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Risky Water Recreation

February 29, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

Florida enjoys year around summer weather and water recreation. For many people, this means renting personal watercraft, boats and scuba diving. As fun as these activities are, they can also result in serious injury and even death when someone else is negligent.

Although personal watercraft or Jet-Skis look like toys, they are motorized vehicles capable of extreme speeds. In addition, the waves can make them difficult to steer, especially for younger riders. The rental facility has an obligation to instruct inexperienced operators on safe operation. There can also be liability waiver issues, which we discussed earlier in the week in our Monday blog post. In Florida, a minor cannot waive his or her rights in a liability waiver.

Boats can as big of danger on the water as vehicles are on the road. There are always reports of reckless operators ramming into another boat or running over swimmers. Many operators and riders think being on a boat is a license to party with alcohol. However, drunken boating (BWI) kills and injures hundreds of people every year in Florida.

Did you know that boaters have a duty to look out for swimmers even in non-designated swimming areas? Swimmers struck by boats have suffered traumatic brain injuries, amputations, drowning and propeller injuries.

Have you or a loved one suffered injuries in any of the above activities?

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida injury lawyers