In Florida, a victim of a boating accident may be able to recover for their injuries. In 2015 alone, it was estimated that there were over 4100 boat accidents in the United States. Almost 20% of those accidents occurred in Florida. Typically, most boating accident lawsuits are filed under a cause of negligence. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. An operator may be considered negligent for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to:
- Overcrowding the vessel
- Failing to carry proper safety equipment
- Ignoring and/or violating navigational regulations
- Boating in heavy weather with may cause a passenger to fall overboard
- Hitting a large wave at an excessive rate of speed
- Operating the vessel at an excessive rate of speed
- Collisions with another boat, channel marker, or any other fixed object
- Improperly passing another vessel
In order for a victim to recover for their injuries, causation must be established. In other words, the injuries must be directly linked to the accident itself. It is important that you seek an attorney immediately after a boating accident occurs so evidence may be collected to support the victim’s negligence claim.
The party liable for the victim’s claim depends on their status on the vessel, regarding whether they owned the vessel, operated it, or were an employee or guest on the vessel. Additionally, the location of the accident is very important as different law applies to different areas. Accidents that happen close to the Florida shoreline will likely be handled under Florida or federal law. However, an accident that occurs further away from the shore may be subject to maritime law.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, please call us anytime at (727) 845-5972 for a free consultation to ensure your rights as a victim are protected.