Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Wave Runner Accident Victims Throughout Florida
Have you or a loved one been involved in a wave runner accident? If so, you may be eligible for compensation. An experienced Fort Myers personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the justice and damages you rightfully deserve.
The Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., represents people and their families who have been injured or killed in accidents involving wave runners, jet skis, and other types of personal watercraft. Schedule a free consultation today at (888) 477-4839 to discuss your options.
Wave Runner Safety Risks
For most people, wave runners, along with jet skis and other personal watercraft are a fun and enjoyable recreational activity. However, these personal watercrafts can be very dangerous, resulting in serious injury. That said, accidents can happen due to a lack of training. Also, the injuries sustained by those involved in wave runner accidents tend to be more significant. Wave runner crashes can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including:Colliding with boats, docks, pilings, and other obstructions
- Lack of supervision
- Lack of or poor instruction and training
- Excessive speed
- Unsafe water conditions
- Inclement weather
- Machine defects
- Poor maintenance
Requirements for a Wave Runner Injury Claim
To establish a claim for a wave runner accident or any other type of personal watercraft accident, you must show that the accident and resulting injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. This requires you to prove four elements:
A Duty Existed
First, you must show that a business, wave runner rental company, or another person had a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to you. For example, personal watercraft operators have a duty to act in a way that a reasonable person would act to prevent injury to those around them. Personal watercraft manufacturers have a duty to create products that are safe and defect-free. Personal watercraft rental companies have a duty to provide proper safety instructions to renters and safe equipment.
Breach of That Duty
Next, you must show that the defendant breached that duty. For instance, a manufacturer may breach its duty by selling a defectively designed or manufactured product. A rental company may breach its duty by failing to provide proper instructions or not maintaining the watercraft in a safe condition.
Next, you must show that the accident was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. The accident and resulting injuries have to be reasonably foreseeable as a result of the breach. For example, it would be reasonably foreseeable that a drunk operator would crash into you, or that a design defect would cause the wave runner to crash, or a lack of proper training would result in an accident.
Lastly, you must prove that you suffered actual damages (i.e., reasonably foreseeable injuries that can be compensated for) as a result of the defendant’s breach of his or her duty. Damages may include:
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Disability or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Such damages must be provable in court. Such proof can include copies of your pay stubs to support a claim for lost wages. Similarly, copies of medical bills can support a claim for medical expenses.
Finally, if defendants act willfully, intentionally, or with complete disregard for the consequences they cause, you may also be able to recover punitive damages. These damages are above and beyond your actual losses and are intended to punish the wrongdoer for bad behavior and discourage future bad behavior. All of your damages are compensated for monetarily and must be clearly established. Therefore, it is important to keep careful records of anything you have lost due to your injuries.
Consequences of Wave Runner Accidents
While these types of watercraft can be the source of significant enjoyment and recreation, wave runner accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. Even the most experienced personal watercraft operators and owners can make mistakes in operating these machines, and unexpectedly rough waters, high boat wakes, or heavy boat traffic all can contribute to potentially serious accidents.
Likewise, defective watercraft can result in accidents even for the most experienced personal watercraft operator. Any operator of wave runners, jet skis, and other personal watercraft often may not realize that the watercraft was dangerously designed, and those defects can result in serious accidents. When these defects occur, the designer, manufacturer, and/or distributor of the watercraft all may be liable for the injuries resulting from any such accident. Defective watercraft can result from design or manufacturers defects. Sometimes the manufacturers are aware of product defects, but fail to properly warn consumers about the defect before distributing the product on the market.
Our Fort Myers attorneys also represent tourists and inexperienced riders who rent wave runners, jet skis and personal watercraft from facilities who do not properly train or instruct them on properly using the watercrafts. Renting facilities neglect to teach new riders the dangers of the waterways, the dangers of operating the personal watercraft, the dangers of boat wakes, and the hazards that navigational markers and boat traffic can create. These individuals rarely have much experience in operating these kinds of watercraft, and are usually given no more instructions beyond how to accelerate and apply the brake. When such poor instructions are given, accidents are bound to occur often with devastating results.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Case Today During a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or death as a result of a wave runner, Jet Ski or personal watercraft accident, please contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., immediately for a free consultation. Since there are strict time limits within which you must make your claim for compensation, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as quickly as possible after the incident. Whether your accident occurred due to a defective watercraft, operator error, or a lack of operator instruction or experience, Fort Myers personal injury lawyer Randall L. Spivey is here to help. There are no fees or costs that you must pay unless you win financial compensation for your losses from the party responsible for the accident.
Please visit our settlements and verdicts page to view the results in some of the personal watercraft accident cases and other types of cases handled by Randall L. Spivey.
More Helpful Information
Jet skiing is very popular in Southwest Florida and is enjoyed throughout the year. To the observer, it may look like an easy pastime, but since they can travel over 60 mph on top of the water, it can be risky.
A trip to the beach will reveal that Florida has many PWCs (personal watercraft), and the numbers are growing. With this growth, we can expect accidents to occur which cause injuries and even, on occasion, fatalities.
According to the United States Coast Guard, of the 4,062 boating accidents which occurred in the United States in 2013, the most common recreational boat types involved in these accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (18%), and cabin motorboats (17%).
A University of Florida study showed that wave runner accidents and other PWC accidents cause far greater injuries than other boating accidents.