Boat & Jet Ski Accident Attorneys
Whether cruising the open ocean or traveling along the Intracoastal Waterway or a lake, boats and jet skis are popular recreational vessels in Florida. Because of the popularity of these vessels, and factors such as inexperienced drivers traveling at high speeds, boat and jet ski accidents regularly occur. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boat or jet ski accident, contact an accident attorney with 911 Biker Law.
Common Causes For Boat & Jet Ski Accidents
In 2017, inattention by boat operators was the leading cause of all accidents in the state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. These accidents accounted for 23.9 percent of the reportable accidents in the state and included incidents where boaters didn’t use a proper lookout.
Many people consume alcoholic beverages before or while operating boats and jet skis. This is legal as long as the person is age 21 or older and their blood alcohol level doesn’t exceed 0.08 percent, as set in Florida Statute § 327.35. But remember, alcohol consumption can impair reaction time and depth perception, two faculties all boaters and jet ski operators should have at all times for the safety of themselves and others.
Careless Or Reckless Operation
Florida Statute § 327.33 requires any person operating a water vessel, including boats and jet skis, to do so in a “reasonable and prudent manner.” Similar to operating a vehicle on the roadway, boat and jet ski operators are expected to enjoy the outdoors and waterways while obeying the rules and regulations for water vessels.
Violation Of Speed Restrictions
Drivers and operators who speed while operating watercraft may be unable to stop safely or in time before striking another craft, vessel, or stationary object such as a dock. Excessive speed was cited as the primary cause in 6.5 percent of boating accidents in Florida during 2017.
Inexperience can lead to unsafe decisions and/or maneuvers while on the water and result in injury to the driver and/or others. It was also the second leading cause of boating accidents in 2017, accounting for 11.7 percent of all reportable boating accidents.
Colliding with another water vessel was the primary type of jet ski accident in 2017. Of the 151 accidents reported statewide, 41.7 percent were collisions. Collisions with another vessel or a fixed object were the leading type of all boating accidents throughout Florida at 47.1 percent.
Frequent Injuries With Boat & Jet Ski Accidents
Depending on many factors, such as location, weather conditions, and type of accident, injuries can vary widely. But, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, these injuries occurred most frequently with boat and jet ski accidents in 2017:
- Drowning or near drowning
- Broken or fractured bones
- Head injuries
- Sprains and/or strains
Who Is Liable For Boat & Jet Ski Accidents?
Most boat or jet ski accidents involve striking another watercraft, the wake of another watercraft, a wave, or submerged land, rock, or another submerged object. Determining liability can hinge on Florida, federal, and/or maritime law, depending on where the accident occurred. When you contact 911 Biker Law, you’ll speak with an accident attorney who can resolve questions of negligence and liability in boating accidents. Our law firm has helped many clients recover compensation for injuries sustained in boating or jet ski accidents while holding a negligent party liable for their actions.
What To Do If You’ve Been Involved In A Boat Or Jet Ski Accident
Calling 911 as soon as possible is important since injuries are often severe. Because many waterways and locations are in isolated areas, it’s possible law enforcement and/or the Coast Guard will be able to respond more quickly than medical personnel.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you believe the accident isn’t serious, seek medical attention. The strength of a claim built by personal injury attorneys depends on full medical evaluation and subsequent treatments.
Preserve Evidence Of The Accident
Along with law enforcement and medical reports, the strength of a personal injury claim is increased by evidence from the scene. Take photos with a camera or smartphone of the area, including the damaged boat or jet ski if possible. Also, note weather conditions at the time as the weather has a role in many watercraft accidents.