Floridians love their boats. With a long coastline and many lakes and rivers, Florida hosts a vibrant boating scene. Recreational boaters share the waters with tourist boats and commercial boats alike. Boats carry many of the same risks as automobiles and other vehicles, and risks specific to operating a vehicle over open water. People injured by a boat operator’s negligence are entitled to recover their damages from the liable person or persons. An experienced Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyer can help assess your case and recover the compensation to which you are entitled.
Florida leads the nation in boating accidents. Florida had 620 reported boating accidents in 2009, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and 668 in 2010. 487 accidents, almost 73% of all accidents in the state last year, involved recreational boating. Florida also has the most registered recreational boats, with 949,030 reported in 2009. Palm Beach County had the third-highest number of accidents in 2010 with 60. The biggest months for boating accidents in 2010 were May and July, and the biggest times were between noon and 8:00 p.m. 167 accidents in 2010 primarily involved collision with a fixed object, and 128 involved collision with another vessel. The two reasons cited most frequently for accidents were “operator inattention” and “no proper lookout.”
Our lawyers are longtime residents of Florida and are intimately familiar with the rules and procedures of boating in Florida’s waterways. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of your accident to determine who may be liable for your damages.
Liability of Boat Operators
Boat operators have the same duties as the operators of any other vehicle to behave in a safe and careful manner. If the operator of a boat breaches this duty of care, and that breach results in an accident that causes injury, the operator may be liable for those injuries. This is the legal theory of negligence, which forms the basis of almost all accident claims. The reasons cited above for many of Florida’s boating accidents, lack of attention or lack of a lookout, can constitute breaches of the duty to safely operate a boat. Negligent operation of a boat can cause property damage, injuries to passengers on the boat, injuries to operators or passengers of other boats, or even injuries to swimmers or bystanders near the water.
The law allows an injured person to recover their actual damages, which may include medical expenses related to the injuries, expenses related to future medical care or rehabilitation, and lost wages for time missed at work due to the injuries or treatment for the injuries. An injured person may also recover “noneconomic damages,” which covers a person’s “pain and suffering” due to the accident with the goal of putting a person as close as possible to the position in life they were in before the accident. Our attorneys will work with you to assess and evaluate your injuries and your damages, and we will develop a strong claim for damages to present to an insurance company or a court.
The Deerfield Beach boating accident attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., represent Floridians who have suffered injuries in boating accidents. Contact the firm through this website or at 954-428-9333 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.