Personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis, WaveRunners, and Sea-Doos, are popular recreational vehicles in Florida, especially in the summer months. After all, who doesn’t enjoy speeding over the waves during a day out on the lake or at the beach? While watercraft can provide a thrilling experience for riders, they can also be dangerous if operated recklessly or negligently and can quickly turn a fun-filled day into a nightmare.
Accidents involving personal watercraft can have devastating consequences on individuals and families. Understanding common causes of those accidents and what to do if you are involved in one can make a huge difference if you find yourself in that situation. Contacting a reliable accident attorney will also be a huge help if you or a loved one are in a personal watercraft accident.
Common Causes of Personal Watercraft Accidents
If you are considering using a personal watercraft like a Jet Ski or WaveRunner, first take a moment to learn about common causes of accidents so you can actively avoid them.
Personal watercraft accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common causes include:
- Operator error. Personal watercraft can be difficult to control, especially for inexperienced or reckless drivers. Common operator errors include speeding, failure to yield to other boats, and improper turning or maneuvering.
- Alcohol or drug use. Operating a personal watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and dangerous. Impaired operators may have delayed reactions, impaired judgment, and decreased coordination, which can increase the risk of accidents.
- Equipment failure. Personal watercraft must be properly maintained and inspected to ensure they are in good working order. Failure to do so can lead to mechanical failure which can cause an accident.
- Inadequate training. Operators of personal watercraft should receive adequate training on how to operate the vehicle safely and how to respond to emergency situations. Inadequate training can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
Legal Considerations in Personal Watercraft Accidents
If you are involved in a personal watercraft accident, there are several legal issues that you should be aware of. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another operator, such as speeding, failing to yield, or operating while under the influence, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries and other losses.
Florida uses a comparative fault system, which means that if you are partially at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if you are found to be 25 percent at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced by 25 percent. Florida has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which means that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally four years from the date of the accident.
Personal watercraft accidents may be covered by insurance policies, such as homeowners or boaters insurance. It is important to review your policy to understand your coverage and potential exclusions.
An experienced and reliable legal team can help you file a claim or a lawsuit in an effective and timely manner. The auto accident and personal injury team at Martin Hernandez Law Firm is your best choice if you’re dealing with a watercraft accident in the Tampa area.
What Should You Do if You’re Involved in a Personal Watercraft Accident?
If you are involved in a personal watercraft accident, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights and ensure your safety. If you or anyone else is injured, seek medical attention immediately. Report the accident to the appropriate authorities, such as the Coast Guard or local law enforcement. Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including any damage to the personal watercraft and other boats or property. Obtain the name, contact information, and insurance information of any other operators or witnesses involved in the accident.
Once all that is done, you’ll want to contact an experienced personal watercraft accident attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you navigate the legal process. The Martin Hernandez Law Office has a bilingual staff that is ready to meet with you for a consultation to discuss next steps.
Personal watercraft accidents can be serious and even deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal watercraft accident, it is important to take appropriate steps to protect your rights and ensure your safety.
By understanding the common causes of personal watercraft accidents, the legal issues involved, and the steps to take after an accident, you can better prepare yourself and your loved ones for a safe and enjoyable boating experience. If you are involved in a personal watercraft accident or any other auto accident, call https://InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com/ Martin J. Hernandez at 813.755.9500 or go online to sign up for your free one-on-one attorney consultation.