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Florida Boating Accident Lawyers

Image -  boat crash on rocky jettyA boat is a perfect way to relax on the water. But it can also present a significant risk if not handled properly. There can be times where someone might be severely injured in a boat accident. So, what should you do when these accidents happen? Let’s take a closer look at these events, to make sure that you are following Maritime Laws.

What Type Of Accidents Can Occur When Boating?

There are plenty of ways that you can be injured when you are boating. According to reported incident numbers, Florida is currently leading the country in the number of boats that are registered, increasing the chances that you will have an accident. There were 723 reported accidents in 2019.

Though there are many different ways that someone might get hurt on the boat, the most common accident is a collision between two vessels. Another common type of accident occurs when the boat is towing someone, such as a water-skier. It’s also possible that you might be hurt because the boat is going over some waves, causing you to lose your balance.

These types of accidents can vary in severity. For example, if you slip and fall on the boat, you might receive a broken bone. However, depending on where you fall, you might receive burns. Sadly, some people might receive spinal injuries or brain damage. When this happens, you might be left permanently disabled.

Though there are several reasons why boating accidents may occur, they are most commonly linked to the driver being inexperienced. This can cause them to not know the rules of the waterway, accidentally placing their passengers at risk. Sadly, there might be some people who have been boating under the influence (BUI). When drinking, the driver’s reaction time slows, increasing the chances that they will be engaged in an accident. For this reason, drivers will need to have a blood alcohol reading of under 0.08% to operate the boat under Maritime Laws. In other cases, the boat might not have been maintained properly, causing it to malfunction and cause an accident.

What Types of Boating Accidents Must be Reported?

As we’ve seen, there are plenty of ways that an accident might occur on a boat. Thankfully, in most cases, these won’t be serious, resulting in a few bruises. However, there are some cases where the injury might be far more serious. These serious injuries need to be filed with a boating accident report. When these accidents occur, it’s the responsibility of the boat driver or operator to report the incident to the relevant authorities. Let’s take a closer look at this area.

When Would a Written Boating Accident Report be Required?

There are a few times when you will be required to file a written report. First, you need to make a report if someone has died on your trip. You also need to make a report if someone has disappeared in mysterious circumstances during the trip. Often, this means that you would need to suspect that the person was injured or killed during the voyage. Also, you are obligated to report any incident where someone needed to seek medical treatment. Generally, this extends beyond the person seeking basic first-aid, going to circumstances where the person was seriously injured. For example, you need to report if someone received a broken arm during the trip.

You might also need to make a report if the vessel sustained damage. For example, if you have lost the vessel, you’ll need to make a written report. You might also need to report if the vessel has received over $2,000 worth of damage.

If you are unsure about whether you need to report an incident, you might want to contact one of our skilled Florida boating accident lawyers. They’ll be able to talk you through your legal obligations. They’ll also be able to help you report the boating accident, making sure that everything has been done properly.

Where do you Report a Boating Accident?

If a serious incident occurred during your trip, you’ll need to make a written report. This often means filling out a range of forms. To find the right forms for you, you’ll need to go to the US Coast Guard website. Remember to fill out the forms that apply to the Florida area. This is also the place where you’ll be required to submit the forms. If you need any help, you can call the Coast Guard. Or you can get in contact with your attorneys.

How Long do you Have to File the Report?

When you have a boating accident, you need to make sure that you fill out the forms on-time. The length of time you have to file the report depends on the severity of the accident. If someone died 24 hours after the accident occurred, you’ll need to make the report within 48 hours. If the person was seriously injured or went missing under mysterious circumstances, you’ll need to make a written report within 48 hours. If the damage only applies to the vessel, you have up to 10 days to report the incident.

As a general rule, you should try to file the report as quickly as possible. However, before you do this, make sure to talk to a Florida boating accident lawyer. This will let you make sure that you are handling the situation correctly.

Who Is Liable For A Boating Accident?

Trying to find out who caused a boating accident can be very difficult. Often, your lawyers will need to examine the cause of the accident, to find out who is liable. As a general rule, though, those who operate the boat in a negligent manner can be held liable for the accident.

To give a better example of how this might work, let’s look at an example. Imagine that your boat was capsized, because of the wake caused by another vehicle. If your driver was traveling to close to the other boat or wasn’t on the right side of the waterway, they might be responsible for the accident. However, if you were following the Maritime Laws, the other vessel would be held responsible for the accident, as they were acting recklessly. In some cases, you might share liability, if both vessels were violating the Maritime Laws.

As you can imagine, this area of law can get quite difficult, especially if there’s no video of the accident. Because of this, you might want to hire skilled Florida boating accident lawyers at The Injury FIrm. They’ll be able to investigate the matter, to find out what happened and why. This will give you a better idea of who will be liable for the crash.

What are the Penalties for Causing a Boating Accident in Florida?

The type of legal penalties you can face will depend on the seriousness of the accident and the reason the crash occurred. For example, if you are charged with BUI, you can face a fine of up to $1,000. You might also risk being jailed for up to 6 months, or getting community service. If someone is seriously injured because of your actions, you could be facing harsher penalties. In this case, you will need to make sure to talk to your attorneys, to make sure that you have a vigorous defense.

What Compensation can you get After a Boating Accident?

If you’ve been the victim of a boating accident, you might be able to get compensation for several things. As an example, you might be able to claim for any medical bills that you incurred as a result of the accident. You might also be able to claim for any property damage that the accident caused. In some cases, you might be able to claim for any lost wages or pain and suffering caused by the accident. When you decide to make a claim, your attorneys will be able to help you calculate how much you will be entitled to claim for.

To get the money that you are owed, you’ll need to hire a skilled team of attorneys. Unlike in a car accident, you might not be able to make an insurance claim. Instead, you’ll have to sue the negligent driver or their insurance company. In some cases, you might even be able to make a claim against the boat rental company, if they lent their vehicle to someone without the proper knowledge of Maritime Laws.

Contact The Injury Firm After A Boating Accident

If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a boating accident, you need to make sure that you get in contact with Florida boating accident lawyers. Because of Maritime Laws, you’ll need to act quickly, as you’ll typically have a shorter time to file a claim. In most cases, if you intend to seek compensation, you’ll need to make a claim within a year of the accident.

At The Injury Firm, we have a long history of fighting for the legal rights of our clients, so they can get the best possible outcome. To find out how we can help you, make sure to get in contact with us today: 954-951-0000

The Injury Firm

1608 East Commercial Blvd. 
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000


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Fort Lauderdale

1608 East Commercial Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000

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