Lake Worth Boat Accident Attorneys
Florida’s Maritime Law Experts: On Your Side
Florida is the leading destination for boaters in the country. There are nearly one million vessels registered in the state, and residents and visitors alike flock to our coastlines, lakes, and streams. Opportunities for fishing, tubing, water skiing, diving, snorkeling, swimming, and leisurely sunset cruises abound. But the sheer number of vessels and operators on the water, with vastly differing levels of experience, increases the risk of boating accidents. Florida also leads the nation in the number of accidents and boating-related fatalities. In fact, we nearly double the next highest state, California.
Each year, hundreds of vessels are involved in collisions and incidents and dozens of people are killed. Many of these tragedies could have been prevented. If you have been in a boat accident, the attorneys at the LaBovick Law Group are here to help. As maritime law experts, we understand the intricacies of this legal arena – as well as the physical and psychological pain and distress with which you are contending. You need not battle alone. We are on your side. Get started by contacting boat accident attorneys with our free online boat accident case evaluation tool.
Boat Accident By-the-Numbers
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 2017 Boating Accident Review:
- There were 684 boating accidents in Florida, compared to 386 in California, the next highest state.
- In Palm Beach County alone, there are 35,880 registered vessels. In 2017, there were 41 reportable accidents, three fatalities, 16 significant injuries, and nearly $500,000 in property damage. The accident rate is 1:905.
- The most common types of incidents are: collisions with other vessels, collisions with fixed objects, flooding/swamping, falls overboard, and grounding.
- Most accidents occur in summer (July typically sees a spike in accident rates).
- Most deaths are caused by drowning (69 percent) and trauma resulting from collisions with other objects (29 percent).
According to the FWC, the most common causes of boating accidents are:
Inattention and improper lookout.
Violation of navigation rule.
In many cases, simple steps could have prevented accidents and fatalities. How can you stay safe on the water?
Take a boaters safety course. These courses are required for those born on or after January 1, 1988. They must carry their FWC-issued ID with them while boating. Even if a course is not mandatory for you, it never hurts – and in fact, it can help significantly – to take advantage of this education. Keep a constant eye out for obstacles, including other boaters, swimmers, and fixed objects. Using a navigational aid can help as well, as you can identify and steer clear of underwater hazards. Do not boat and drink. BUI is illegal; as with operating a vehicle, the blood alcohol content limit is 0.08 for those over 21 years of age. Excessive drinking slows reaction time and impairs judgement: a dangerous mix on the water. It is also risky for passengers. A major cause of death is drowning; if a passenger has been drinking, they may not be able to react in a safe way. Wear a life jacket. In most deaths, the fatally injured individual was not wearing a life jacket. Have one on board for every adult passenger, and ensure children wear them at all times while on the water. Check the weather before you go out for a cruise. Even in sunny Florida, storms can come on fast and furious, giving you little time to head back to shore. The US Coast Guard offers free vessel safety checks. If your boat does not “pass,” you do not receive a citation. Instead, the USCG will give you a list of recommendations to ensure you and your passengers are as safe as possible.
Stay aware; stay alert.
As careful as you are, however, you cannot control the actions of other parties. If you are injured in a boat accident because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, contact the maritime law experts at the LaBovick Law Group.
A second’s inattention on the part of another operator; an alcoholic drink too many; an inexperienced boater trying to handle advanced waters… all of these factors can contribute to accidents – and impact your life in significant ways. From injuries and medical expenses to unpaid bills and loss of wages, you may struggle both physically and financially in the aftermath of an incident.
Contact our team for a complimentary consultation; we will guide you through the process and pursue just compensation aggressively. Need answers fast? Try our online boat accident case evaluation tool.