Boat Accident lawyer Miami

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Many boat accidents occur due to bad weather and inattentive drivers especially during the holidays. There are many recreational boating accidents happening every year during holiday weekends as reported by the U.S. Coast Guard. It’s important to protect your rights when incidents like this happen. Since filing a personal lawsuit this complex can be overwhelming hiring a boat accident lawyer Miami before you pursue you claim might be the best option for you. The goal of a boat accident lawyer Miami is to guide you through your claim and counsel you how to proceed step by step.

Florida boating laws regarding accidents


There are a number of boating laws in the state of Florida. For example, in case of an accident, and in circumstances when the damages received were at least $2,000 you must contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. You must also reach out to the sheriff of the county where the crash happened, and the municipality police chief as well, when applicable. It’s illegal for the person to leave the scene where the accident occurred.

There are also laws against reckless and careless operation. When someone operates a vessel without considering the safety of individuals, they will be cited for reckless operation. Vessels must be operated with regard to the traffic, restrictions, paying attention to diver-down flags and many other circumstances.

Owners and operators of a vessel should comply with all equipment and lighting requirements as required by the U.S. Coast Guard. They need to have a personal flotation device (PFD) and all people on board must wear a life jacket. Children under 6 must wear the required flotation device for them, that is USCG-approved Type I, II or III. Vessels should also have at least 3 visual distress signals approved to use at night. Sirens, flashing, occulting or revolving lights are not allowed. Recreational vessels need to have their navigation lights between sunset and sunrise and when there is little or no visibility.

Nobody should operate a vessel under the influence. This violates Florida law. Whether alcohol or drugs, the driver must be sober at all times to manage severe weather or adverse circumstances when they arise. According to Florida laws, an operator is under the influence with alcohol level above .08. Individuals under 21 years of age cannot operate a vessel if their breath-alcohol level is .02 or higher.

These and many other Florida boating laws will keep you and your loved ones safe. It’s important to follow them and avoid creating unnecessary unsafe circumstances. In case an accident occurs, a Miami injury lawyer with experienced in cases like these can help you gather all the required information and successfully present your case in court.

Boat accident Miami

Florida’s coastline and waterways provide a great place for entertainment but it’s also very dangerous. Many accidents can occur like for example drowning, collisions, and injuries caused for a number of reasons such as the drivers inexperience, intoxication, bad weather, etc. Among the most common types of boating accidents are:

  • Life-threatening speed
  • Explosions and fires
  • Struck by propeller or boat
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Falling overboard
  • Collisions with other vessels
  • Capsizing and sinking

Under which conditions do most boating accidents occur?

According to U.S. boating data most boat accidents occur in July on warm weather, good visibily and light wind. This generally happens because it’s summer time and there is a lot of people going on vacation. This is the contrary to what people generally believe. This is because during fair weather is when people like to go out on the sea. However, for larger vessels such as tankers or freights, most accidents occur when the temperature is cold and when the vessel is docked and strong winds are blowing. Tugboat accidents, on the other hand, generally happen when there is poor visibility. Deadly injuries normally occur as a consequence of fire or capsizing. On freight ships deadly injuries are most likely to happen when the vessel is old.

Common boating injuries

When the boating season arrives it’s important to keep safe at all times. Accidents can occur and severe injuries including:

  • Amputations and lacerations. Boat capsizing accidents when sharp objects or the boater is cut on the propeller are very common.
  • Head injuries: This typically happens when two boats collide or a single boat capsizes. If the individual injured is not wearing a life vest is knocked unconscious the injury can be fatal.
  • Drowning: This can happen to anyone, even skilled swimmers. Swift waters, rough currents can make it difficult to swim even for the most trained swimmers.
  • Hypothermia: This is not a problem in Florida as it only happens with exposure to low temperatures. This is when the body loses heat faster than it can produce.

Filing a claim for a boating accident Miami

When a boating accident occurs in Florida is important to demonstrate that the injuries were caused by someone else. This is an important part of your claim. Boat accidents fall into two categories: collision with another boat, hitting a boat’ wake and collision with an unseen object. Determining the negligence can be quite difficult yet you will be able to collect damages for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in one of these accidents, contact a Miami injury lawyer to help you file a claim.

Compensation for a Miami boat accident

When someone is injured in a boat accident he or she may file a personal injury lawsuit against all parties responsible for the accident. Depending on circumstances, the owner, boat’s operator, or manufacturer could have been at fault. When technical issues with boat components are present and this is the main cause of the accident you will have a products liability claim against the company that manufactured these parts. In many boat accidents, the operator of the vessel is the one that causes the accident and therefore he or she is responsible in a negligence lawsuit. If the vessel operator was under the influence of alcohol he or she will be found negligent per se since Florida makes it illegal to drive a vessel intoxicated.

The victim will have to prove the damages received and receive compensation. There will be compensation for both past and future medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, etc. If a loved one has died in a boat accident you can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recuperate any damages received such as burial costs, medical expenses, and also your loss of support and companionship. The statute of limitations to file is 4 years and a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years from the loss of your loved one.

Boating accidents statistics

Generally recreational boating accidents are the most reported fatalities in U.S. For example, according to the American Boating Association (ABA) in 2014 about 4,064 accidents with 610 deaths were reported. The damages were nearly $39 million dollars in damage. The number of accidents increased 0.05% since 2013 and the number of deaths about 8.9%. In accidents that caused death, 78% of the drowning victim and of those victims 84% were not wearing a life vest. About 8 of every 10 boaters in individuals who drowned were using vessels of 21 feet in length. Alcohol is the leading factor in these accidents leading to 21% of the deaths.

Contacting a Boat Accident lawyer Miami to represent your claim

If you have been injured in a boat accident it’s important to hire an experienced Miami injury lawyer to handle your case. An attorney can study your case and determine liability. Perhaps the vessel operator was driving carelessly. In some instances, a defective product may have been the cause of the accident. A Miami injury lawyer will gather evidence, collect witness statements and pursue a lawsuit on your behalf.