Jet Ski Accident Attorney

By:   Jason R. Margulies

Our Jet Ski Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Assist You

jet ski accident lawyersA jet ski accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation after a personal water craft accident. This includes all brands of personal water craft such as Sea Doos, jet skis, Wave Runners, etc.

Having been based in Miami, Florida, since 1971, it should come as no surprise that we have successfully handled a significant number of jet ski and waverunner injury cases. These cases are often difficult because of the unique maritime laws that apply to these cases. Fortunately, we have the experience and tenacity to successfully navigate such a claim on you or your family’s behalf.

A jet ski accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation after a personal watercraft accident. This includes all brands of personal watercraft such as Sea Doos, jet skis, Wave Runners, etc.

In Florida, rentals for boats, dive equipment and jet skis are prominent on the coast. These activities are a popular way to spend a day on the water.

Operating a jet ski is very different from operating a boat. While you may be an expert boater, a jet ski is much smaller, quicker, and more nimble. In addition, operators of jet skis sit closer to the water, making it more difficult to identify divers, swimmers, and other recreational boat or personal watercraft users.

The most dangerous aspect of operating jet skis is that when they do not have power, you can’t steer them. The normal reaction of an inexperienced operator in danger is to cut the power, which makes sense in a car that can be steered. But on a jet ski, this creates an uncontrolled vessel that can hit objects, other boaters, swimmers, etc. We successfully handled a case where a woman was catastrophically injured because of the failure to understand this simple, critical rule. She was in a dangerous situation and instead of using the power to steer the vessel she let go of the throttle and thus could not steer. Her waverunner ended up crashing into a pier. We were successful in the case by arguing that the owner of the waverunner was negligent in allowing her to drive the craft without any experience or training.

If you have suffered a personal watercraft injury, the jet ski attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., can help you determine the cause, identify the responsible parties, and seek the damages you deserve.

The Benefits of Having an Attorney from Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina, & Winkleman, P.A.

With an attorney from LMAW, 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.

Our Results

At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, our results speak for themselves. We have recovered over $300 million dollars on behalf of our clients.

While results in other cases won’t impact the results of your case, they do demonstrate our dedication and effectiveness.

Award-Winning Attorneys

We have worked hard to build a reputation of trust, experience, and capability. 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, Alsina & 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

LMAW 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
  • Overcrowding
  • Hazardous water conditions
  • Lack of supervision
  • Lack of proper training
  • Excessive speed

jetski accident lawyerMany 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, Alsina & 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.

Duty

To prove that someone had a duty, you must show that they had a responsibility to exercise some 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.

Breach

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.

Causation

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.

Damages

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

jetski accident attorneyTrying 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, Alsina & 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.

Liability Waivers

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.

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, Alsina & 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.

Comparative Negligence

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.

Time Limits

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.

Contact Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. Today

If you were injured in a jet ski accident, you deserve compensation for your losses. The attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkelman are here to help. For more information about jet ski accidents, or to begin your personal injury claim, contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation.