It’s summer season and there are many boats to be found out on the glorious waters of Florida. It’s important to pay attention to the dangers associated with boating and always keep safety top of the mind when you’re going out on any watercraft, as a recent story illustrates. One man lost part of his legs in a recent boating accident in St. Augustine.
According to officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a ski boat struck the man’s boat on a Saturday night. The propeller of that ski boat then immediately cut off the victim’s lower leg.
The accident got even worse when the driver of the ski boat fled the scene of the accident, leaving it a hit and run. the suspect, however, was eventually located and questioned.
He could be facing both criminal and civil penalties. Unfortunately, accidents like this are all too common across Florida.
There are many different causes of potential boating accidents including distracted driving, driving under the influence, and lack of proper training.
No matter what the cause, if a boat operator acts negligently, he or she could put boat passengers in harm’s way.
As a hurt passenger, you may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation, but you need to speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later to be sure.
Lack of Awareness Leads to Accidents
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, as many as half of boat operators have no formal education about how to protect themselves. Individuals who are involved in boating accidents need to seek medical attention immediately after the accident happens in order to protect themselves.
Many of the accidents that happen on Florida’s waterways could have been prevented if boat operators had been paying attention to the entirety of their surroundings, kept a proper lookout and if everyone on board had been wearing a life jacket.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, approximately half of all the boating accidents in 2015 involved collisions and slightly more than a third of all collisions were due to the operator failing to maintain a proper lookout or the operator’s inattention.
Boating Accident Stats in Florida
In 2015, Florida had 737 boating accidents. That is an increase by more than 100 accidents over 2014, although there was a 25% decrease in fatalities.
As the above St. Augustine accident shows, all it takes is a couple of seconds in a boating accident to change your life forever.
If you have sustained serious injuries in a boating accident that may be due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may have recourse by filing a personal injury claim in Florida.
Having an experienced Boating Accident Attorney lawyer walk you through all of the aspects of preparing for a case can be beneficial.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been in a Serious Boating Accident?
Many personal injury cases in Florida are resolved well before the litigation stage but you want an Boating Accident attorney who has experience with both settlement negotiations and preparing for trial.
It goes without saying that there may be expensive medical bills associated with your medical treatment following a boating accident, but you may also have sustained psychological damage as well.
If you have any evidence associated with your potential claim, collect it and put it together. This could include pictures of the damage, torn clothing, and your medical records.
If you are eligible to recover compensation in Florida, you must be able to show that you sustained serious injuries in an accident and that another party was responsible for those injuries.
Meet with an Experienced Florida Boating Accident Attorney
It’s a bad idea to try and work things out privately with the boat owner or operator who caused the accident, as you may be minimizing your potential injury recovery. Make sure you’ve had your claim evaluated by an experienced lawyer first.
Speaking to a Florida boating accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident has happened is the best way to protect yourself now and in the future.
A boating accident can even happen when you’re a tourist. Learn more about how to protect yourself in this blog.