company operating the equipment. Some examples of accidents involving jet skis include hitting another watercraft, like a boat; hitting other objects in the water; hitting a dock; or, flipping the jet ski or waverunner.
In addition, there are instances where a driver of a jet ski hits another swimmer in the water if they ride too close to shore. The swimmer that was hit may also be able to file a claim against the driver or organization that operates the equipment.
If the driver of a jet ski hits a boat and injures occupants on the boat, those individuals may also be able to file a claim for compensation.
And, if there are mechanical or equipment failures that lead to an accident on a jet ski, then there may be a possibility for a products liability claim against the manufacturer or designer of the watercraft.
Another area where we have seen jet ski accidents occur is when riders are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Intoxication can easily cause accidents because it impairs the driver’s ability to properly operate the watercraft. When alcohol and/or drugs are a factor, the injured individuals can file a claim for punitive damages, where the intoxicated individual can be punished through the law.
Injuries on jet skis or waverunners can range dramatically, from mild injuries to severe injuries. The extent of the injuries depends on how hard the collision was. In some cases, death may even occur due to drowning. Some of the most common injuries that we’ve seen from jet ski accidents include:
- Sprains and Strains
- Broken Bones and Fractures
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Head Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Damaged Ear Drums
- Internal Organ Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
Contact Us Today
We understand that when you are recovering from an injury or helping a loved one to recover, you are going through a great deal of stress, and likely pain as well; while some attorneys will treat all personal injury cases as more or less the same, we take great pride in according individual attention to each case that we work on. We will dedicate the resources of our expert witnesses, our own knowledge of personal injury statutes, and years of experience in working on these cases, to make sure that you are getting the best possible representation. We have the experience and the dedication to see your case through to settlement or trial verdict.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a personal water craft accident, a jet ski accident, or in a boating accident and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please contact our law firm online or call (954) 509-1900 or toll free at (800) 886-LAWS. We offer free consultations and charge you only if we win your case.