Fort Lauderdale Boating Accidents
With over 300 miles of waterways, it is no wonder that Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America.
People here do more than just take their boat out for a day on the water. They often use them as a means of transportation to get from one place to another. Some people use their yachts and other types of boats as a place to live.
Boating is certainly a way of life in Fort Lauderdale and throughout all of Florida. Unfortunately, accidents happen on boats. When they are caused by someone else, accident victims should know the proper steps to take.
Boating insurance is not required in Florida, although some marinas require liability coverage for boaters. However, anyone who wants to go boating in the state should carry insurance to protect themselves and others. In the event of an accident, victims should also always speak to a Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyer.
What Should You Do If Hurt in a Boating Accident?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Should You Do If Hurt in a Boating Accident?
- 2 How Can a Lawyer Help with Your Boating Accident Claim?
- 3 What Are Common Causes of Boating Accidents?
- 4 What Are Common Injuries in Boating Accidents?
- 5 What Are Your Legal Options After a Boating Accident?
- 6 Get Help from a Florida Boating Accident Attorney
After a boating accident, the first step to take is to make sure everyone is okay. If anyone is hurt, call the Coast Guard or 911 to get them help as soon as possible.
If anyone is in immediate danger, for example if someone is in the water and at risk for drowning, you should remove them and try to keep them as safe as possible. If no one is in immediate danger, do not move them until medical help arrives.
You should also file a boating accident report. Federal law states that you must report a boating accident any time a person dies or is injured and requires more than just first aid. You must also file a report if a person disappears and is presumed dead or injured, or there is property damage that exceeds $2,000.
When a boating accident involves these scenarios, you must file a report within 48 hours. However, after any accident you should still file a report, as it could help with a future claim. You can either file a report with the local police or with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement.
How Can a Lawyer Help with Your Boating Accident Claim?
When you are injured in a boating accident that was the fault of someone else, you have the burden of proving that someone else’s negligence caused your crash. You must not only prove the act of negligence, but also that this negligence was the cause of the accident that resulted in your injuries.
Most people do not know how to prove these elements of their claim effectively. This is where a Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyer can be a great help.
An attorney will understand what evidence to collect, and how to collect it. They can also interview eyewitnesses, reach out to their extensive network of experts who can provide testimony, obtain accident reports from the Coast Guard or law enforcement, and otherwise help you prepare a strong claim.
After a lawyer has collected the necessary evidence to substantiate your claim, they will also deal with the insurance company on your behalf, or argue your case to a jury. While a lawyer does all of this, they will ensure your rights are always upheld and act as your advocate at all times.
What Are Common Causes of Boating Accidents?
Many boating accidents are caused by the negligence of another boating operator. The most common types of negligence include:
- Boating operators failing to pay attention
- Improper lookouts on the boats
- Inexperienced boat operators
- Excessive speeds
- Impaired boating
- Defective machinery on a boat
- Violations of maritime and navigational rules
- Poor weather conditions
- Dangerous water conditions
- Forceful waves and wake
When boating operators do not operate their boat in a reasonable and safe manner, they can be held liable for paying accident victims compensation that will help with their injuries.
What Are Common Injuries in Boating Accidents?
Although there are a number of ways accident victims can get hurt in a boating accident, there are some injuries that are more common than others. These include:
- Drowning – Due to the fact that boating takes place on the water, it is not surprising that drowning is one of the most common injuries in boat crashes.
- Brain injuries – These very serious injuries can occur in different ways. One is when individuals are submerged under water and their brains are deprived of oxygen. A lack of oxygen can also occur when accident victims are exposed to large amounts of carbon monoxide, such as from a running engine. During a crash individuals can also be thrown against a bulkhead or wall, or something can hit them in the head, causing an injury.
- Spinal cord injuries – Disc hernias are common in boating accidents and often occur because the boat bounces up and down on the water due to large waves or the wake of another boat.
- Lacerations – These cuts can be particularly deep because a person can be pushed into propeller blades during a crash, or boat operators may not pay attention to people in the water and get too close to them.
- Electrocution – Boats have a lot of electrical systems and when these are mixed with water, electrocution can easily occur.
When individuals suffer from these injuries, or any other, it is important that they understand their legal rights.
What Are Your Legal Options After a Boating Accident?
After a boating accident that was someone else’s fault, you have the right to receive monetary compensation for your losses. You can file a legal claim against another boat operator, or even the operator of the boat you were on when you were injured. Boat owners may be liable if, for example, something was wrong with the vessel that led to the accident.
If part of the boat was defective, you can also file a claim against the boat manufacturer or the company that worked on the boat. It is not always easy to file these claims, however, so it is important to work with an accident attorney that can help.
Get Help from a Florida Boating Accident Attorney
The aftermath of a boating accident is very difficult for injured individuals. While you recover from your injuries, our Fort Lauderdale boating accident attorneys at Englander Peebles, Attorneys at Law can help.
We are prepared to conduct a full investigation to collect evidence that can determine liability, and hold responsible parties accountable for paying the compensation you need. When you need help, contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.