Boating and Watercraft Accidents

GETTING HURT ON A BOAT OR PERSONAL WATERCRAFT IS MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK

Boating and personal watercraft accidents are all too frequent in the state of Florida.  Because of our excellent weather and access to plenty of waterways, Florida has more boating accidents every year than any other state. The majority of these boating accidents occur because people underestimate the dangers of boating and personal watercraft and fail to follow nautical safety laws known as "rules of the road" for the safe operation of motor vessels.

The operation of boats and personal watercraft is largely unregulated and Florida limits mandatory instruction to vessels over a certain length and operators under a certain age. Many individuals behind the wheel of a boat or personal watercraft may not have the appropriate experience to safely operate and control their vessel.

Safety precautions such as kill switches and life jackets can help to limit yachting and boating injuries. However, accidents can and do happen, and it is the victims of boating accidents that suffer from disfiguring and painful injuries and costly medical bills.  Negligent and reckless behavior while on a boat or jet ski is the cause of far too many accidents on the waters in and around Florida.

A BOATING VICTIM’S LIFE MAY NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN

LEARN YOUR BOATING ACCIDENT RIGHTS

Boating Accident Laws in Florida Are Unique and Different

Boating accidents involve a wide variety of watercraft including:  sailboats, yachts, cabin cruisers, personal watercrafts, jet skis, air boats, canoes, kayaks, inflatable and semi-rigid inflatable boats and center console runabouts. The owner and operator of a boat or watercraft may be negligent and, therefore, responsible for an occupant’s injury or injury to the occupant of another vessel under many circumstances, including:

    • Operating at a high speed;
    • Collisions with other watercraft;
    • Impacting a fixed object, such as a pier or bridge;
    • Hitting a wave or wake at an unsafe speed or angle;
    • Ejections from the boat due to improper operation or navigating in bad weather;
    • Coming in contact with propellers;
    • Failing to keep a lookout while underway or while skiing or tubing;
    • Overcrowding and Overloading; and
    • Boating under the Influence in violation of Florida’s BUI Law.

Boat operators have a duty to operate “their vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner with regard for other vessel traffic, posted restrictions, the presence of a divers-down flag and other circumstances” to ensure the safety of other boaters, guests, and property.

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 have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.  You need a legal team that is experienced and knowledgeable with these types of cases. Our firm handles lots of boating cases and we often co-counsel with Attorney Joanne Foster from our neighboring Stuart law firm of Guy, Yudin, and Foster. Joanne is Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law and together we have successfully obtained excellent settlements and awards for our clients who were severely injured in boating accidents.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident, it is critical that you consult with an experienced Florida boating accident lawyer promptly.  Call us now to learn more about how our firm can help you successfully resolve and receive just compensation for one of these unique and difficult cases.

watercraft and boating accident law firm

When an accident happens on the water, you need to take action quickly to preserve evidence and protect yourself and your rights. When you work with boating accident lawyer Lance P. Richard, you get the benefit of his years of experience helping accidents victims just like you. Call now or fill out the form below for a prompt response.