Owning a boat and enjoying the beautiful views and water offered at and around Port St Lucie Marina is one of the many perks of living in Florida. However, just like motor vehicles, boats come with inherent risks. One risk is that you will be involved in an accident.
If you are involved in a boating accident, it’s smart to contact personal injury lawyers from Fetterman & Fetterman Lawyers. Our law team is ready to help you with your case, protect your rights, and ensure you recover the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and losses.
Here you can learn more about boating accidents and your rights after finding yourself in this situation.
Understanding Boating Accidents Florida
When you are involved in a boating accident, there’s a possibility that injuries will occur. Your boat may be damaged, and those on board may feel fearful that they will drown. All this may result in long-term anguish, trauma, and injuries. In many cases, it’s also difficult to determine who is at fault when Florida boating accidents occur.
Other factors that come into play in these cases include if the incident will be covered by insurance and if the accident requires police involvement.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a boating accident occurs when a boat passenger suffers serious harm, is killed, if someone vanishes and there is the belief they drowned, or if a boat is damaged in some way. A boat accident does not just refer to a collision. It also includes situations when a passenger or another person disappears, is injured, or is killed.
The Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida
There are several potential causes of boat accidents in Florida. About one-third of all boat accidents involve the operator drinking alcohol. This is illegal in all states. Even though significant fines and jail time are attached to a boating under the influence (BUI) charge, it still happens. One reason for this is that many boat operators are unaware that this is not allowed, while others don’t care and blatantly break the law.
If someone is injured because of another person who is operating a boat while intoxicated, it’s possible to assign responsibility to the intoxicated driver. Even when a boat driver isn’t strictly liable, BUI is usually considered when determining liability.
Bad weather conditions, such as heavy winds and rain, may cause boating accidents too. Some boaters have issues navigating in these conditions, which can result in serious accidents. In other situations, bad weather can result in a boat capsizing, and lightning is another hazard since individuals on the boat may be shocked or electrocuted. The electronics in a boat may be damaged, as well.
If you choose to ignore bad weather conditions and don’t return to the port when bad weather is rolling in, this may be considered negligent behavior. If this is the case, you may be considered liable for any damages.
Another hazard on boats that many people fail to think about is carbon monoxide exposure. If the boat’s engine isn’t properly maintained, it can result in boaters being exposed to increased levels of toxic fumes. If the exposure is for a prolonged amount of time, serious injuries or death may occur. Because of this risk, it is essential to invest time and energy into proper boat maintenance.
Boating Accident Liability
In Florida, the negligent operator is responsible for injuries that result from their negligence. When negligence occurs, it means that someone didn’t act reasonably or as a reasonable person would in the same situation or under the same circumstances. If you fail to follow safety rules or stay aware of the safety of others, then you may be considered negligent if a boating accident occurs.
Get in Touch with Our Legal Team for Help with Your Case
If you are involved in a boating accident, it’s smart to get in touch with personal injury lawyers from Fetterman & Associates to learn more about your rights and if you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
While this isn’t always the case, there are some situations when you can do this. Our legal team will review the facts of your case and determine what your rights are. We will also fight for your right to maximum compensation for the injuries and losses you experienced because of a boating accident.
The first step is to get in touch with our legal team to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Percentage Do Most Personal Injury Lawyers Take in Florida?