What is a personal watercraft?
Personal water crafts, often referred to by the Japanese name brand Jet Ski, are common on the waterways of in communities like Titusville and Melbourne. Unlike boats, which are operated by a person who sits inside the vessel, personal watercraft are operated by an individual who sits or stands directly on the vehicle. In 2016, there were 3,482 Jet Skis registered in Brevard County for recreational rental and personal ownership.
Jet Ski wrecks in Florida
In 2016, there were 158 reported Jet Ski accidents across Florida. More accidents took place on a bay or sound than in any other body of water; 37 of the 158 accidents occurred within a restricted area. The most common type of accident involved a Jet Ski colliding with another vessel. Watercraft drivers in more than half of the accidents that occurred in 2016 had not received prior boater education.
Types of injuries
Injuries sustained by Jet Ski riders vary depending on the factors involved in each accident. Impact that occurs at higher speeds is more likely to result in more severe injuries. Colliding with a larger vehicle can also be very devastating to the watercraft operator. In contrast, a low speed Jet Ski accident in which the driver collides with a stationery structure may result in less severe injury. Some of the most common injuries sustained in Jet Ski collisions are:
- broken bones
- dislocated joints
- ankle injury
- wrist injury
- back injury
- neck injury
- brain injury
- wrongful death
Causes of watercraft accidents in Melbourne
While every accident is different, there are several common causes that contribute to accidents involving personal watercraft. The majority of Jet Ski accidents in Melbourne and Titusville are caused by:
- rider falling off Jet Ski at a high rate of speed
- colliding with poles, walls, buoys, a sand bar, a dock, or debris
- colliding with another Jet Ski
- operator receiving inadequate instructions
- equipment failure
In some cases, a Jet Ski may collide with a larger boat. If a Jet Ski accident occurs as the result of another party’s negligence, the watercraft operator may receive compensation for his or her injuries. Victims of Jet Ski accidents in Titusville and Melbourne, Florida should contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney for guidance in filing a claim to request compensation.
Determining which party is liable in a Jet Ski accident is often a complex process. A company that offers watercraft tours may be liable if an inexperienced person is injured due to colliding with an object while operating a Jet Ski under the tour company’s supervision. However, a company may not be considered liable for certain injuries if the tour participant signed a document agreeing to release the company of potential liability prior to operating the Jet Ski. Still, a customer who signs a liability waiver may still file a claim against the watercraft manufacturer, owner, or the operator of another vehicle involved in the accident if any of these parties are at fault. Therefore, an individual who signs a liability release waiver does not completely sign away all rights to file a claim for damages.
Lawyers specializing in RV injury cases
Individuals who are injured in a Melbourne or Titusville Jet Ski accident should contact a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable of the local state law. In Florida, watercraft accident victims generally must file a claim within four years of the incident if they wish to request compensation for related damages. therefore, it is imperative that Melbourne and Titusville Jet Ski accident victims contact an experienced Brevard County, Florida personal injury attorney immediately after the accident occurs. Personal injury attorneys are available to provide a free case evaluation and help accident victims determine the best way to seek the compensation they deserve.