Coral Springs Boating Accident Attorneys
Injured While Boating? We Will Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Our Coral Springs boating accident lawyers recently handled a case in Pompano
Beach where a catamaran flipped, resulting in a drowning. We recently
settled a Delray Beach, FL wave runner/personal watercraft accident between
2 wave runners that crashed in Lake Ida, resulting in serious life-threatening
injuries. Our last jury trial involving a boat accident was a negligence
case in Miami Federal Court where a marine mechanic stepped into a hatch
cover left open on a yacht.
Our injury lawyers handle boating accidents of any kind, not only in the
counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, but also throughout Florida.
As accident lawyers, we handle boating accident cases resulting from drunk
boating incidents, recreational boating crashes, boating fires caused
by negligent maintenance, and other types of boating accidents.
Causes of Boat Accidents
One of the advantages of living in South Florida is having magnificent
beaches which allow residents and tourists to choose from a variety of
water activities. Among the most popular choices is boating or yachting.
The majority of people living in South Florida own a boat or have a friend,
family member, or acquaintance that owns one. In the latest 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, there are more possibilities for accidents to occur. Moreover,
Florida is the leading state in the nation for boating fatalities and
has been for years.
Below are the types of boating accidents that have resulted in fatalities:
- Vessel wake damage
- Struck under water 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 are usually due to negligence from the boat owner or the manufacturer
of the boat, and are caused by improper or faulty wiring, A/C heaters,
electrical appliances brought onboard, the engine overheating, and fuel
leaks. Operators of boats are required to have a fire extinguisher on
board to protect individuals. There are 4 different kinds of fire extinguishers
that are used to cease a fire and are labeled with a color to differentiate.
Red label extinguishers contain water, yellow label extinguishers contain
foam, black label extinguishers contain carbon dioxide, and blue label
extinguishers contain dry powder. The extinguisher you use depends on
what material or liquid started the fire. There are 4 types of fires that
may happen on a boat. Type A fires are caused by any material that creates
ash, such as wood, and should be extinguished with water. Type B fires
result from liquids that burn, such as gasoline, and require foam to cease
the fire. Type C fires are created by electrical components and require
carbon dioxide. Type D fires are caused by combustible metals and must
be extinguished with dry powder.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
Many boat accidents result from drunk driving. In the latest report by
the FWC, alcohol use was found as 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 such as contusions; head, neck, and back injuries;
sprains; dislocations; amputations; burns; teeth and jaw injuries; and
internal injuries. In 2011, the FWC reported 431 people injured from boating
accidents. Other, more serious accidents resulted in death. The same report
states 67 fatalities happened as a result of boating accidents. The majority
of fatal boat accidents take place at a lake or pond and happen while
the individual or groups of people are cruising. The main cause of boat
fatalities is drowning. However, other deaths reported were caused by
trauma and hypothermia (the latter not as likely to occur in Florida,
Boating Laws in Florida
Individuals that own a boat, are passengers in a boat, or have an interest
in boating, need to become familiar with the safety precautions relating
to boating. Fortunately, Florida has taken action pertaining to the safety
of people operating a boat. It is now Florida law for individuals born
on or after January 1, 1988 to complete a boating course and pass it.
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 its size. Another very important but often ignored
safety measure is to wear a life jacket. As already mentioned, most 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.
Call to Discuss the Details of Your Case
If you, a family member, or a friend have been involved in a boating accident,
call our Coral Springs boating accident lawyers to see if you are able
to file a claim. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you.
Even if you are unsure whether or not you have a case,
contact our offices today at
(954) 833-1440 for your free consultation.