Stuart Boat Accident Lawyer
Over 25 Years of Experience to Help You Navigate Your Waterway Accident
Boating and personal watercraft accidents are all too frequent in the state of Florida. Because of the 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 activities and fail to follow nautical laws for the safe operation of motor vessels. Boating and personal watercraft operation are largely unregulated, and Florida limits mandatory instruction to vessels over a certain length and operators under a certain age. As a result, 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 who 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. Stuart boat accident lawyer, Lance P. Richard, P.A., has over two decades of experience handling accident cases for clients throughout the state, and he is more than prepared to take on your boating case and fight for your claim to damages following an injury.
Schedule an initial consultation with Lance P. Richard, P.A. to get started on your case.
Who Is Liable for a Boating or Watercraft Accident?
Boating accidents involve a variety of watercraft vessels, including sailboats, yachts, cabin cruisers, jet skis, air boats, canoes, kayaks, inflatable and semi-rigid inflatable boats, and center console runabouts.
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. Accidents occur when an owner or operator of a boat or watercraft acts negligently and is consequently responsible for another’s injury.
Examples of boating accidents causing injury include:
- Operating at a high speed
- Collisions with another watercraft
- Impacting a fixed object, such as a pier or bridge
- Hitting a wave or wake at an unsafe speed or angle
- Ejecting from the boat due to improper operation
- Navigating in bad weather
- Coming in contact with propellers
- Failing to keep a lookout while underway or while skiing or tubing
- Overcrowding and overloading
- Boating under the influence (BUI)
Recovering Damages Following a Boating Accident
The damages you can recover will depend on your case, but a successful lawsuit may include an award for the following losses:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Medical care and expenses
- Damage to your vessel and other personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship (in wrongful death cases)
Work with a Trusted Local Attorney Who Has a Unique Understanding of Boating Laws
Many boating accidents in Florida occur on “navigable waterways,” which are governed under the jurisdiction of federal maritime law. These cases often have unique procedural rules and special laws that can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. As a result, you need a Stuart boat accident attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable about these types of cases and how maritime laws apply.
Lance P. Richard handles many boating cases and often co-counsels with Attorney Joanne Foster, who is board certified in admiralty and maritime law. Together, they have successfully obtained excellent settlements and awards for clients who were severely injured in boating accidents.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident, consult an experienced boating accident
lawyer in Stuart promptly. Contact Lance P. Richard, P.A. to learn about how you can claim just compensation today.