Few experiences are as thrilling as cruising the blue ocean with the wind in your hair and the sun on your back. Unfortunately, Florida leads the nation every year in boating accidents—in part due to the sheer amount of boaters thanks to year-round boating opportunities and tourism. The Coast Guard’s 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics Report shows Florida recorded 679 total boating accidents, accounting for nearly 16.3% of all boating accidents in the United States—more than double the state coming in at the number two spot. Of these accidents, there were a reported 62 deaths and 421 people injured. If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident, there are important factors you may want to know. This post will take a look at the laws regarding boat accidents, the types of injuries that may occur, and when you should consider hiring a boat accident lawyer.
BOATING LICENSURE AND MARITIME LAWS IN FLORIDA
In the state of Florida, boating licenses are not required. However, there are some rules and regulations for anyone wanting to operate a boat. Those who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, are required to have completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course, an equivalent course, or temporary certificate exam. Before operating a boat over ten horsepower or more, the driver must have their education ID card and photo identification on hand.
Additionally, these rules apply to non-Florida residents, as well. If a visitor from out-of-state wants to operate a boat, they must be able to show proof of boating education equivalent to or exceeding the minimum requirements outlined in a NASBLA approved education course. Visitors may also obtain a temporary certificate.
However, there is no age requirement for boating in Florida, and operators older than the aforementioned date are not required to have a license or take a boating safety course. Unfortunately, because of this, there are unlicensed and untrained boat operators, making boating more dangerous.
Additionally, accidents occurring on public waterways fall under federal admiralty jurisdiction. Because of this, a case must be brought in Florida’s federal courts and are subject to different judicial procedures. Due to the regulations and rules regarding boat accident injuries and deaths, it’s recommended you consult an experienced boat accident attorney to determine your best course of action.
TYPES OF INJURIES COMMONLY CAUSED BY BOATING ACCIDENTS
Boating accidents can cause a variety of injuries due to the range in types of boating accidents, like fires, collisions, or boat capsizing. Victims of boating accidents can suffer from various injuries, some can even be fatal.
Types of injuries you can sustain from a boating accident include:
- Broken bones
- Lung infections from water inhalation
- Cuts and scrapes
- Traumatic brain injuries
Unfortunately, boating accidents can also result in fatalities including traumatic brain injury and drowning. When the death of a loved one was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of an individual causing a boat accident, you may have the right to pursue a wrongful death case against the responsible party.
WHEN DO YOU NEED TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR BOATING ACCIDENT VICTIMS?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Miami boating accident, you may be entitled to seek legal action. However, not every boating accident requires a personal injury lawyer. How do you know when you should contact an attorney? An experienced, knowledgeable lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. Boating accidents are nothing to take lightly. If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, Aigen Law Firm has the background and resources necessary to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Because of our contingency-based fee system, you won’t pay any legal fees unless we are able to collect monetary damages for you. Contact our office today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.