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Miami Boating Accidents

Florida residents have the unique fortune of being surrounded by beautiful beaches. If you and your family like to enjoy going out on a boat off Florida’s coast, it is important you understand your rights if an accident does occur. No one wants to think about the possibility of a boating accident, but the truth is that mistakes are made and negligent or intoxicated operators on the water can instantly turn an enjoyable day into a traumatic one.

Common Causes of Boating Accidents

There are many potential causes of a serious boating accident. Injured victims of boat crashes may have to prove who caused the accident before holding that person liable for the damages. Common causes of boating accidents in Florida include:

  • Inexperienced Boaters: In Florida, anyone over the age of 21 who has a valid driver’s license may operate a boat. Boat operators under the age of 21 must successfully take a boater safety course. Inexperienced boaters are a serious hazard on the waterways. Many boat operators only get out on the water a few times during the year and do not understand the correct actions to take when hazardous conditions present themselves.
  • Boating while Intoxicated: Most people on a boat are there to relax and relieve stress. It is common for occupants on a boat to have a few drinks and think nothing of the dangers. Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is extremely common and dangerous. It is also illegal.
  • Adverse Conditions: There are many unsafe conditions that should prevent a boater from going out. Driving a boat in windy and rainy conditions may put everyone on board at great risk.
  • Defective Boat Parts: The manufacturers of boat parts or watercraft that are defective may be held liable for the accidents their products cause.
  • Reckless and Careless Behavior: Speeding or operating a boat recklessly has the potential for serious boating accidents as well. To safeguard the safety of other boaters, visitors, and property, boat operators must operate “their vessel in a reasonable and cautious way with respect for other vessel traffic, stated limitations, the existence of a divers-down flag, and other circumstances.”
Rights of an Injured Victim

Those who are injured in Florida boating accidents have similar rights as those who are injured in auto accidents. Victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, and other related damages. Boating accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities as well. In the event of a catastrophic injury, the victim can also seek compensation for the cost of long-term care and treatment. In the case of a fatal boating accident, the family of a deceased boating accident victim can file a wrongful death claim against an at-fault party seeking compensation for medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, and other related damages.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Miami boating accident, please contact an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer in the Law Office of Ruth E. Johnson for a free and comprehensive consultation. Call us today to find out how you can pursue your legal rights.