Deadly Boating Accidents in Florida Waters
Now that the summer is coming, Miami-Dade and other Florida Counties are unfortunately seeing their fair share of boating accidents: Just recently (May 14th), one person was killed and a dozen others injured in boating accidents in one day’s outing in Miami-Dade alone. One of the most serious accidents happened near Normandy Shores, where a boat carrying nine passengers crashed into a private dock, tearing off the top of the boat and injuring four people, three of which are now in serious condition and one in critical.
When accidents like these happen, there is always a preliminary investigation by Florida officials. Many drivers claim that they simply “lost control,” but what does this mean, and how is it excusable?
Federal and State Boating Laws and Regulations
Boating laws cover vessel registration, boating accidents, what constitutes reckless and careless operation of a boat, and more. When there is an accident and a personal injury beyond immediate first aid and/or property damage of at least $2,000, the operator of the vessel involved must give notice to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the sheriff, or the local police.
All boat operators must operate vessels with a regard for the safety of people and property, or risk being cited for reckless operation. Operating your boat in a reasonable and prudent manner means doing so with regard for other vessel traffic, posted restrictions, the presence of drivers-down flags, and other circumstances so as to ensure they aren’t endangering people or property.
Like auto accidents, recovering damages linked to boating accidents is all about proving that the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, or failure to act with reasonable care. This not only applies to boats or people that may have been hit by another boat as the result of a negligent driver, but any injuries sustained by those on the boats that caused the accident as well.
Perhaps most importantly, there are strict vessel speed restrictions and updated boating safety education requirements. When it comes to accidents, liability is based upon a variety of circumstances, including the boat’s size, speed, visibility, any other traffic in the area, communication between boats, weather conditions, what the injured individuals were doing at the time they were injured, etc. Boats also need to have specific safety equipment on board; failure to have this equipment—if it contributes to someone suffering injuries—can have serious consequences.
Call an Experienced Boca Raton Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury in a boating accident after a driver engaged in negligent behavior, we can help. Boating-related injuries can be just as debilitating and life-changing as auto accidents. Contact us at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan in Boca Raton for a free consultation on your case.