Summertime Brings Concerns of Jet Ski Liability in Florida
Jet skis/waverunners/personal watercraft provide hours of nautical fun, but they can also become the source of injuries and even death under various situations. Last week, Fort De Soto Park was the location of a jet ski/waverunner accident involving numerous people. According to a report by NBC News, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deployed its dive team to the park’s north beach, after being called in response to a jet ski/waverunner accident, where the two victims crashed into one another while riding the vehicles in the water. Though the passenger of one vehicle was not injured, both of the passengers on the other were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Last month, two more riders were injured following a jet ski crash in St. Augustine, as reported by First Coast News.
As the summer months approach and tourism increases, the number of jet ski/waverunner accidents will continue to grow. Last year, news outlets were filled with stories of jet ski/waverunner injuries and tragic deaths. According to reports, there are approximately 5,000 jet ski injuries within the state of Florida every year.
Causes of Jet Ski/Waverunner/Personal Watercraft Accidents
The causes for these individual accidents are varied. Driver fault is a common reason for these accidents. The operator may lack experience, driving the jet ski/waverunner without adequate instruction or knowledge of use. Many tourists see the jet ski as the adventurous part of their vacation, not realizing that it is a potentially dangerous motor vehicle. These adventure seekers sometimes hop on board without proper preparations. When this happens, the risk of accident is high.
Even the most experienced operator can cause an accident, when operating the jet ski/waverunner recklessly or under the influence of a substance. Certain models of jet skis/waveruner are capable of going extremely fast, and if done without proper care, traveling at high speeds can prove risky for the driver, as well as others who are enjoying the waterways. Add alcohol or drugs to the mix and an extremely dangerous situation is created. Operating a jet ski under the influence is just as serious as the impaired operation of a motor vehicle on the highway.
The other major cause of jet ski/waverunner accidents is mechanical defect. Just like automobiles, jet ski/waverunner design or manufacturing may lead to the malfunction of the machine, even if the driver acted correctly in operating the vehicle. When accidents occur, an experienced lawyer can assist the victim in discovering any design or production mistakes on the part of the jet ski/waverunner manufacturer.
Jet ski/waverunner accidents may result in liability for the vehicle operator, the owner of the jet ski/waverunner or the manufacturer. It may even be a situation where there is more than one party to hold responsible. These types of cases are challenging to navigate without the assistance of effective legal representation. As with all personal injury incidents, time is of the essence and victims are advised to seek counsel without delay.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a jet ski/waverunner/personal watercraft accident, contact the Miami based firm of Pita & Del Prado for knowledgeable guidance and aggressive representation. Call 305-670-2889 today for a free consultation.