Boating is a popular activity in Florida, and with some 936,000 registered boats in the state, accidents are inevitable. A boating accident can cause considerable damage to property and injure passengers in the boat as well as those in the water. Whoever is liable for the boating accident is legally responsible for paying damages to the injured party.
If you are injured in a boating accident, it’s in your best interests to work with an experienced boating accident attorney to obtain compensation.
Causes of Boating Accidents
There are many reasons for boat crashes, but some are very common, including:
- Inattention/no lookout. Many boat drivers involved in an accident comment that they “didn’t see the other boat coming.” This is usually because there was no lookout or second set of eyes watching the surrounding water.
- Inexperienced operator. It’s important that any boat on Florida waters be operated by someone who understands boating safety rules and regulations. In Florida, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 must obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card by successfully completing an approved boating safety course.
- Speeding. Driving a boat requires the same regard for safe speed as driving a car. If you travel at an excessive speed and don’t have enough time to react to a potentially dangerous situation, you could easily collide with another boat. Speeding at night is especially dangerous.
- Impaired driving. Alcohol is a factor in many boat accidents that result in a severe injury, and alcohol is the number one cause of boating accidents that cause a death. Many boat operators don’t give drunk driving the same consideration they give drunk vehicle driving.
Other major causes of boating accidents include ignoring adverse weather conditions, driving in hazardous water conditions, overloading the boat with too many people, and violating navigational rules.
Boating Accident Liability
It can be challenging to determine how a boating accident happened—especially when two or more boats are involved. Unlike roads, which have marked lanes, signs, and traffic signals, there is nothing like that on the water. It can be tough to determine which boater may have ignored another boater’s right of way.
For a successful personal injury boating claim, you’ll need to prove several key facts. First, you’ll need to prove that the boater had a duty of care to you. Next, you need to prove that the person breached that duty of care in some way. You’ll then need to show that this behavior resulted in the accident that caused your injuries.
Having an attorney after being hurt in a boating accident can make a big difference in whether you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can gather evidence to help prove who was negligent. Call Browning Law Firm when you need a boating accident lawyer.