Florida is a state known for its sunshine, beaches, and great weather. As such, one of Floridian’s favorite pastimes is boating. In fact, Florida has more registered boats than any other state in the U.S. Unfortunately, though, this also means that Florida has more boating accidents than any other state.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that Florida had 671 recreational boating accidents in 2015, with 52 of those resulting in fatalities. In 2016, there was a 20 percent increase in deaths. The most reported cause of boating accidents was inattention or improper lookouts, followed by operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use.
If you were involved in a boat accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for any resulting injuries. Contact a Hollywood boat accident lawyer to learn more and see what legal options may be available to you.
Boat Accident Liability
Many people believe that when someone enters a boat, they assume whatever risk comes along with the activity. However, this is not always the case. Florida law states that boat operators have a duty to operate their vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner, with regard for other vessel traffic, posted restrictions, and the presence of divers-down flags and other circumstances.
Some of the most common boat accidents stem from driver negligence. It is common for a negligent driver or operator to end up responsible for the injuries to any of the occupants, or even other boat drivers. Examples of potential acts of negligence by boat operators include:
- Hitting waves at unsafe speeds
- Passenger ejections from operation error
- Contact with propellers
- Failing to keep a lookout and/or use warning flags
- Collisions with other boats, or with fixed objects such as piers and bridges
- Not knowing or failing to follow navigation protocol
Recovering Damages in Hollywood Boat Accident Cases
Florida law determines recovery for injury in Hollywood boating accidents based on whether the victim was an employee or a guest of the boat’s owner or operator. There are different potential liabilities for each type of defendant, as the duty of care for the owner or operator differs depending on the circumstances.
If a boat accident causes injury, compensation might include the cost of:
- Past and future health care expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
A skilled Hollywood boat accident attorney could use the facts of the injured party’s situation to determine the requisite and relevant duty of care, as well as if there was a breach of that duty.
Comparative Negligence Law in Hollywood
Florida follows a philosophy of comparative negligence when it comes to boat accidents. This means that an inured person who has any fault in causing the accident will have their total recovery decreased by their degree of fault.
In light of this, a boat accident lawyer in Hollywood with experience in navigating the facts of comparative negligence may be needed to ensure that the appropriate facts are used to reduce or prevent the reduction of, the total recovery.
Speak with a Hollywood Boat Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were in a boat accident, an experienced Hollywood boat accident lawyer could help guide you through the long personal injury litigation process and advocate on your behalf throughout the settlement process. Call now to get started on your case.