St. Petersburg Jet Ski Accident Lawyer
Many people take advantage of Florida’s coastlines and other waterways by using a jet ski. Indeed, jet skis are among the most popular forms of recreational watercraft in use today. But when an inexperienced or negligent individual is in control, a jet ski can pose a serious danger to the operator and other people alike.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident caused by a jet ski, you may be entitled to compensation from a negligent operator or another party. A qualified St. Petersburg jet ski accident lawyer can review your case and apprise you of your options. Attorney Frank D. Butler has three decades of experience in handling personal injury claims on behalf of watercraft accident victims and he knows how to obtain the best possible outcome in these cases.
Why Do Jet Ski Accidents Happen in Florida Waters?
Jet skis are popular because they are relatively small and lightweight compared to other recreational watercraft. But that small size can be deceiving. A jet ski is still a motorized vehicle that can reach high speeds, which makes it a potential danger when not used correctly.
Some common causes of jet ski accidents in Florida include:
- Reckless operation. A jet ski operator is considered reckless–and can actually be charged with a misdemeanor in Florida–if they weave carelessly through traffic, jump a wake too close to other vessels, or otherwise maneuver their vehicle in a way that can cause unreasonable harm to the operator or others.
- Operating under the influence. Jet skis are obviously designed for people to have fun. Unfortunately, some operators’ definition of “fun” includes drinking alcohol while riding a jet ski. But just as drinking and driving frequently leads to car accidents, the same is true of drinking and operating a jet ski.
- Mechanical defects. Even when operators do everything correctly, an accident may still occur if the jet ski itself was defective or was not properly maintained by the owner.
- Inexperienced and unqualified operators. Florida law requires a jet ski operator to be at least 14 years old, and no one can rent a jet ski unless they are at least 18 years old and have a boating safety education identification card. An owner or rental company can be held liable for an accident caused by an underage or unqualified driver.
Similar to motorcycle accidents, jet ski crashes are often catastrophic due to the relative lack of protection for the people involved. It is not uncommon in jet ski accidents for victims to suffer brain injuries due to partial drowning, spinal cord damage, and even burn injuries if the fuel in the jet ski or another watercraft catches fire.
Contact Attorney Frank D. Butler Today
Jet ski accidents are quite serious. They can leave victims and their families with unpaid medical bills, lost income, and ongoing pain and suffering. So if you have been injured in such an accident and are looking to hold a negligent party accountable, we can help. If you need to speak with a St. Petersburg jet ski accident attorney, contact the offices of Frank D. Butler, P.A., today to schedule an initial consultation.