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Boat Accidents
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If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat or waverunner accident, we can help.

Our Florida maritime attorneys are experienced in the investigation and prosecution of boat and waverunner accident claims. We are known for our responsiveness, thorough and hands-on litigation style, investigative and negotiating skills, and our accessibility to our clients. We go wherever you need us to be.

Last year, the State of Florida set a new record in the United States for total boat registrations, with numbers climbing to 1,027,043 registered boats. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that over 350,000 non-registered boats actively use Florida’s waters In addition, Port of Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral and Port of Jacksonville are some of the busiest ports in the country. As a consequence, Florida’s waterways are congested, and with this congestion comes an increase in boat accidents. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in 2008 alone, there were 668 total reportable boating accidents and 77 fatalities, the highest in the country. In Broward County alone, there were 43 reportable accidents and 4 deaths.

While less than 10% of boating accidents result in fatalities, nearly half of those occur because of capsizing and falls overboard. An alarming 22% of the boating deaths were caused by alcohol or drug use. Types of recreational boating claims we litigate include:

  • Capsizing
  • Falling overboard
  • Collisions with another vessel or structure
  • Fire
  • Sinking, flooding
  • Explosions
  • Missing vessel or passenger

There are numerous causes of boating accidents; most of which are preventable. Statistics show a large majority of boat and waverunner accidents are caused by operator inexperience or inattention. Seventy percent of all boat accidents occur on boats where operators had no formal boater education. Other reasons for boating accidents include:

  • Recklessness/careless boat operation
  • Operator inattention
  • Operating at an unsafe speeds
  • No proper lookout
  • Poor boat maintenance
  • Improper seating of passengers
  • Failure to heed weather warnings
  • Operating in a congested area
  • Not observing the “rules of the road” (the inland and international
    rules for the prevention of collision at sea)
  • Ignorance of aids to navigation
  • Poor judgment
  • Overpowering the boat
  • Panic
  • Proceeding in an unseaworthy craft
  • Starting the engine with clutch engaged or throttle advanced

Another serious cause of boat and waverunner accidents is the consumption of alcohol while operating a boat. This accounts for nearly one-quarter of all recreational boating fatalities, and is, in fact, the number one cause of boating accident fatalities. Because the effects of alcohol are magnified while on the water, intoxicated boaters are more than ten times as likely to be killed in a boating accident because of diminished coordination, dehydration, susceptibility to hypothermia, and impaired judgment.

Our maritime injury attorneys represent boaters and passengers, who have suffered personal injuries, or lost loved ones in boating accidents and collisions on canals, the Intracoastal, out at sea and other waterways in Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point, Boca Raton, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Naples and Jacksonville.

Our maritime injury lawyers will discuss your situation and go over your legal options available to you, as well as work with marine insurance companies, and other parties involved in your boat accident case to make sure all your needs are handled swiftly and appropriately.

To speak with one of our boating accident attorneys today call 800-940-8048. If you would like us to contact you, please use our contact form. Our attorneys never charge a fee for consultations and are available at night and on the weekends.

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