Jet Ski and Boat Accident FAQs

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Jet Ski and Boat Accident FAQs

Can I sue the jet ski rental company for its negligence in causing my injuries if I signed a waiver or release when I rental it?

My daughter was injured when she was passenger riding behind my neighbor’s daughter when they were on my neighbor’s jet ski. The daughter collided with a dock. My neighbor says that since he wasn’t driving the jet ski at the time, that he is not responsible.  Who pays my daughter’s medical bills?

What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for suing the reckless driver of the boat?

How much money am I entitled to for my jet ski injury case?

Can I sue the jet ski rental company for its negligence in causing my injuries in my jet ski accident if I signed a waiver or release when I rental it?

It depends.  Most recently, these waivers have of liability have been upheld by the courts – thereby absolving the jet ski rental company from liability for negligence for your jet ski accident.   Please call our office – we’ll want to read the language of the waiver to best advise you.

The Florida legislature enacted a substantial amendment to Section 744.301, Florida Statutes in April, 2010.  This new legislation reverses the Kirton decision which had previously held that parents and guardians cannot execute enforceable pre-injury releases on behalf of minors in commercial activities. The new law now allows parents and natural guardians to effectively execute pre-injury releases for their minor children, but only for those dangers inherent in the activity and only if the specific form set out in the statute is included.  The statute does not shield commercial owners and operators from injury caused by their own negligence.  Section 744.301, Florida Statutes, also states that it does not limit the ability of parents to waive and release, pre-injury, any claim against a non-commercial activity provider, or its employees.  Presumably, “non-commercial activity provider” would include not-for-profit schools and charities.

My daughter was injured when she was passenger riding behind my neighbor’s daughter when they were on my neighbor’s jet ski. The daughter collided with a dock. My neighbor says that since he wasn’t driving the jet ski at the time, that he is not responsible. Who pays my daughter’s medical bills?

We will look to the neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance policy to make a claim for the daughter’s negligence.  Not only may the neighbor’s daughter be held to be negligent in the operation of the jet ski, but also the neighbor as the owner of the jet ski can be held vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence.  In Florida, jet skis are considered “dangerous instrumentalities,” just as regular automobiles.   Thus, the neighbor, who in this case would be considered the owner, can be held liable for your daughter’s injuries, as well as the driving daughter.    We will obtain a copy of the homeowner’s policy to make sure there is no specific exclusion as to the jet ski.

What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for suing the reckless driver of the boat?

Generally, the statute of limitations in Florida for a boating accident is 4 years from the date of the incident. This means that your lawsuit against the driver and/or owner of boat must be filed in the correct court within 4 years of the incident, or else your case may be forever barred. This is a difficult area of the law. Please consult with an accident attorney regarding the specific facts of your case.

Watch a video answer of this question here!

How much money am I entitled to for my jet ski accident case?

This is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Every case truly is different. Ultimately, it is a jury that determines the value of your case. But from our over 28 years of experience, we can advise you on a general range of a settlement value of your case, based on many factors which include, among other things, the following:

  • how the accident happened
  • the type and extent of your injuries and medical treatment, including surgeries
  • whether you sustained permanent injuries, fractures or significant scarring
  • your past medical history
  • the amount of your past medical bills, or the expected amount of your future medical bills
  • the lost wages you have incurred, or the future loss of your earning capacity
  • your age at the time of the accident and your remaining work years
  • other reasonable costs you have incurred caused by your injuries. Such as the need to hire household help, child care services, etc.
  • insurance coverage available
  • if married at the time of the accident, your spouse may have an additional claim for loss of consortium

For even more Jet Ski and Boat Accident FAQs visit our blog! And for other FAQs, visit our practice area pages! Injured in car or personal injury accident? Call Attorney Mike Hancock at 813-915-1110.

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