Recreational boating is a very common and popular pastime for many Americans who live around water. In Florida, in particular, there are a high number of residents and tourists alike who venture out on boats, jet skis, and other vessels. However, with this comes the dangerous likelihood of potentially fatal boating accidents.
There are a multitude of reasons boating accidents occur, but what is important to remember is that regardless of the causes of boating accidents, you may deserve compensation if you were involved and injured in one that wasn’t your fault.
Here at The Law Place, our personal injury lawyers are experienced not only in the Florida legal system but also in dealing with boating accident cases like yours. Contact us today at 941-444-4444 for a free consultation with one of our highly esteemed attorneys.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
While there are rules and regulations in place, much like the laws you must obey whilst driving, in an attempt to protect the safety of all boat operators and passengers, they cannot prevent all accidents. According to the US Coast Guard (USCG) ’s recreational boating statistics from 2019, the most common cause of boating accidents is operator inattention. Operator inattention can lead to collisions, passengers falling overboard, and slip-and-falls onboard, all of which can cause serious injuries.
The following causes are also listed by The US Coast Guard as common causes of boating accidents:
- Improper lookout – Every vessel should have a watch who is constantly on the lookout through sight and hearing, and any other appropriate means, for any prevailing circumstances and conditions that could risk a collision. If a watch is not paying proper attention, then this could lead to a boating accident.
- Operator inexperience – A boat can be an incredibly difficult vessel to operate and control, especially for an inexperienced operator. If the boat operator does not have the skill or experience required to operate a boat, then this could lead to a catastrophic accident.
- Excessive speed – Regardless of how experienced an operator may be, it is crucial that all vessels maintain a safe speed at all times: it is very easy to lose control of a boat and cause an accident when they’re moving at high speed.
- Alcohol use – It is illegal in Florida to operate any type of boat when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is because our reaction times are slow, and our decision making much less rational while under the influence, making it very dangerous to operate a boat in this state.
- Machinery failure – If there’s a defect or failure with any part of the boat or machinery, whether it was there when first installed or not, a serious boating accident could be caused.
- Poor and hazardous weather conditions – Most boating accidents actually occur in the summer months as more people, particularly tourists, want to go boating at this time. However, poor weather conditions are still a cause of boating accidents as the strong winds can make waters very dangerous, so it can be risky to go out in these conditions, especially if the operator is inexperienced. By going out in poor weather conditions, there is a higher risk of a boating accident.
For a free legal consultation, call 941-444-4444
What Type of Accident Causes the Most Boating Deaths?
While there are many different types of accidents that cause fatalities, the US Coast Guard lists the following as the most dangerous types of accidents in terms of how many fatalities they resulted in:
- Falls overboard – This is the most common cause of boating accidents that result in death. It’s where a passenger or operator accidentally falls off the vessel. This is also the most common cause of fatal boating accidents that involve hunters and anglers.
- Capsizing – This is when a boat overturns, whether it was because of a particularly strong and powerful wave or because of a collision with another vessel or an obstacle.
- Collision with a fixed object – This occurs when a boat crashes into any fixed object, either above or below the surface.
- Collision with a recreational vessel – This is where two or more vessels crash into each other, regardless of the operation at the time of the collision.
- Departed vessel – This is referring to when a passenger voluntarily gets off the boat by their own will, such as by diving off or jumping in, rather than falling off, often because of a sudden change in direction or excessive speed used. Departing a vessel is particularly dangerous when the individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Flooding – This is where the boat is filling with water, but still manages to retain its buoyancy and float on the surface of the water.
All of these different types of accidents become much more dangerous and have a high risk for fatalities if alcohol use, operator inattention, and excessive speed is involved, which is why it’s important to constantly be aware and responsible when onboard and/or operating a vessel.
If you or a loved one has been involved in any of these different types of boating accidents, or another, then you may be entitled to compensation. Call our law firm today to find out.
The Law Place
If you or someone you love has been involved in a boating accident in Florida, then you may deserve financial compensation. Boating accidents are, unfortunately, frequent occurrences in Florida, and so the personal injury lawyers at our law firm are experienced with such cases and well-equipped to take yours on.
To ensure you have the best chance at winning your case and receiving compensation, which may be able to vastly help you with the financial repercussions and aftermath of the accident, you should contact The Law Place today. A Florida personal injury attorney would be able to assist you in navigating the complicated Florida legal process and help support you.
So, contact us at The Law Place today for a free consultation with an esteemed boating accident lawyer. Don’t wait for help; call us at 941-444-4444 to get the justice you deserve. Our phone lines are always open!