Recreational Vehicle Accidents

The State of Florida has an international reputation as a great tourist destination. Both visitors and residents enjoy Florida’s wide variety of leisure activities including our beautiful beaches, lakes, rivers, parks, and other recreational areas, including the famous Florida Everglades or “Sea of Grass”, as it is also known.

Moreover, the state (especially South Florida), is the gateway between the United States and South America. Millions of tons of merchandise are imported and exported through Miami and Fort Lauderdale’s sea ports and airports, with both cities serving as important hubs of international commerce, bringing thousands of visitors to South Florida who at some point during their stay will likely engage in recreational activities similar to those enjoyed by residents and tourists alike.

No Special Driving Permits to Operate RVs

Thousands of watercraft, boats, jet skis, ATVs, and campers are operated all over the State of Florida and its waterways by millions of visitors and residents every year. Despite the fact that RVs (Recreational Vehicles) are often over-sized and over-powered vehicles and are among the more difficult vehicles to successfully maneuver and handle, Florida law does not require any special training or special drivers license to operate most recreational vehicles. For example, while the law requires commercial truck drivers to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), operators of motorhomes are not subject to such requirements despite that given their size, some of these vehicles are as difficult to operate as regular buses or commercial trucks.

Moreover, often times these powerful RVs are operated by inexperienced, negligent or intoxicated drivers that chose to ignore laws, rules and common sense thereby causing accidents that bring about injuries and even death to innocent people. Due to the fact that the warm climate makes our state a preferred place for retirees, we often find large motorhomes being operated by senior citizens who often times have difficulties seeing, steering and reacting fast enough under some driving conditions to safely operate an RV.

Accidents Off The Road

Many accidents involving recreational vehicles happen off road. Jet skis, boats and other watercraft are among the favorite toys of many beach, lake and river enthusiasts in Florida. Given their speed and sudden acceleration characteristics, jet skis are among the kinds of watercraft more prone to accidents. These vehicles are capable of reaching speeds upwards of 70 miles per hour. Many operators fail to realize that falling off and hitting the water at such speeds is like hitting a concrete wall. Such an impact will likely knock anyone out and if the operator (or the passenger) failed to wear a lifejacket, they will likely sink to the bottom and die. Therefore, regardless of rules and regulations, it makes sense to wear a lifejacket while on the water, especially when riding a jet ski. Operators of Jet skis also do not know that once the Jet Ski is throttled down, they lose the ability to steer and control the PWC (Personal Water Craft), often resulting in horrible collisions.

Florida Laws Regarding Safe Operation of Boats and Jet Skis

Under Florida law, F.S. 327.39(1), it is illegal for a person to operate a personal watercraft unless such person is wearing a type I, type II, type III or type V personal flotation device (lifejacket) approved by the United States Coast Guard.

Defective Recreational Vehicles

Sometimes accidents happen because the recreational vehicle had a defective design or was poorly manufactured. At other times the injuries are made worse because the safety equipment that the victim was wearing while riding on the recreational vehicle failed to protect him or her. In many cases, a claim may be filed not only against the operator of the vehicle but against the owner, manufacturer, designer, or retailer who ultimately sold or rented the recreational vehicle as well.

We Can Help

Much like accidents on regular motor vehicles, accidents on recreational vehicles can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis, burns, scarring, amputations, lacerations, and even death.

The lawyers of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have over 100 years of combined experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including recreational vehicles like those mentioned in the preceding paragraphs. They have helped thousands of clients throughout Florida recover damages as compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and long-term care when the negligent operation of a recreational vehicle has injured them and left them incapacitated and no able to support their families.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a recreational vehicle accident, please contact us immediately by calling 305-595-2400. We offer a free initial consultation and handle all personal injury matters on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay us anything unless we recover compensation for you.