Boating accidents happen all the time, but there are some instances in which a boating accident causes serious injury or death. Many times, the cause of boating injuries can be traced back to the person operating the boat or the owner of it. When these accidents happen, it can be difficult to know what sort of recourse you have without the advice of an injury lawyer. There are a lot of complex issues involving fault and responsibility when it comes to boat accidents in Miami. What you really need is a Miami boating accident lawyer that will answer your questions and help you determine the best course of action going forward.
Miami Boating Accident Statistics
In the United States in 2010, there were 4,604 boating accidents according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Of those 4,600 or so accidents, there were a total of 672 fatalities. Unfortunately for Florida residents, living in the state with the highest number of registered boats, we are the state with the highest number of boating accidents.
This means Miami residents must take as many precautions as they can when they go out on recreational boats. This is even more important today because recent data from the same source shows that boating accidents are increasing, particularly accidents that result in fatalities. The number of boating deaths is increasing in Florida more than it is in other areas, while accounting for the fact that Florida has more boats than other states.
In 2011, there were 4,588 accidents. The number of deaths rose up to 758. In Florida alone, there were 431 serious boating accident injuries and a total of 79 deaths. This makes Florida the state with the highest number of boating accidents and the highest percentage of fatalities from those accidents. These are just a few of the statistics highlighting the severity of boat accidents in Florida.
Types of Boating Accident Injuries
There are several different types of boat accident injuries to be aware of. People contact a Miami personal injury lawyer because of accidents involving boats, jet skis, pleasure crafts and any other kind of craft on the water. Boats are dangerous, and there are many different injuries that can be sustained on a boat – particularly if the person operating the boat is not acting responsibly. If you go out with someone in good faith that they will operate their craft responsibly, and they betray your trust and you are injured as a result of their negligence, then you deserve justice.
The problem is, while there are boating laws in place for a reason, many boat operators do not follow them or they skirt the edge of them. This results in a number of injuries that can range from minor to extremely serious, including death. Severe lacerations (cuts) have happened on boats, as have fractures, dislocations, loss of limbs, hypothermia, drowning, paralysis, brain injuries and more. Accidents happen when the operator of the boat does not have enough experience to be piloting the craft, when alcohol or drugs become involved and impair the operator’s ability to man the boat, or when breaking maritime law such as speeding or navigating in unsafe waters.
Florida Boating Laws
What you should be aware of is the list of Florida boating laws that govern private boat operators as well as commercial ships. If you know what the laws are, you will have a much easier time protecting yourself from people that are breaking them. If you need specific information on boating laws, contact our boating injury lawyer in Miami. A Miami boating accident attorney can help you discover whether or not laws were broken that resulted in your injury, and who is responsible.
The first thing you should know is that while operators of a boat can be any age, vessels that have 10 hp or more require operators 21 years of age and younger to undergo a mandatory safety course to teach them boating safety. In addition, children six years of age and under are required to wear a life vest at all times– and it is a good idea for everyone to be wearing one. Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only a bad idea, it is prohibited by law. Just like driving, there is a legal limit and anyone who has exceeded the legal limit may be subject to arrest. Finally, you should know that anytime anyone has sustained an injury that is beyond the scope of a standard first aid kit, or when property damage exceeds $2000, the boat operator is required to report the accident to the authorities.
Types of Crafts & Causes of Boating Accidents
People contact a personal injury attorney in Miami for all different types of boating accidents as well as for the various types of crafts that are used on the water. This may include commercial boats, private fishing boats, leisure craft, jet skis, sailboats and various other vessels that you will find on the water in Miami. As far as the types of accidents, they include things like safety equipment not properly maintained, boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, operator errors not related to those things, operating in unsafe conditions or failure to give instructions to passengers so that they remain safe while on the craft. A boat is like any other vehicle. When operated unsafely or by someone under the influence, it can turn into a deadly machine that can cause serious accident or injury.
Getting Help with Your Boating Accident Injury
So, how do you get help with your boating accident injury? The best way is to contact a Miami personal injury attorney and find out what your options are. Because these situations can be complex, you may not realize that you have a claim and are entitled to compensation for your accident or injury. Even if you think the accident was your fault, contact our office because that may not be the case. The only way you will be able to determine whether or not you deserve compensation is by contacting a Miami personal injury attorney and explaining how the accident occurred and what the exact circumstances were. You can get a no obligation and no cost evaluation of your case and then make a decision as to whether or not you would like to move forward.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is there are many issues that come with boating accident cases in Miami. Boating can be incredibly fun, and when used responsibly, a boat can give you endless pleasure on the water. But boating accidents continue to happen because operators do not follow the safety regulations that exist or break laws that are intended to protect the operator and their passengers on the water. When someone fails to follow these regulations and fulfill their obligation as a responsible boat operator, they can be held responsible for their actions. If you have been injured in a boating accident, contact one of our personal injury attorneys in Miami right now.