Boating is a great activity for the Florida weather and is one of the many reasons that so many people visit our state each year. West Palm Beach is ideally situated on the Atlantic coast and provides access to both coastal and open water boating. While these are all legitimate benefits of boating in Florida, there is the reality that your safety is highly dependent on strangers acting safely and responsibly in their own boats. This is equally true along coastal waterways and in open water.
When everyone is obeying the boating and navigation laws set forth by the local authorities as well as federal agencies, the risk of avoidable accidents drops significantly; unfortunately, the combination of sun, alcohol, and inexperience make a dangerous cocktail that can lead to disaster.
Contact 1-800-Injured Today To Connect With a Boat Accident Attorney in W. Palm Beach
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. After a boating accident, you will likely need to go through a range of things — most importantly getting the medical care you require for a comprehensive recovery — and trying to reach out to numerous law firms with the hopes of contacting an attorney who is ready to take your case can seem overwhelming. When you contact 1-800-Injured, we will connect you with an attorney who is ready and willing to take your case so you can schedule a free initial consultation about your case.
During your initial consultation, you will be able to discuss a range of details about your case including things like the events leading up to the accident, the nature and extent of your injuries, the impact that the accident has had on your life, and more. At the same time, you will be able to learn about what a boat attorney will do for you and how they can help you reach a fair settlement that compensates you for the many damages you have suffered from such a traumatic experience.
Read more about boat accidents in Florida below, and contact us as soon as possible to get started on your legal journey today.
Who Is Liable For Your Boating Accident?
Determining fault, and therefore liability, for a boating accident can be trickier than with a car accident since there are no clues left behind like tire marks and traffic cameras, but eyewitness accounts (including your own) will help to put the pieces together. One of the most important questions that will need to be answered is which boat had the right of way and whether or not each boat was even allowed to be in the area the collision took place (or, in the event of a single-boat crash, whether or not the operator was following the channel markers appropriately).
In some cases, it can be really simple to determine who is liable, in which event your attorney will simply file a claim with the at-fault boater’s insurance company. If, however, the situation is more complicated, you will be thankful to have an experienced boat accident lawyer working to build a narrative and determine what actually went wrong — and who made the decisions that led to the accident.
Once fault is determined, the at-fault boater’s insurance (or, in the event that the boater was uninsured, they will be liable themselves) will initiate conversations with your attorney about determining a fair settlement amount.
Calculating Damages After a Boat Accident
Common Causes of Boat Accidents in Florida
According to the United States Coast Guard’s 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics, “Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 23% of deaths.” Alcohol, especially when combined with bright sunlight and the dehydrating effects of being out on the water, can lead to a variety of dangerous behaviors, including speeding, ignoring rights of way, and engaging in other risky driving decisions.
However, alcohol is not the sole contributor to boating accidents. The following are just a few of the many other causes of boating accidenst, both in Florida and across the coastal United States:
- Reckless Operating
- Mechanical Failure
- Inclement Weather
Of course, this is a very limited list that excludes many other possible causes of accidents. Whether or not you see the cause of the accident you were involved in listed above, contact 1-800-Injured today to connect with a local attorney who can help you make sense of your situation and get a better sense of how you can move forward with your legal options.
Who Needs a Boating License in Florida?
People who wish to operate a boat of 10 horsepower or greater and were born after January 1, 1988 are required to have a Boating Safety Education Card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. While there are some exceptions to this rule, the intent is that moving forward, everyone operating a boat with ten or more horsepower will be licensed, operating a boat under the supervision of a licensed individual or on a private waterbody.
You can read more about licensing requirements as they are set forth by the Florida Statutes to get a full understanding of these requirements. If you are unsure of whether or not you need a boating license to operate a motorboat in Florida, review the Boater Education Identification Card information provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Contact 1-800-Injured Today
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to connect you with an attorney in West Palm Beach who can help you navigate the complicated process of seeking compensation for your boating accident and injuries. Trying to navigate an insurance claim on your own is complicated regardless of whatever else is going on in your life, and this is especially true when you are trying to recover from serious injuries that you sustained in an accident that someone else caused. Contact us now, and you will be able to look towards your future with confidence once you are partnered with competent and aggressive legal representation.