The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said there were a combined 16 personal watercraft (PWC) accidents with 15 injuries in Charlotte, Collier and Lee Counties in 2019. Lee County was ranked number 5 in the top 10 counties with PWC accidents. There were several causes of the PWC accidents, including the primary one of a collision with another vessel, followed by operator inexperience, careless/reckless operation, and excessive speed.
Florida Statute 327.02(36) defines personal watercraft as “a vessel less than 16 feet in length which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel, rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.”
FloridaMarineGuide.com says, “Anyone under the age of 22 (21 and under) is required to have a boating safety education ID card along with a photo ID while operating a vessel with 10 horsepower or greater in Florida waters. This includes a personal watercraft (PWC). Persons under age 14 may not operate a PWC. A person is exempt from this requirement if there is a person on board who is not affected by this law or is at least 18 years of age and holds a boater education ID card. This person must be attendant to and take responsibility for the safe operation of the vessel. The type of card you need depends on whether you are a resident of Florida or not. If you are a Florida resident, you can take an online boating safety course which is approved by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Successfully completing this course will allow you to obtain the official Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card.”
The primary types of PWC injuries reported by the FWC were:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Internal injuries
When PWC accidents occur and there are injuries, victims and their families are entitled to seek compensation for their losses, including compensation for their past, present and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other types of damages. In the case of a death resulting from an accident, recoverable expenses may include funeral and burial expenses as well.
“Should you or a loved one be injured because of the negligence of another, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. after seeking medical attention. There are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you. We are available 24/7 to assist you,” said Fort Myers Boat Accident Attorney Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Boat Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.