Even though we consider boating a carefree summer activity, people can be seriously injured or killed if boaters fail to pay attention to their surroundings. Florida had 836 boating accidents in 2020, which is 113 more accidents than in 2019, a 16% increase. A total of 79 people lost their lives last year in boating accidents, 14 more than the previous year. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in a boating accident in South Florida, please read on, then contact an experienced Miami boat accident lawyer today.
What can cause a boating accident in South Florida?
Thousands of boat crashes occur each year and although a number of factors contribute, most collisions share similar characteristics and many may have been avoidable if the operator had taken additional precautions. The most common causes of boating accidents are as follows:
- Operator inattention: According to the Coast Guard, operator inattention is the most common contributing factor in boating accidents. When the boat is in motion, the operator must remain focused.
- Operator inexperience: Boat operators need to not only know the relevant laws for operating a boat but also know any specifics of the vehicle they intend to operate out on the water.
- Improper lookout: This includes both failing to appoint a lookout and the appointed lookout not keeping a close eye on the boat’s surroundings. Similarly, if anyone in the party is engaging in water sports like waterskiing, tubing or wakeboarding, it is essential that the lookout properly alert any surrounding boats that there is someone in the water.
- Reckless actions by drivers, passengers or skiers: Even though boats operate on water, reckless action by anyone onboard a boat can result in serious consequences, including overloading the boat with too many people leading to capsizing and people falling overboard.
- Equipment failure: Just like any other vehicle, boats need regular maintenance. Failure to stay up-to-date on your boat’s maintenance could cause it to crash or capsize. Issues with the engine or steering can lead to serious injuries, and failing to have the appropriate equipment onboard – i.e. life preservers, navigation lights and flares – can often make an already troublesome situation worse.
- Speeding: An open body of water may seem like the perfect place to test a boat’s speed, but slower speeds make other boats, hazards and obstacles easier to see. There are also laws requiring boaters to heavily reduce their speed when in close proximity to the coastline or anchored vessels.
- Alcohol use: Blood alcohol content (BAC) laws are the same for both boaters and drivers. Operating a boat with a BAC of greater than 0.08 percent is a criminal offense, not to mention a huge liability.
If someone caused your boating-related injury, whether it was the operator of your boat or another boat, then you can sue those responsible for negligence to obtain compensation. Reach out to our skilled Miami auto accident lawyer today.
Contact a Miami-Dade County, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been seriously injured as a result of negligence, contact us at Aigen Law Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.