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When Can You Sue for a Jet Ski Accident in South Florida?

February 28, 2022 Jet Ski & Personal Watercraft Accidents

Each year, there are hundreds of jet ski accidents across Florida. The majority of these accidents occur in South Florida, with roughly 20 percent occurring in Miami-Dade County alone. If you’ve been injured in one of these accidents, you may be wondering: “Can you sue?” As our Miami jet ski accident attorneys explain, the answer is “Yes” in many cases.

Dangerous Jet Ski Accidents are Becoming Increasingly Common

According to data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), dangerous jet ski accidents are becoming increasingly common. These accidents are split almost evenly between privately-owned and rented jet skis.

Regardless of who owns (or who is operating) a jet ski, accident victims can seek financial compensation for their injuries in many cases. Some examples of potential grounds for filing a jet ski accident claim include:

  • Renting or lending a jet ski to an inexperienced operator
  • Renting, lending or riding a poorly-maintained jet ski
  • Exceeding the jet ski operator’s capabilities
  • Riding too fast
  • Riding too close to land, docks or other vessels
  • Failing to avoid collisions (often due to attempting to turn after letting off the throttle)
  • Operating a jet ski under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Operating a jet ski while distracted
  • Racing, horseplay and other dangerous behaviors
  • Lacking the knowledge, skill or experience required to operate a jet ski safely

According to the Florida FWC, the substantial majority of jet ski accidents occur at cruising speed or while the jet ski operator is attempting to change directions, change speeds or jump a wake. This means that the substantial majority of jet ski accidents are avoidable. When a jet ski operator has the opportunity to avoid an accident and fails to do so, the operator can be held liable in most cases.

The most common causes of jet ski accidents further illustrate the fact most of these accidents are avoidable. According to the Florida FWC, the five leading causes of jet ski accidents are:

  • Inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Careless or reckless operation
  • Excessive speed
  • Attempting to steer off-throttle

Who Can You Sue for a Jet Ski Accident?

Let’s say you have a jet ski accident claim. Now, the question becomes, “Who can you sue?”

The answer to this question depends on the circumstances involved. If the accident involved a rented jet ski, the rental company could be liable. If it involved a privately-owned jet ski, the owner could be liable. This is true even if the owner wasn’t the one operating the jet ski at the time of the accident. It may be possible to file a lawsuit against the operator as well; but, the challenge here is that a non-owner operator is less likely to have insurance that will cover your losses.

Contact Our Miami Jet Ski Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you need more information about suing for a jet ski accident in South Florida, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. Call 800-499-0551 or contact us online to speak with one of our Miami jet ski accident attorneys as soon as possible.