Boating Accidents

Personal Injury Lawyers in Gainesville & Ocala

Floating in the space where blue skies meet blue water is the definition of a dream life for many people, especially those living in Florida. Our residents are known for their love of boating: in the past few years, there have been almost one million vessels registered in the state. With thousands of miles of saltwater-splashed coastline always within a few hours’ drive, the temptation of the sun-tipped waves can be irresistible, but that does not mean that the water is without its perils.

The Number of Boating Accidents

While Florida provides a paradisiacal place for boaters to partake in their sport, it is not the safest spot to do so. Sadly, Florida is the state with the most annual boating accidents in America. In 2013, there were 736 reportable boating accidents and 62 boating related fatalities.

According to the Boating Accidents Statistical Report of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an incident on the water qualifies as a reportable boating accident if one of five following criteria is met:
  • A person dies
  • A person disappears under circumstances that indicate possible death or injury
  • A person receives an injury requiring medical attention beyond immediate first aid
  • There is at least $2,000 aggregate property damage to the vessel(s) or other property
  • There is a total loss of a vessel

The chances of a mishap on the water are high, as Florida regularly leads the nation in the number of registered aquatic vessels. Florida’s waterways seem crowded enough with the registered boats, but the situation is actually worse than it seems: the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that up to one million unregistered vessels are also actively adding to boating traffic.

Whether registered or unregistered, there are many different kinds of aquatic vehicles to watch out for in Florida waters. These include personal watercrafts like jet skis and wave runners, sailboats, yachts, airboats, kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, cabin cruisers, tenders, and inflatable and semi-rigid inflatable boats, among others.

The Damage of Boating Accidents

Accidents with registered boats frequently cause very serious injuries and fatalities. In 2013, boating accidents in Florida brought on 420 injuries. Engine-powered boats can reach car-like speeds, and the water can be just as hard as concrete upon impact. Boating accidents can also have negligent drivers; many boating accidents are caused by people who have been drinking or speeding, or who have failed to pay attention to others in the water such as water skiers, jet skiers, and other boaters. Suffering a dangerous encounter with an unregistered boat can bring a whole new series of problems.

Unfortunately, the negligent operation of a boat can be particularly difficult to prove. Sometimes, a defective boat part or a design flaw causes accidents. Yet even with the most complicated boating accident claims, Allen Law Firm, P.A. has the experience and the resources, including engineering and accident reconstruction experts, needed to prove your case. With help from our Gainesville and Ocala personal injury lawyers, you can obtain the compensation you need to restore your fun and get back to enjoying one of Florida’s most entertaining natural resources.

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