Florida residents enjoy more than 200 days of sunshine a year, and in addition to the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway of the Atlantic, the state is full of lakes, rivers and other waterways that are perfect for boating.
Together, these factors are why Florida has more boating accidents each year than any other state. If you or someone you love has been in an accident, it is important that you speak with an experienced injury attorney right away. Florida boat accident attorneys can build a claim to help produce a successful outcome on your behalf.
Florida boating laws are similar to the laws of driving any other vehicle, but they have some important differences. Just as car and truck operators must exercise caution and drive responsibly at all times, so must boat operators. When they don't, the at-fault boat operator can be held negligent and could be held liable for any injuries that result from that negligence.
Unlike cars and other motor vehicles, boats do not need to be insured in order to register in Florida. However, it is highly recommended that any boat operator obtain adequate insurance in the event of an accident.
Most of these policies are written as all-risk policies, which means that they cover many situations, with the exception of certain exclusions written in the policy. Few boat insurance policies in Florida are written under "named peril," which means that only those named perils will be covered by insurance.
Also unlike other motor vehicles, anyone over the age of 14 can operate a boat on Florida waterways, and those 6 and under must wear a life jacket. Those who operate a boat must also be very careful on the waterways they travel.
This is because, while certain waterways are under the jurisdiction of the State of Florida, others are governed by federal law. Federal boating laws can be very complex, but Florida boat accident attorneys can help explain state and federal regulations.
Causes of Accidents
There are several causes of boating accidents in Florida.
- A collision with another ship or submerged object
- Fall overboard
- Sinking or capsizing
- Fires and explosions
- Malfunction and / or defective parts on a boat
- Distracted operation of a ship, such as when texting
- Cognitive Impairment from alcohol or drugs
A Florida boat accident attorney can help an individual prepare a claim regardless of the cause of the accident.
Similar to car accidents, injuries from boating accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to injuries that are much more serious, such as spinal cord injuries. The most common serious injuries that result from boating accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
Those who have suffered these injuries from a boating accident and the accident was someone else's fault should contact the Florida boating accident attorneys.
After a boating accident due to someone else's negligence, the injured parties can seek compensation for their injuries. Compensation can be awarded for:
- Medical bills
- Present and future lost income
- Pain and suffering
There are some requirements that must be met before a claim for compensation can be made in a boating accident case. These include:
- The wrongful death of a person, or the disappearance of someone suggesting a possible death or injury
- Any extensive injury that requires medical treatment
- $ 2,000 or more in property damage
Contacting an Attorney
If you or someone you know has been in a boating accident and is entitled to compensation, it is important to immediately contact Florida boat accident lawyers. Florida laws can be complicated when it comes to boating accidents, and an experienced local attorney can help you.