Our Jet Ski Accident Lawyers Fight for Victim’s Rights and Total Financial Compensation
The nation’s top-rated Jet Ski accident attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. have extensive experience advocating for victim’s rights. We opened our doors in 1971 and have consistently recovered the maximum compensation available for our clients for more than 50 years. Collectively, we have recovered over $300 million and are proud to have 15 full-time maritime and personal injury attorneys working at our eight office locations across the United States.
With multiple accolades and awards, including four of our Jet Ski accident attorneys being named to “Best Lawyers” ® in America, and Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. having been selected to “Best Law Firms” ® by US News & World Report for nearly a decade, our firm has the unique training and experience needed to win. Whether you or someone you love suffered catastrophic injuries in a jet ski accident, our unparalleled success as litigation attorneys gives us the confidence needed to secure a successful outcome.
Our founding attorney Charles Lipcon’s legal advocacy has shaped the way the legal system in the U.S. handles injuries and accidents on the water, and our attorneys regularly appear as expert guests discussing maritime injuries and accidents on respected talk shows and national news programs. You can rely on our team to hold liable parties accountable and protect your rights throughout the claims process.
Although suffering devastating injuries in a jet ski accident can be overwhelming, with our firm on your side, you can heal while we investigate the cause of your accident and determine the best course of action to make the at-fault party pay. Continue reading to learn more about how our jet ski accident attorneys are an invaluable resource when you have suffered severe injuries and what to expect from the claims process. Contact our office as soon as possible for a free consultation and start to take back control of your life.
The Benefits of Having Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. Represent You
With an attorney from LM&W, you can rest assured that you have a strong advocate in your corner. You can rely on our track record of favorable results, reputation for excellence, and years of experience in maritime law.
At Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, our results speak for themselves. We have recovered over $300 million on behalf of our clients. If you are looking for an experienced, proven, and aggressive jet ski accident attorney to represent your case and fight for the damages that you are rightfully entitled to, then look no further than the decorated team of attorneys at our maritime law firm.
While results in other cases won’t impact the results of your case, they best demonstrate our abilities and experience.
We have worked hard to build a reputation of trust, experience, and integrity. Our cases and attorneys are regularly featured on national television and other major media outlets. When major news networks like ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and FOX need an attorney analyst to talk about maritime accidents, they frequently reach out to Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman.
Our attorneys are nationally recognized for their knowledge and skills. All four of our named partners have been recognized as “Best Lawyers,” and our attorneys have received numerous other awards and honors.
Decades of Experience
LM&W has been representing maritime accident victims for over 50 years. Our practice focuses specifically on maritime law, and we have successfully handled over 3,000 cases.
Our experience and resources allow us to tackle cases other firms just aren’t equipped to handle. In fact, our firm has been instrumental in a number of landmark cases that have helped to define maritime law. We won’t shy away from a novel question of law. Instead, we leverage our knowledge and experience to forge new ground and fight for the interests of our clients.
Jet Skis Pose a Serious Safety Risk
Because jet skis are smaller than boats, injuries from accidents can be more severe. With the potential to cause significant damage to your spinal cord, head, and limbs, jet ski accidents can stem from a variety of reasons including:
- Poor instruction
- Unsafe conditions
- Poor weather conditions
- Defective machinery
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Hazardous water conditions
- Lack of supervision
- Lack of proper training
- Excessive speed
Many people have referred to jet skis as the motorcycles of the water. The light weight and small size of these motorized vehicles allow them to move more quickly, reach much higher speeds, and travel to places other boats cannot fit.
Since 1971, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., has been helping accident victims who have been harmed on inland and navigable waters. We maintain the highest standard of ethics and professionalism, and our peers and industry leaders recognize us as top-notch maritime lawyers.
If you have experienced an accident while on a jet ski, or if a personal watercraft rider caused harm to you or a loved one, reach out to a jet ski accident lawyer—sooner rather than later. You may be eligible for compensation, and a legal professional can help determine if you should move forward with legal action.
Obtaining Compensation for Your Accident
To get compensation for your jet ski accident, you must first show that someone else’s negligence caused the accident. This requires you to prove four elements.
To prove that someone had a duty, you must show that they had a responsibility to exercise reasonable care to protect you from harm. Those who operate personal watercraft and boats have a duty to use reasonable care not to injure others around them. Manufacturers have a duty to create products that are safe and free from defects. Personal watercraft rental companies in Florida have a statutory duty to provide proper safety instruction to renters.
Once you have established a duty, you need to show that the defendant breached that duty. For example, personal watercraft operators may breach their duty by failing to follow safety instructions, drinking alcohol, or speeding. A manufacturer may breach its duty by selling a product that is poorly designed, has a defective component, or doesn’t come with proper safety instructions. A rental company may breach its duty by failing to give you proper instructions or not properly maintaining the watercraft.
To prove causation, you have to show that your accident was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. For example, you can’t sue the manufacturer for the rental company’s failure to properly maintain the vehicle. And you can’t sue the rental company if the accident was caused by something the operator did (assuming the operator was properly instructed).
Causation requires that the accident or injury be reasonably foreseeable as a result of the breach. For example, if you decided to pull your boat up to the dock to avoid a reckless jet skier in your vicinity, and then you twisted your ankle climbing out of the boat, you probably can’t show that your injury was a foreseeable result of the reckless driving.
Finally, you have to prove that you suffered a loss or “damages” as a result of the negligent conduct. Damages can include things like:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage,
- Disability or disfigurement,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
You can document these damages with things like bills, wage statements, medical records, and expert testimony.
If the defendant acted intentionally or with complete disregard for the consequences of their actions, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. These damages go beyond your actual losses and are intended to punish the wrongdoer for bad behavior.
Challenges You May Face in Your Jet Ski Lawsuit
Trying to recover from a jet ski accident can pose some significant challenges. The insurance company will try to convince you that your claim is weak in an effort to minimize your damages. If they tell you that a liability waiver bars your claim or that your own actions contributed to the accident, you may believe you are simply out of luck.
Furthermore, the owner of the watercraft may file a Limitation of Liability proceeding which would attempt to limit the damages in the case to the value of the watercraft (which is nominal).
The jet ski attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman have many years of experience handling these types of cases. We understand the insurance companies’ tactics and how to respond to the arguments they may raise. And we understand how to navigate around the unique laws that exist that may work to limit the value of your case. We can advise you on how these and other obstacles affect your case.
To rent a jet ski, many establishments require you to sign a waiver indicating that you understand the risk associated with recreational personal watercraft use. The waiver may free the rental company of any accident liability. While you cannot be forced to sign a waiver, the rental company will likely forbid you from using their equipment without your signature. Importantly, these waiver are NOT always enforceable.
If you have been injured in a jet ski accident, it is important to consult with a jet ski accident lawyer, even if you signed a rental waiver. It is possible that you can still take legal action to receive compensation after your accident. For example, if your claim is based on the rental company’s failure to provide proper instruction, their attempt to waive liability may be barred by public policy.
The legal team at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., understands the rules and exceptions for liability waivers. We will review your waiver and evaluate your options for legal action against the rental company.
In Florida, every person who shares any fault for an accident is liable to pay damages proportionate to their fault. This means that if you were partially at fault for your accident, your damages award will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you were 20% at fault, you can recover 80% of your damages. The insurance company will try to play up your degree of fault to avoid paying. But with an experienced attorney on your side, you can use the evidence to minimize your fault and maximize your damages award.
Suing the Wrong Party
In personal watercraft accidents, it is common for more than one party to be at fault. You may have claims against the manufacturer, operator, rental company, or anyone else who contributed to the accident. If more than one party is responsible, they will be required to pay based on their percentage of fault.
Because so many parties can have a hand in a jet ski accident, your case will likely require investigation to discover who is truly responsible. Our attorneys can help you identify all the at-fault parties to increase your chances of obtaining the full compensation you deserve.
Maritime law generally gives you three years from the date of your jet ski accident to file a lawsuit. If you file after that, the court will likely dismiss your case. It is important to contact our jet ski attorneys as soon as possible after an accident so that we can help you comply with all deadlines. If you think the statute of limitations has expired on your case, we can help you determine whether any exceptions might apply.
Frequently Asked Questions About Jet Ski Accidents and Jet Ski Accident Lawsuits
The following are some of the questions that you and your jet ski accident attorney will work through over the course of your case, and some which can be answered—at least generally—during your initial consultation after providing some specific details about your accident and subsequent injuries. The following questions and answers are not meant to be interpreted as legal advice and are simply intended to give you an overall sense of how these questions can be answered. Contact us as soon as possible for your initial consultation, where you and your jet ski attorney can set the groundwork for answering these questions and fighting for the compensation that you are rightfully owed.
Who is at fault for my jet ski accident?
There are many different factors that go into each case in order to determine who is at fault for the accident, starting with whether or not you were the driver or passenger, how you ended up riding on the jetski, the circumstances that led to the accident, and much more. In order to determine who is at fault, we will need to explore all of these details and many more, and then work either directly with the defendant, their legal counsel, or their insurance company in order to reach an agreement on the amount of fault that is assigned to them before moving on.
Florida uses a rule known as modified comparative negligence when it comes to assigning fault in personal injury cases and allows for the victim to be found partially responsible for a crash and still be entitled to damages – simply by reducing by the percentage that the victim has accepted fault to account for their comparative negligence.
How much is my jet ski accident claim worth?
In order to calculate the compensatory damages that a victim is owed following a jet ski accident or any other personal injury, there are many different financial, emotional, and physiological issues that we will need to consider. Compensatory damages are divided into two types: economic damages and non-economic damages, and while each is equally important, they are very different types of damages that require much different calculation methods.
Economic damages seek compensation for all measurable financial impacts of your accident — essentially, anything that comes with a receipt, invoice, bill, paystub, or any other tangible documentation that assigns a clear dollar value. For example, some of the most common economic damages include your medical bills, ambulance rides, physical therapy costs, and any impacts on your earnings such as lost wages from time missed at work, disability payments, or permanently diminished earning capacities.
Non-economic damages are more complicated to determine a final value for because they seek compensation for the damages from your accident that do not have any measurable dollar values. These include things like your pain and suffering that you have endured from your injuries, as well as the emotional and psychological impacts of your accident such as fear, anxiety, and trauma. In order to quantify these damages, your attorney will choose from a variety of established methods in order to build the strongest argument for the maximum damages.
Should I settle my claim with the insurance company on my own, or do I need to hire a jet ski accident attorney?
As with any other step throughout an insurance claims process or lawsuit, you should not agree to anything with the insurance company without first consulting with your attorney, or better yet, simply leaving all communications to your attorney so that you can avoid the stress of the entire process. Regardless of the arrangement that you and your attorney have in terms of communications, though, it is essential that you let your attorney negotiate your settlement aggressively, meaning that in no case should you accept the initial offer.
Our Jet Ski Accident Lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. Work Tirelessly to Protect Victim’s Rights
The Jet Ski accident attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. have more than 200 years of combined experience and have been named to “Best Law Firms” ® by US News & World Report for the last seven years, and we are proud that four of our personal injury attorneys were selected as one of the “Best Lawyers” ® in America. Our leading trial lawyers have the legal knowledge and experience you need to recover maximum compensation for your damages. We are uniquely prepared to help jet ski accident victims get through some of the most difficult times in their lives.
When you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries or been killed in a jet ski accident, we are here to offer you the legal guidance and support you deserve. Contact us today or call our office at 877–233–1238 for a confidential and free consultation and connect with a reputable personal injury lawyer.