What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured On A Boat Or Personal Watercraft

Stuart Boating Accident Attorney

In Florida you can go boating or use a personal watercraft year round. Injuries and deaths from boating accidents and personal watercraft crashes happen all the time, often because other boaters and boat operators fail to take their responsibilities seriously. Property is damaged, people are injured, and some people lose their lives on boats and personal watercraft. When you are dealing with enormous and very powerful motor vessels — often captained by people who have absolutely no experience behind the wheel of a boat or a rental Wave Runner — people are going to get seriously injured.

The US Coast Guard’s recent Yearly Statistics on Recreational Boating Accidentscounted 4,158 accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents nationwide.  Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has compiled similar Yearly Statistics on Florida Boating Accidents with equally disturbing figures on boating accidents and deaths involving boats in Florida waters.

A boat’s owner and the driver or operator can be liable for your injuries.

The most frequent occurrences where a boat captain or operator may be negligent and, therefore, responsible for an occupant’s injury or injury to the occupant of another watercraft or vessel include:

  • Boat hits a big wave or wake at an unsafe speed or angle;
  • Ejections from a boat due to improper operation, speed or navigating in bad weather;
  • Contact with a propeller;
  • Operating at boat a high speed;
  • Failing to keep a lookout while water skiing or tubing;
  • Not knowing navigational rules;
  • Collision with another boat or watercraft;
  • Defective boat design;
  • Defective boat construction or repair;
  • Collision with a pier or collision with a bridge;
  • Overcrowding a boat or overloading a boat; and
  • Drinking or Boating Under the Influence in violation of Florida’s BUI Laws.

Jet Ski Accident and Watercraft Accident Claims.  What should I do if I’m injured on a Personal Watercraft-Wave Runner-Jet Ski?

Riding a personal watercraft (PWC), like a Jet Ski, Sea Doo or WaveRunner can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be very dangerous. Inexperienced or inebriated operators can find themselves in a Jet Ski accident with one wrong move. Injuries sustained during watercraft and Wave Runner accidents can be far more severe than those suffered in larger boating accidents, given the exposed nature of the rider. While Jet Ski accidents and watercraft accidents can result from the negligence of the operator, defective equipment, or other boaters can contribute to the cause of the accident. Parties that may be liable for damages include negligent vessel operators, the Jet Ski – Wave Runner rental company which supplied the equipment, or the manufacturer for selling a defective and/or poorly designed watercraft.  FWC’s Personal Watercraft Statistics for 2016 show the majority of all personal watercraft accidents involve crashes with another vessel or a collision with a fixed object.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a boat operator, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of payment of medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering associated with the accident. Many boating accidents in Florida occur on “navigable waterways” which are governed under the jurisdiction of Federal Maritime law. Often these cases have very unique procedural rules and special laws which can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident, it is critical that you consult with a Florida boating accident lawyer promptly.  You need a legal team that is experienced and knowledgeable with these types of cases. Call us 772-223-9600 or go to our firm’s Webpage on Boating and Watercraft Accidents to learn more about how our firm can help you move forward with one of these unique and difficult cases.

WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR AFTER AN ACCIDENT?

Should I See A Doctor After Accident

Often people are taken to a hospital emergency room when they are injured in a serious car or truck crash. However, sometimes people are involved in an auto accident or truck accident and they don’t seek medical attention right away. They delay because they don’t feel any pain or other effects from the crash, or because they hope the pain will subside and they won’t need to see a doctor. Other times, they’re afraid of going through the hassle and expense of opening an insurance claim or filing a personal injury claim with a lawyer. Unfortunately, delaying medical treatment can backfire.

One of the main reasons people “think” they aren’t hurt after an accident is adrenaline. Adrenaline is the hormone responsible for the human body’s fight or flight response. This comes in handy when you’re in danger from being chased by a vicious dog, or when you pull someone from a fiery multi car pileup, but when you are injured after an accident, it can trick you into “feeling no pain.” 

You may be involved in an auto crash and you climb out of your car and tell everybody, “I’m okay, I’m not hurt.” But the next day, you’re in a LOT of pain. You think, “I’ll take a few Ibuprofen and I’ll be fine.” Instead of going to the emergency room or seeing a doctor, you wait. Then, a week or two later, you realize that something is definitely wrong, you end up having neck and back pain and you need medical attention.

You Should Never Delay Treatment After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Whenever you’re in a car crash or truck accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel any pain that first day, or even if you think the whiplash from the accident will subside, you should still see a doctor. If you delay, the insurance company will try to use that against you. They will argue that you weren’t really hurt in the accident; they can also try to reduce, if not deny your claim altogether because you did not see a doctor soon enough.

Most importantly, Florida has a new law which requires that you see a doctor within two weeks of a motor vehicle accident.  If you do not seek medical treatment from a doctor within the 14 day window following your car accident, you will forfeit use of you motorist’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Insurance companies are no longer required by law to cover the medical expenses of those who wait to get treated, even if symptoms manifest after 14 days.

So, how long should you wait to see a doctor after a car accident? You should see one within three days, but the sooner the better. Not only is rapid medical treatment important to your claim, but you need to do it for your wellness and long term health.

You could have a head injury, a concussion, or neck and back injuries and not know about it until days later. Or, you could have internal bleeding or a fracture. Usually, once the adrenaline wears off, your body will let you know something is wrong by sending pain signals to the affected area of the body. If you can’t get into to see your regular doctor, you can visit your local emergency room or go to an Urgent Care clinic.

Whether you have been injured in a car accidenttruck accidentmotorcycle accidentboating accident, or slip and fall, give our experienced and dedicated team a call. With over 20 years of experience in helping accident victims, we have developed relationships with dedicated medical professionals who can treat you and help get you back into life.