Personal Watercraft Accident Attorney in Florida
Jet Ski, Sea-Doo & WaveRunner Accidents
Personal watercraft—often referred to simply as “Jet Skis” but which can include Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, and WaveRunners—are a popular form of recreation in Florida. Unfortunately, they can also be extremely dangerous. When personal watercraft operators are careless or reckless, they can cause serious accidents that leave innocent people seriously hurt.
If you were injured or if your loved one died due to a Jet Ski or personal watercraft accident in Florida, you deserve justice—and Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. can help. Our experienced trial attorneys understand complex state and federal laws regulating personal watercraft operation, manufacturing, and litigation. Since 1994, our firm has successfully recovered more than $300 million in compensation for our clients, and we are known for our aggressive approach to negotiation and trial. As a client, you can expect personalized service, consistent availability, and direct communication from your attorney.
Common Causes of Jet Ski Accidents
Jet Ski and other personal watercraft accidents are most commonly caused by negligence. Anyone over the age of 13 is allowed to operate a personal watercraft in Florida, and many of these individuals are inexperienced. They may make serious mistakes or act carelessly, causing catastrophic or even fatal injury to others.
Some of the most common causes of Jet Ski accidents include:
- Inadequate instruction
- Reckless operation
- Navigational rules violations
- Insufficient adult supervision
- Failure to keep a lookout
- Hazardous waters
- Improper or lack of watercraft maintenance
These and other forms of negligence can lead to all types of devastating accidents, including collisions with other watercraft, hazards in the water, and even swimmers. Tragically, these incidents are often fatal.
When another person or party negligently causes a boating or personal watercraft accident, they can be held legally responsible. At Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A., our Florida Jet Ski accident attorneys have extensive experience in this area of law and know how to fight for justice on your behalf. We work with teams of experts to identify how the accident occurred and who is liable for your damages. Then, we present this information to the insurance company, judge, or jury and seek the maximum compensation you are owed for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages.
Personal Watercraft Accident Injuries
Due to the fact that these incidents take place on the water, the greatest risk to victims of Jet Ski and other personal watercraft accidents is drowning. Even when victims do not drown, they can suffer significant brain damage and other life-altering injuries due to near-drowning and related injuries.
Some of the most common injuries resulting from Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, and WaveRunner accidents include:
- Drowning and near-drowning
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Broken bones/fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Head and face injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Organ damage
- Ear drum injuries
- Accidental amputation
Victims often require immediate emergency attention and may require ongoing care lasting weeks, months, or even years. The cost of treating such serious injuries can quickly become exorbitant, leaving victims and their families struggling to keep up with medical bills and other unexpected financial hardships. On top of this, they must deal with the physical and emotional trauma of the accident, which can be debilitating.
Choose a Team with a Legacy of Success
At Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A., we fight for full, fair compensation for victims of serious Jet Ski and other personal watercraft accidents. Our firm has successfully handled numerous high-profile cases, including claims involving individual negligence, as well as litigation against manufacturers of defective watercraft.
Our Florida personal watercraft accident attorneys have a legacy of success in litigating complex claims against negligent and at-fault parties in all types of Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, and WaveRunner accident cases. One of our defective personal watercraft trials was featured on the Court TV network, and we have gone to trial four times against manufacturers of defective personal watercraft, including Bombardier (Sea-Doo) and Yamaha (WaveRunner).
Some of our success include:
- $39 million jury verdict against Yamaha WaveRunner for wrongful death
- $48.5 million submission to jury and confidential settlement during deliberations against Bombardier Sea-Doo
While every case is different, and there is no way to guarantee an outcome, it’s a good idea to know the success rate of any Jet Ski accident attorney you decide to work with. In order to be comfortable working with a personal watercraft injury lawyer, you should interview your prospective attorney before deciding to hire them and find out what their thoughts are on your case. You should also ask about previous cases they’ve worked on in the particular area of personal injury law that covers personal watercraft accidents.
At Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A., we are happy to answer any questions you may have about your case, our experience, or how we can help you file a personal injury claim. Our attorneys offer free, no-obligation consultations and make themselves readily available to our clients. Should you choose to hire us, you will receive your team’s personal contact information and be in direct contact with your attorney throughout the entire legal process. We prioritize client communication, personalized attention, and aggressive advocacy, both in and out of the courtroom.
Who is liable for a Jet Ski or personal watercraft accident?
Typically, the individual person or commercial entity responsible for causing the incident is liable for the victim’s ensuing damages. Depending on the circumstances of a case, this could be another boater or personal watercraft operator, a rental company, the party responsible for watercraft maintenance or repairs, the watercraft manufacturer, or another third party. Our team at Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. conducts exhaustive investigations to determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible for your injuries and losses.
How long do I have to file a Jet Ski accident claim in Florida?
Jet Ski and other personal watercraft accident lawsuits are subject to the state’s standard personal injury statute of limitations (in most cases). This means that you have four years to file a lawsuit against a liable party after a personal watercraft accident. However, your time to file an accident claim is typically limited to a “reasonable amount of time” following the incident. The exact language of the applicable insurance policy indicates how long you have to bring a claim; our attorneys can assist you in reviewing the details of your case.
What is an internal orifice injury?
In recent years, personal watercraft manufacturers have come under fire for design defects that put operators and passengers at risk of internal orifice injuries. An internal orifice injury is caused by excessive water propulsion into the vagina, anus, perineum, or rectum and can occur when a rider is thrown backwards from a personal watercraft directly behind the jet drive propulsion system and into the path of jet water thrust. In some cases, internal orifice injuries can lead to permanent disability or death.
How do internal orifice injuries happen?
Operators and passengers of personal watercraft that lack any type of safety restraint can be ejected from the watercraft’s seat during acceleration. The location of the watercraft’s jet drive propulsion system means that these individuals often land directly in the path of the watercraft’s jet water thrust. This can lead to devastating and even deadly internal orifice injuries—and personal watercraft manufacturers may be to blame. Simple design changes could incorporate mobility restraints, straps, grips, seating configuration changes, tail design changes, or handholds to prevent riders from being expelled from the personal watercraft, yet leading personal watercraft manufacturers like Bombardier, Kawasaki, and Yamaha have failed to update or change the design of their products.
Why should I hire a personal watercraft accident attorney?
An attorney can not only evaluate your claim and determine the cause of the accident and who is liable, but they can also handle the legal details of your case while you focus on your physical recovery. In any personal injury claim, the plaintiff is responsible for proving that they were injured due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of the defendant. This entails gathering evidence, submitting paperwork, and preparing for negotiation and/or litigation. Your attorney can assist you with each of these elements while also advocating for you and your rights. We encourage you to contact our team at Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. for a free initial consultation to learn how our attorneys can assist you with your case.
Aggressive, Experienced, and Compassionate Counsel
Client Centered Approach
We Are Always Accessible & Reachable To Our Clients
Work Directly With Your Attorney