Florida is the busiest state for recreational boating in the nation, and it makes up a large percentage of Florida’s tourist industry. Every day there are a large amount of boats and watercraft on Florida’s waterways. While this water activity offers hours of enjoyment, it al means the state has the most boating accidents in the country.
Were you or a loved one injured in a Florida boat crash?
If so, specific laws apply to boat accidents—and it is essential you contact an experienced Florida boating accident attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Because boating is such a large part of Florida’s recreational and tourist industry, more regulations mean more frustration for consumers. Accordingly, there is no age requirement for boating in Florida, and operators older than 30 are not required to have boating licenses or even to undergo boating safety courses. This means that many Florida boaters are not licensed or trained in boating safety, which can make a boating crash even more severe.
What many Florida residents—and even some injury attorneys—do not know is that any accident that occurs on a public waterway falls under federal admiralty jurisdiction. This means that the case can, and sometimes must, be brought in Florida’s federal courts, which have different judicial procedures. A separate set of laws applies to injuries sustained as the result of boat or cruise accidents, and your Florida personal injury and maritime attorney must know which standards to use when petitioning the court for compensation. For example, you may need to make a claim using the admiralty standards for negligence, not car accident standards. Your personal injury attorney must also be qualified to practice in federal court and actually have experience doing so. Not every lawyer has these particular experiences.
After a serious boating accident, injured victims need someone on their side that they can rely on to help them pursue justice and compensation. At Demesmin and Dover, our Florida boating accident lawyers can help.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a collision with another vessel is the leading type of boating accident in Florida, but injuries to those being towed for watersport activities are also high. When it comes to fatalities, the majority of these were overboard drowning accidents in which alcohol or drugs were involved.
The primary types of Florida boating accidents include, in order of volume:
Collisions with other vessels
Collisions with fixed objects
Fuel fires or explosions
Falls on the boat
Striking underwater objects
Florida has a plethora of different waterways—again, some of the most diverse in the nation. The rules and speeds for boating on these waterways differ, but most accidents occur on the following, from most to least common:
Bays and sounds
Ocean and the Gulf
Rivers and creeks
Canal and cuts
Inlets and passes
Lakes and ponds
Ports and harbors
Marshes and swamps
Therefore, the most likely Florida boat accident is a collision between two boats on Florida’s bays and sounds. In addition, the majority of accidents occur during recreational cruising or fishing, because boat operators are not paying attention. This is just one of the consequences of permitting inexperienced boat operators to cruise down Florida’s waterways.
Unfortunately, a large number of Florida boating accidents occur when someone operating a boat has had entirely too much to drink. Known as BUI (Boating Under the Influence), this occurs when someone has had too much to drink and can no longer operate their boat in a safe manner. Someone can be found guilty of BUI if they operate a vessel while being so intoxicated that their normal faculties are impaired by the alcohol or drugs, or if they have a blood alcohol limit of .08% or more.
Nearly everyone has been behind the wheel at some point in their life and many people drive daily. In fact, Americans collectively spend 70 BILLION HOURS behind the wheel!!! This statistic is astounding, and the driving population in the United States is estimated around 230 million. With so many people on the road; especially, here in Florida, it is not shocking that car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and, in severe cases, death.
Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
Road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world’s roads, on average over 1,000 a day.
Road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from 1-2% of their annual GDP.
Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year due to the negligence of other drivers.
Sadly, over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year due to the gross negligence of other cars on the road.
Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20; the lack of experience and knowledge of young drivers regularly leads to more negligent injuries than any other age group.
Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year, or an average of $820 per person
Now, we here in South Florida, including those of us in Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, all love our sunny beaches, wonderful weather, and great atmosphere, but so does everyone else, which results in a huge population, with both local and tourist alike that flooding our roads with passenger cars. The question then becomes, “what can you do to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers when on these packed South Florida roads?” Many auto-accidents and the resulting injuries are predictable and preventable! When driving on the road in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, or any road for that matter, make sure to take note of the following tools to help you stay safe.
Raising awareness of, legislating and enforcing laws governing speed limits, alcohol impairment, seat-belt use, child restraints and safety helmets.
Formulating and implementing transport and land-use policies that promote safer and more efficient trips; encouraging the use of safer modes of travel, such as public transport; and incorporating injury prevention measures into traffic management and road design.
Making vehicles more protective and visible for occupants, pedestrians and cyclists; using daytime running lights, high-mounted brake lights and reflective materials on cycles, carts, rickshaws and other non-motorized forms of transport.
What to do if you've been in a car accident:
Sometimes, collisions, auto accidents, and the resulting injuries and damages are unavoidable. The average person will experience an auto collision once every 18 years roughly. So, when an accident does happen, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney that both cares about you and your family and will provide zealous representation to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries as a result of this auto accident.
What do you need to do to recover money after a car accident in Florida?
There are three things that are necessary when seeking monetary recovery after an auto accident:
1. There needs to be damages and or injuries (commonly including neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, leg pain, whiplash, broken bones, internal damage, pain and suffering, and again, in severe cases, traumatic brain injuries or even wrongful death).
2. The other party needs to be at fault, or at least, more at fault than yourself.
3. There needs to be coverage (Please feel free to read our other post providing detailed information on insurance coverage in Florida, including Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County).
Right after an auto accident, be sure to leave your car and make sure everyone is alright and safe. Remember to always contact the police and/or law enforcement as they are there to help and will assist in helping bring your case to a clear resolution later.
Contact Demesmin and Dover to help recover your damages!
We have given you a lot of information here, and we are sure all of this may seem overwhelming when in the midst of it all, which is why you should reach out to us here at Demesmin and Dover after an auto accident for a free case evaluation, and we can help you and your loved ones navigate through it, while alleviating the stress because We Care More.