Miami Boating Accidents
Accidents and injuries on the open water: how are they regulated? Under what laws can you seek compensation? To whom do you turn?
Maritime law is extremely complicated, a specialized stretch of legal terrain that makes it difficult for people to maneuver through them. Navigable waters are regulated by state, federal, and international laws – and the complexity can be intimidating, especially if you are dealing with the aftermath of an boat accident in Miami and ongoing consequences of an injury.
If you have been injured while on a boat, cruise ship, commercial ship, or even on a dock or marina, it can seem as if you have more questions than answers. We are here to help. The maritime lawyers at the LaBovick Law Group have represented clients injured in boating accidents for more than 25 years.
Well-versed in the area of maritime law, we are also fully aware of the impact these injuries can have on your health, finances, and virtually every other aspect of your life. To whom do you turn? You turn to our maritime lawyer team. Your maritime lawyer team. Get started today with a free online boat accident case evaluation.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
A day on the water should be relaxing – or exciting, depending on your personality! But when it results in injury, it is anything but fun in the sun. Typically, boating accidents are caused by:
Negligence: Operator carelessness and negligence can cause significant injury. This includes situations when they:
- Use excessive speed.
- Collide with other vessels or fixed objects.
- Fail to follow standard boating rules.
- Decide to navigate in treacherous/stormy weather.
- Do not carry proper safety equipment on board.
- Overload the vessel with passengers and/or gear.
- Improperly pass another boater.
Operating Under the Influence: Just as driving under the influence is illegal, Florida law prohibits operating a boat while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. The legal limit for blood/breath alcohol is 0.08. Operators suspected of operating while intoxicated must comply with sobriety tests; failure to do so can result in the loss of their boating and driving privileges. If they are under 21 with a breath or blood alcohol level of more than 0.02, they are considered “intoxicated.”
Careless and Reckless Operation of a Boat: The “willful disregard for the safety of persons or property” is a criminal misdemeanor. As well, operators may be held responsible under civil law for any injuries caused by their behavior.
Defective Equipment: Boating accidents due to defective equipment are not as common as those related to negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. Nonetheless, they do occur. If you are injured because of faulty equipment, you may be able to take legal action against the vessel operator, rental company, and/or manufacturer.
Building a Compelling Case
After you have been involved in a boat accident in Miami or the surrounding area, it is difficult to think about next steps. The adrenaline is pumping, and you may be more concerned that you and your party are in one piece.
However, if you can, take photographs and/or videos of the scene and ask witnesses for their accounts. You cannot compel them, but if they agree, collect their names and contact information. As well, keep copies of all law enforcement and medical reports. If you decide to pursue legal action, you will have a solid start on the evidence you need to mount a strong case.
But do not feel as if you must do this alone. LaBovick, Law Group’s team of experienced maritime attorneys will assist you every step of the way. From gathering supporting evidence to interacting on your behalf with vessel operators, manufacturers, and insurance companies, we are there to represent your best interests.
The Answers You Need
Boating accidents exist in the legal middle ground between personal injury and maritime law. It is essential that your attorney understand the complexity of legislation and regulations that govern accidents and incidents that occur on navigable waters.
While the physical ramifications, and financial impacts, of such injuries are similar to those suffered by those involved in car accidents and other land-based incidents, one cannot ignore the complications that maritime conditions bring into play.
As one of Miami’s leading law firms, LaBovick Law Group has a long history of protecting the rights of injured clients and ensuring they receive the compensation they are owed. Contact our team today for a free consultation.