Florida’s open waters draw many to this scenic state, but this feature also poses risks to residents and visitors. Boat collisions put passengers, swimmers, and others in danger.
In September of 2018, the captain of an Edgewater boat was tossed overboard. The boat continued without its pilot, running wild in the nearby waters. It struck a five-year-old child who was swimming nearby, sending him to the hospital. The child recovered fully, so this story has a much happier ending than many other boating accidents.
If you scan the news, it’s clear that boating accidents are becoming a serious issue in Florida. In 2017, Florida saw a 14% increase in boating accidents. During the same year, 67 people died in boating-related incidents. Florida is first in the country for boating fatalities and accidents. It’s essential for captains to pilot safely and take extra steps to keep their passengers protected.
Inattention is one of the leading causes of boating accidents in Florida. In 2017, 38% of boating collisions that occurred in this state happened because the captain did not maintain a proper lookout. Operators are responsible for keeping a constant lookout so they can respond to weather changes and maintain a safe distance from other boats.
Operator inexperience is another common factor. Those new to this activity may be unable to safely navigate in poor weather or unfamiliar waters. While education is recommended for boat operators, fewer than 30% of pilots have completed any boating education courses.
Excessive speed also contributes to many Florida boating incidents. When navigating at higher speeds, a captain may lose control of the boat and cause a collision. The state enforces low speed limits along its coastline in an effort to protect swimmers, boat passengers, and local wildlife.
Some boating accidents occur because of defective equipment. Boating operators may fail to notice warning signs, be unfamiliar with routine maintenance needs, or miss recall notices that protect consumers from dangerous equipment.
Boating incidents often cause significant property damage and bodily injury. Insurance companies may try to settle quickly for less than you deserve, leaving you unable to cover medical bills or future expenses.
Hiring a boating accident lawyer is an easy way to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can look at the details of your case, determine culpability for the accident, and determine your damages. Depending on the specific facts of the accident, you may receive compensation for medical bills, injuries, future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of future income.
Whether a boating operator’s error or a malfunctioning vessel caused your accident, you need an aggressive attorney on your side. Reach out to Fetterman & Associates at (561) 288-8027 for a free case consultation.
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