Summer in Florida is an excellent time to enjoy the great outdoors. State parks and national parks allow Floridians to experience many types of enjoyable outdoor recreation. For example, swimming and boating in Florida’s many lakes and in the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are popular, enjoyable pastimes.
However, accidents sometimes happen to persons enjoying those pastimes. This year, two adults and a child were injured in a jet ski collision at Lake Griffin State Park. News reports say that two jet skis collided on the lake, injuring two men and a boy, and one of the men was critically hurt. While personal watercraft are generally safe when operated properly and according to the manufacturers’ instructions, the accident has led to calls for increased water safety.
It is not known what caused this unfortunate accident or who may have been fault, but this news story is a reminder that serious injuries can occur anywhere, even at places that seem safe, such as on a lake in a state park. Accidents can happen at any time or place, so it is important to be cautious and on the lookout for danger when you are engaging in recreational activities.
Unfortunately, even when you are cautious, others may not be. Another person’s carelessness may injure you or a member of your family.
If someone has negligently injured you in a state or national park, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The exact type and amount of compensation to which you may be entitled depends on the nature and extent of your injuries and whether the injuries are temporary or permanent. Each case is different. However, in general terms, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the following damages:
- Past medical bills;
- Future medical bills;
- Past lost wages;
- Future lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Punitive damages (in cases where the other person’s injury-causing action is extreme).
How do you prove that another person’s negligent conduct caused your injuries? In general, another person will be liable for your injuries if he or she did not act in an objectively reasonable manner—that is, the way a reasonably prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. For anther person to be liable for your injuries, Florida law requires you to prove all of the following things with respect to that other person:
- The person had a legal duty to act in a certain way (or avoid acting in a certain way) so as to avoid injuring you;
- The person breached that duty by some act or failure to act (misconduct);
- The person’s misconduct caused your injury; and
- You suffered damages as a result of the injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a state or national park, obtain medical attention immediately and inform the park authorities of the accident. Then, contact us for a free and confidential consultation about your case and to learn how you may be able to recover compensation.