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Our Attorneys Fight for Full Compensation for Your Injuries After a Personal Watercraft Accident

Knowledgeable attorneys apply decades of experience in personal injury litigation to obtain just and fair compensation

With thousands of miles of coastline, lakes covering millions of acres, nearly 2,000 miles of rivers and 2,000 marinas, Florida is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. This makes the use of personal watercrafts (PWCs) extremely popular. PWCs are often erroneously referred to as Jet Skis, WaveRunners and Sea Doos, but those specific crafts are actually trademarked names of Kawasaki, Yamaha and Bombadier. Regardless, the popularity of these crafts has led to numerous injuries. When a PWC accident occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may avail yourself of legal remedies to recover compensation for your damages. The lawyers at Osborne & Francis Law Firm PLLC are here to help when you are the victim of negligence as a PWC rider. Our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys have the skills necessary to obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.

The dangers associated with personal watercrafts

A PWC is defined by the Coast Guard as a 13-foot inboard vessel that is powered by a jet pump and inboard motor, and designed to be operated by an individual who is kneeling, standing or sitting in the craft. With speeds reaching 85 mph, the very nature of these crafts leaves PWC riders at risk of many hazards, especially from boat operators. Their small size makes them difficult to spot in the water and their speed often prohibits successful evasive action when they are spotted. Add to this the often inattentive nature of boat operators, and negligent accidents can quickly occur.

In many cases, an inexperienced and insufficiently trained operator may be ejected off the back of the PWC into the path of the craft’s high-pressure jet pump water stream, severely injuring the rider. While a high number of PWCs are privately owned, commercial rentals of these crafts represent a significant portion of their presence on the water. Manufacturers and rental agencies overwhelmingly target young, inexperienced consumers in their marketing campaigns, adding to the risks of operating these crafts. Design defects, such as an inability to effectively control the direction of the PWC and the lack of a rudder, compound the difficulties associated with operating these vessels. While the majority of PWC riders experience no more than an exhilarating ride that feels quite dangerous, those who actually experience the hazards first-hand may never be the same.

Devastating personal watercraft accident injuries

The U.S. Coast Guard has identified PWC accidents as the second most common type of water vessel accident, and the number two leading cause of death in U.S. vessel accidents. Collisions are the most common cause of injury or death, followed by falls from the crafts and being run over. Design defects and poor maintenance contribute to PWC accidents and injuries as well. People involved in PWC accidents may suffer some of the following injuries due to blunt force trauma, drowning and other consequences of a personal watercraft accident:

  • Concussions
  • Amputations
  • Damage to Internal organs
  • Burns
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Death

Florida law requires renters of PWCs to be 18 years of age, but you need only be 14 years old to ride one. Use of life jackets is also required. Unfortunately, the sparse laws and regulations for PWCs are often quite inadequate in safety standards.

Call our boating accident lawyers if you or someone you love has been injured in a personal watercraft accident

Traumatic personal watercraft accident injuries can have a permanent impact on a victim’s life. And the prevalence of young PWC riders makes this situation even more tragic. If you or someone you love has been injured, or lost their life to a personal watercraft accident, please call (561) 293-2600 or contact Osborne & Francis Law Firm PLLC online to discuss your case with a member of our personal injury legal team.

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