Summer is right around the corner, and with the changing of the seasons comes a lot of water activities. From boat rides and jet ski adventures, to kite surfing and scuba diving, the list of water sports is endless.
As fun as it can be to spend the day on a boat or jet skiing in the summer breeze, these water-based activities pose a major threat to your safety. Even if precautions are taken and you follow all of the rules, accidents can happen.
Today, we want to inform you of the risks associated with jet skiing and going boating. We don’t intend to frighten you, but rather, we strive to educate everyone on the dangers of jet skiing and boating because jet ski and boating accidents are more common than people realize.
In fact, let’s take a close look at jet ski and boating accident statistics to paint a clearer picture of how you should handle the situation if it were to happen to occur.
Florida Watercraft Accident Statistics
According to the United States Coast Guard, there are approximately 4,168 recreational boating accidents every year. About 4,158 of these annual jet ski accidents happen in Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported the number of boating accidents in Florida as totaling 836 reportable accidents in 2020 alone. The most common cause of these boating accidents was a collision with other vessels.
Following collisions between multiple vessels, people falling overboard and being directly struck by a boat are the two other common causes of boating accidents. Interestingly enough, cruising recreationally—such as what people do on the weekends where they are leisurely cruising on the water—is the most common activity at the time of boating accidents.
Of all boating accidents reported in Florida last year, 762 took place while people were cruising recreationally. This shows that accidents can strike at any time, even when you’re casually cruising on the water without a care in the world.
In terms of jet skiing accidents in Florida, the injuries sustained from these types of personal injury incidents are often more dangerous than other boating accidents due to the nature of jet skis. Not only are they far more powerful than boats but jet skis offer less bodily protection, leaving jet ski users very exposed.
Water Safety Laws in Florida
The state of Florida has numerous safety laws in place to protect people on the water and minimize the likelihood of becoming a victim of boating or jet ski accidents. While accidents can still transpire despite these water safety laws, the intention is to deter many of the behaviors that lead to boating and jet ski accidents in Florida.
One of the many safety laws states that all passengers aboard boats or any other water-based vessel are required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) that has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, there must be at least one additional PFD within reach in case of emergencies.
It is unlawful to operate water-based motor vehicles and vessels while intoxicated. If you are operating a vessel with a blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08% then you are risking the lives of everyone on board the vessel. The likelihood of getting into a boating or jet ski accident increases when alcohol is involved.
There are many more safety laws when boating or jet skiing in Florida. Make sure you understand the rules and regulations surrounding water safety in Florida before you step foot on a vessel and embark on water-based adventures.
Statute of Limitations for Boating and Jet Ski Accidents in Florida
In general, a statute of limitations is a law that dictates the length of time parties involved have before they can no longer seek compensation for their injuries. No matter if you are a victim of a criminal incident or a civil offense, statutes of limitations are always relevant to legal cases.
As with all personal injury accidents, there is a statute of limitations that victims of boating and jet ski accidents in Florida must abide by. In the event that you are a victim of a boating or jet ski accident, the statute of limitations in Florida is four years.
With the assistance of a personal injury attorney, you are legally entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit within four years after the date of the boating or jet ski accident.
Now, four years sounds like a lengthy period of time, and this perspective often deters personal injury victims from seeking legal help immediately. However, it is imperative that you begin your claim as soon as possible.
Personal injury lawsuits can take years to unfold, and you might not reach a settlement for years after the date of your accident, too. It takes time to gather evidence, contact witnesses to ask for their statements, and acquire all of the necessary information for your lawsuit.
For these reasons and many more, contact a personal injury law firm right away. The sooner you reach out to a personal injury lawyer and file a lawsuit following your boating or jet ski accident, the sooner you will receive compensation.
What to Do if You’ve Been in a Boating Accident in Florida
If you are a victim of a jet ski or boating accident in Florida, contact the personal injury lawyers at The Lopez Law Group immediately. As with all personal injury cases and claims, it is imperative that you seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Due to the nature of personal injury cases and the statutes of limitations, claims must be filed right away in order for you to seek compensation for your injuries or any property damage. Call The Lopez Law Group at 727-933-0015 to pursue legal action as a result of your jet ski or boating accident.