In 2020, there were 836 confirmed boating accidents in Florida. These accidents resulted in 79 deaths and more than 500 injuries. If you have been involved in a boating accident, consulting with a qualified and knowledgeable South Florida boating accident lawyer is a good first step toward holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Your lawyer can provide you with helpful guidance to help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries and expenses after a serious boating accident.
Causes of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents are often caused by inattention or negligence on the part of the boat operator. Some of the most common specific issues that can cause these accidents include the following:
- Rough weather that can cause injuries or that can cause people on the boat to fall overboard
- Collisions with other boats or with stationary objects in the water or on the shore
- Capsizing, especially in inclement weather
- The use of alcohol or drugs by the operator
- Failure to scan the forward horizon for obstacles, other boaters or swimmers in the water
- Lack of experience in navigating Florida waterways
- Mechanical failures and breakdowns that can allow boats to drift into unfamiliar waters
- Traveling at high speed
Many boating accidents could be avoided by attention to the boat’s surroundings and the weather and by avoiding the use of drugs or alcohol when operating these large vessels. Wearing a life jacket at all times when out on the water is also recommended to prevent drownings and injuries caused by passengers falling overboard.
Injuries Caused by Boating Accidents
The motors and propellers of boats can be dangerous to anyone in the water near the boat. Additionally, collisions can cause impact injuries that can be serious or, in some cases, fatal. Some of the most commonly reported injuries after a boating accident include the following:
- Broken bones
- Bruises and soft tissue injuries
- Injuries to the spinal cord
- Traumatic brain injuries
These issues can generate significant medical expenses for you and your family. If you have been seriously injured in a boat accident or have lost a loved one in this type of incident, you need the help of a qualified and experienced South Florida personal injury lawyer to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries or your losses. Your attorney will work on your behalf to determine the facts of the incident and to make sure that your case is handled appropriately in the Florida legal system.
What to Do After a Boating Accident
Your actions after a boating accident will depend on whether you are in the water or on board a boat. If you are in the water, you should seek help to board a nearby boat if one is available. You should always wear a life jacket while on board a boat. If you are not wearing a life jacket, however, you may need to find a flotation device to stay afloat after a boating accident. This may also be necessary if the boat is sinking or has capsized.
If you are still on the boat and able to do so, you should check for any people who may have fallen overboard and, if it is possible, assist them in returning to the boat. If there are any injuries or fatalities or if the boat is beginning to sink, you will need to call the U.S. Coast Guard as quickly as possible to bring help. Do not leave the scene of the accident. This could result in legal charges against you.
Document as much as you can about the accident. This includes getting the names and contact information of those with you on the boat as well as any other boat operators who were involved in the accident. If it is practical, take pictures of the boat and any debris. These may be useful in pursuing a claim against those responsible.
How Your South Florida Boating Accident Lawyer Can Help
Retaining the professional services of a South Florida personal injury lawyer can help you to obtain fair compensation from those responsible for your boating accident. Your attorney will work with you to find out exactly what happened and who was at fault in your accident. Your South Florida boating accident lawyer will collect evidence to support your case and will request copies of your medical bills and physician reports. These can prove useful in reaching a settlement or in presenting your case in court.
If you are looking for a qualified and knowledgeable South Florida boating accident lawyer, Pozo Goldstein can provide you with the guidance, support and representation you need to pursue compensation from those responsible for your injuries or losses. Call Pozo Goldstein today at 305-856-0400 to request more information or to set up a consultation with our attorneys. We are here to help you manage your legal affairs in the most practical way possible.