A Florida state court has found Yamaha Motor Corporation USA responsible for a watercraft accident in West Palm Beach at Currie Park. The accident took the life of a 14-year-old girl and seriously injured a 15-year-old boy. The family of the injured children was awarded $35 million. The parents received $19 million and $16 million went to 21-year-old daughter, who was 15 at the time of the accident, according to The Street.
The jet ski company was warned several times about defects in the model jet ski that the family was renting that day. The defect consisted of steering problems. Yamaha failed to warn the users of these problems and failed to correct the issue.
Our jet ski accident attorneys in Delray Beach, Lake Worth and Port St. Lucie understand that rental companies have an obligation to provide safe and operable equipment to renters. Manufacturers are also required to produce quality products that are safe and free from defects that can injure a consumer. In these cases, where companies fail to consider the safety of their customers, companies can be held responsible for compensating the injured for a number costs and loses.
Rental companies also have a responsibility to make sure than renters are educated and knowledgeable about the products they’re renting. In this case, the rental company sent two inexperienced children out on the waterways along during a busy holiday weekend.
This court case was heard for more than six weeks, and the system declared that Yamaha Motor Corporation USA was in fact responsible for the damages as they failed to fix a faulty product, allowing users to ride in dangerous situations.
It is estimated that approximately 700 people are killed in watercraft accidents every year. Another 3,000 people are injured in these accidents annually.
Research from the University of South Florida reveals that accidents that involve jet skis are more common than any other boating mishap. Victims of jet ski accidents will most likely experience trauma to the check, abdominal injury and closed-head injuries. During a jet ski accident it is common for rider to be thrown from the watercraft. The study compared jet ski accidents to motorcycle accidents in injuries.
“The same factors that make personal watercraft fun make them dangerous,” said Dr. Elizabeth Beierle a UF pediatric surgeon.
To help prevent an accident while riding on a personal watercraft, please review the following Florida laws:
-Inflatable Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) are not allowed for personal watercraft use.
-A cutoff switch must be attached to the operator at all times.
-These vessels are not to be operated from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise.
-You are prohibited from driving a personal watercraft by swerving through congested traffic, jumping the wake of another watercraft that’s unreasonably close or when visibility around the vessel is blocked.
-No horse play. You are not allowed to swerve at the last second to avoid collision. This is classified as reckless operation of a vessel, which is considered to be a first-degree misdemeanor.
-No one under the age of 14 is allowed to operate a personal watercraft.
-You have to be at least 18-years-old to rent a personal watercraft.
-If you were born on or after January 1, 1988 must have either have completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or to have passed a course equivalency.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating or jet ski accident in North Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the personal injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez LLC. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights at 1-800-529-2368.
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