Living in South Florida can feel like you’re on a permanent vacation. The weather is beautiful all year round, and residents can enjoy an array of outdoor activities. Activities that take place on the water are a particular favorite for most Floridians, whether that includes boating, fishing, waterskiing, or jet skiing. Jet skis and Waverunners are the two most popular types of personal watercrafts in Florida.
Unfortunately, while jet skiing is a fun and adventurous activity, it is also inherently dangerous. Being in and around the ocean carries certain risks, and when you combine high speeds, dangerous waters, and the folly of youth, a lot can go wrong. If you or a loved one have been injured in a jet ski or Waverunner accident, contact a Miami jet ski accident lawyer at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA to receive an honest assessment of your claim for damages.
Common Jet Ski and Waverunner Injuries
Jet ski injuries can range from mild to severe, depending on the context of the collision. One of the biggest concerns about riding jet skis is that no matter how mild the injury is, when a crash occurs, there is always a risk of drowning. Some of the most common injuries that are sustained as a result of jet ski accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Damaged ear drums
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
Causes of Personal Watercraft Accidents in Miami, FL
Jet ski accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, the factors that cause a jet ski crash are caused by nature, whether it be the weather or the ocean was choppy that day. Other times, human error is the cause of the collision. A few factors that can contribute to a jet ski accident include:
- Mechanical failure
- Inclement weather conditions
- Dangerous waters
- Poor visibility
- Illegal substances
- Prescription drugs
- Unsafe speeds and maneuvers
- Unsafe operation of surrounding vessels
- Defective safety equipment
- Lack of safety equipment
- Operator inexperience or lack of training
- Lack of safety warnings
- Operator error
Often times, a jet ski crash occurs because of a combination of factors. In order to hold responsible parties liable for your injuries, it is critical that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Establishing Negligence In Accidents Involving Personal Watercrafts
The State of Florida has a 4 year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means that an injured person has 4 years from the date of the accident to file a claim for damages. Individuals who are injured in jet ski related accidents typically file claims on the basis of negligence. To succeed on a claim for negligence, there are four essential elements that must be established. These elements are as follows:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached the legal duty of care that was owed;
- The defendant’s breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result.
There are two types of damages that an injured person can collect after suffering damages in a jet ski accident: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are awarded to make a plaintiff “whole.” They are divided into two subcategories: monetary and nonmonetary. Monetary recovery can include the following damages:
- Present and future lost earnings
- Present and future medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Household services
- Wrongful death damages
Nonmonetary damages are recoverable, although they are more difficult to calculate. Some examples of nonmonetary damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where a court finds that a defendant’s conduct was intentional or so egregious to the degree that it shocks the conscience. Their purpose is to make an example out of a defendant in an effort to deter others from committing similar acts in the future. Florida has a cap on the amount of punitive damages that a plaintiff can collect in a personal injury case. An injured party may collect 3 times the amount of compensatory damages that were awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Miami Jet Ski and Waverunner Injury Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
After suffering from injuries in a jet ski accident, medical bills can pile up at an uncomfortable rate. Being out of work and figuring out how to compensate for your loss of income is stressful and overwhelming. If you or someone you love have been injured in a jet ski accident, you may be entitled to just compensation for your injuries. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA provide high quality legal representation to jet ski injury victims in the South Florida and greater Miami areas. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Miami jet ski injury attorney you can trust to fight for you.