Our boat accident lawyers handle boating accidents of any kind, not only in the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, but also throughout Florida. As Coral Springs accident lawyers, we handle boat accident cases resulting from drunk boating incidents, recreational boating crashes, boating fires caused by negligent maintenance, and other types of accidents.
Causes of Boat Accidents
One of the advantages of living in South Florida is access to magnificent beaches, which allow residents and tourists to enjoy various water activities, including boating and yachting. The majority of South Florida residents own a boat or have a friend, family member, or acquaintance that owns one.
In a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida has the highest number of recreational registered vessels than any other state in the nation. In addition, there are approximately 1 million unregistered vessels in Florida. As the number of vessels continues to increase in Florida, the number of boating accidents will also increase. Moreover, Florida continues to be the leading state in the nation for boating fatalities.
Here are some common types of boating accidents that have resulted in fatalities:
- Vessel wake damage
- Struck underwater object
- Skier mishap/fall
- Skier hit object
- Fall in boat
- Collision with vessel
- Fire/explosion (fuel)
- Fall on personal watercraft
- Flooding (swamping)
- Collision with fixed object
- Falls overboard (by far the most common type of accident resulting in death)
Boat fires typically occur due to negligence from the boat owner or the manufacturer of the boat, and are caused by the following:
- improper or faulty wiring
- A/C heaters
- electrical appliances brought onboard
- engine overheating
- fuel leaks
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
Many boat accidents result from drunk driving. According to the FWC, alcohol is the second cause of boating accidents in Florida. It is important for individuals to know that driving a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a violation of Florida law and is punishable with fines and imprisonment. If a person driving a boat impaired causes an accident, property damage, injury, or death, the individual has committed a felony.
Boating Accident Injuries
Injuries sustained in a boat accident can be devastating. The most common injuries reported are lacerations and broken bones. The FWC lists other common boating injuries, which include the following:
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Teeth and jaw injuries
- Other internal injuries
In 2020, the FWC reported a total of 534 people injured from boating accidents and 79 fatalities. The majority of fatal boat accidents occur in a lake or pond and while cruising. The main cause of boat fatalities is drowning.
Boating Laws in Florida
Individuals who own a boat, are passengers in a boat, or are interested in boating should familiarize themselves with boating safety precautions. Fortunately, Florida has taken action pertaining to the safety of people operating a boat. Florida State law mandates that individuals born on or after January 1, 1988 to complete and pass a boating course. Upon completion of the course, the individual will receive a Boating Safety Education Identification Card.
Additionally, Florida requires recreational vessels to carry specific safety equipment according to vessel size. Another very important but often ignored safety measure is to wear a life jacket. As mentioned above, the majority of boating fatalities are from drowning but could be avoided by wearing a life jacket. If you are concerned about the bulkiness or discomfort of a life jacket, consider wearing an inflatable life jacket. They are smaller in size, and just as effective as the traditional life jacket.
Contact a Coral Springs Boat Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you, a family member, or a friend have been involved in a boating accident, speak with a Coral Springs boat accident lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Call us now at (954) 833-1440 and speak with a qualified Coral Springs boat accident lawyer about your case.
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