Florida is known all over the world for its warm, sunny climate and its beaches, lakes, and waterways. In fact, there are almost one million registered boat owners in the state. Unfortunately, such numbers also means that, statistically, the likelihood of being in a boating accident is also very high.
When boaters cause injury accidents due to negligent or reckless behavior, they may become financially liable for the cost of those injuries. Since boating accident claims may involve the more complex setting of federal court rather than state court, it is critical to choose legal help that understands these claims and is prepared to fight for a good result.
The Florida boat accident attorneys at Waring Law have successfully represented many boating injury victims during our decades of practice. Our experience can help you if you need to file a claim after a boating accident.
Considering the number of boaters in the state, Florida has surprisingly relaxed laws on who may pilot a boat on its waterways. While there is no minimum age limit on who may pilot a boat in Florida, anyone under age 30 must have successfully completed a boating education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and have a certificate of completion along with their ID on them while operating a boat with a motor of 10 or more horsepower. Obviously, because the laws are so relaxed, many of Florida’s boat operators will have never taken a boating safety course, nor have they been tested on their ability to operate a vessel.
With so many inexperienced and untested boat operators in Florida, there are several different types of accidents that occur. The following are usually the most common:
- Watercraft collisions
- Jet ski accidents
- Colliding into fixed objects, such as docks and piers, buoys, rocks, sandbars, or other submerged objects
- Flooding and sinking
- Wake damage
- Falling overboard
- Slips and falls
- Fires or explosions
- Propeller accidents
If Florida’s relaxed boating laws weren’t enough, it is important for accident victims to note that liability insurance, while recommended, is not required for Florida boats. What this means for those that have been injured in a boating accident is that medical expenses or related costs might not be covered automatically by an insurance policy.
Still, you can seek compensation for your boat accident injuries. Your recoverable damages can include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You must initiate your lawsuit within four years from the date of the accident. Furthermore, if a loved one died in a fatal boating accident, you may pursue a wrongful death action. You could potentially obtain compensation for your relative’s medical bills, funeral costs, and other damages, such as loss of companionship. The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims in Florida is two years.
If you have been injured in a boating accident in Florida, turn to the skilled attorneys of Waring Law for help. We have a proven track record of success both in and out of the courtroom, having obtained millions in financial recovery for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer about your legal rights and options. Call us anytime at (954) 388-8943 or fill out this contact form.