Florida Boating Accident Attorneys
There are an estimated two million registered and non-registered watercraft that use Florida’s many waterways each year. With this many boats around, there is an enormous range in both the skill and maturity of boat operators. In this sort of environment, accidents are bound to happen. In fact, hundreds of Florida residents are injured in boating accidents each year. Many of these accidents could have been avoided had boat operators used reasonable care and attention while piloting their craft.
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 pursuing claims in 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 boating accident attorneys at Meldon Law have successfully represented many Florida boating injury victims during our decades of practice. We understand what your claim is worth and will put in the hours of work to obtain a just result for you. Contact the Florida boat injury accident attorneys at Meldon Law for a free consultation after a boating accident.
What are the laws on boating in Florida?
When considering the volume of boaters in the state, Florida has surprisingly relaxed laws on who may pilot a boat on its waterways. There is no minimum age limit on who may pilot a boat in Florida. However, anyone under age 30 must have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators-approved boating education course (or an equivalent course) and have a certificate of completion along with their ID on them while operating a boat with a motor of 10 or more horsepower. This means that many of Florida’s boat operators have never taken a boating safety course, nor have they been tested on their ability to operate a vessel.
How can I seek compensation after a boating accident causes injuries?
It is important for accident victims to note that liability insurance, while recommended, is not required for Florida boats. This means that any injuries you suffer in a boating accident might not be covered automatically by an insurance policy that will pay your medical expenses or other costs associated with your injury.
If you’re injured in a boating accident, the possibility that the at-fault operator was not insured makes it even more important that you seek legal help to pursue a claim. When no insurance policy is available, victims may need to pursue a personal injury accident case against the boat operator as an individual rather than simply file a claim through the insurer.
Additionally, a attorney can help uncover additional potential sources of compensation. For example, if a mechanical defect in the boat caused your injuries, you might be entitled to pursue a claim based on that defect. If the at-fault operator was working on a charter or fishing boat at the time of the crash, you could have a right to sue the company that employed the at-fault operator. The Florida boating accident attorneys at Meldon Law will leave no stone unturned when it comes to conducting a thorough investigation of the causes of your boating accident.
What are the most common types of boating accidents in Florida?
- Falling overboard
- Fuel spills and fires
- Colliding with another boat or vessel
- Colliding with piers, jetties, or other fixed objects
Boating under the influence is a major cause of boating injury accidents
Just like driving a car or truck, operating a boat after having had too much to drink is highly dangerous. While it can be tempting to have an adult beverage while enjoying a day on the water, boat operators are legally obligated to exercise caution if they wish to imbibe while operating.
Authorities will look for boaters who appear to be operating their vessels with impaired faculties. If a boat operator is found to be Boating Under the Influence (BUI) with a blood alcohol level of at least .08%, they can be arrested. Unfortunately, crashes caused by intoxicated boat operators are extremely common. If you’ve been injured by a drunk boater, evidence of the intoxication of the at-fault boat operator can serve as powerful evidence of recklessness in a claim for damages.
Help Is Available After Serious Florida Boating Accidents
Florida boating accidents can leave victims with serious injuries, such as burns, brain injuries, spinal damage, or broken bones. Victims of these accidents need legal representation they can count on to fight hard for their compensation. If you’ve been injured in a Florida boating accident, contact the Florida boating accident attorneys at Meldon Law to discuss your claims and find out if you’re a good candidate to file a boat accident lawsuit.