Fort Lauderdale Boating Accident Lawyer
Florida has an abundance of sunshine and waterways. From the ocean to the Intracoastal, thousands of people enjoy the water on pleasure craft, personal watercraft and pontoon boats. Many more just enjoy swimming in the crystal blue Fort Lauderdale water. In addition to the pleasure-seekers, there are people who enjoy commercial ships. An unfortunate complication of all this activity are boating accidents and injuries.
Boating accidents often result in serious injuries because victims are far away from the safety of the shore. Drowning is a potential danger in any boat-related accident. Personal injury claims arising from boating injuries or water accidents also present unique challenges.
Boating injury claims in Fort Lauderdale can be complicated, involving state and federal laws. If you were injured in a boating accident, consult me, Jared Newman, an experienced boating accident lawyer. At my firm, Jared Newman, Esq., I have the resources, staff and expertise to handle the most challenging cases. Call me today at 954-329-5955.
Common Causes Of Recreational Boating Accidents In Fort Lauderdale
Anyone operating a boat in the waterways surrounding Fort Lauderdale must comply with the maritime and admiralty laws. These laws are meant to protect the operator’s safety, their passengers and other people enjoying or utilizing the water. Unfortunately, accidents still occur. In many cases, a boating accident was preventable and was the result of negligent or reckless conduct. Some of the common causes of boat-related accidents in Fort Lauderdale are listed below.
Operator Error Or Negligence
Anyone operating a boat has a duty to ensure the safety of their passengers and other swimmers and boaters in the water. Any reckless behavior could result in severe injuries and even death. For example, overloading a vessel or failing to have the required safety equipment onboard endangers passengers and other boaters. While boating might appear to be relaxing, an operator must pay close attention to the surrounding waters. Many swimmers are submerged, and there are often other boats in the vicinity.
While speeding is considered reckless conduct, it deserves its own mention. Boats are not as responsive as vehicles on land. Excessive speed makes them harder to maneuver. It is crucial to remain a safe distance from other vessels, especially smaller craft such as personal watercraft. Furthermore, traveling at excess speeds creates a wake that could damage other boats, injuring their passengers.
Drug Or Alcohol Use
It is unlawful to operate a boat in Florida under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol dull the senses, slow reaction time and adversely affect a person’s mental capabilities. Unfortunately, many people who would never drink while driving a car view a boat as nothing more than recreational.
Boats are difficult to operate and control. Many hazards lie just beneath the surface. If an inexperienced operator does not understand the various markings and buoys, they could drive the boat into a dangerous situation. Safely operating a boat takes skill, practice and experience.
The ocean could turn treacherous in a manner of moments. A sudden squall could quickly turn a fun afternoon into a tragic event. High winds and rain make the ocean or a lake dangerous. Seasoned boaters who ignore weather forecasts or inexperienced operators who are unaware of the risks put themselves and their passengers in precarious positions.
Who Could Be Held Liable For Boating Accidents In Fort Lauderdale?
Just like a motorist on a Florida highway, a boat operator owes their passengers and other boaters a legal duty to operate their boat safely. To hold another boater or party liable for a boating accident, an injured plaintiff must prove that that party was negligent. Who should be held liable and what is necessary to prove they were negligent depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident and injury.
The Boat Operator
In many cases, the negligent party is the boat operator. If another boater is acting recklessly, perhaps speeding or drinking, they could be held liable for any injuries or damage they cause.
Boating is an expensive hobby. Everyone who enjoys the open sea does not own a boat. Because of this, there is a thriving boat rental industry in Fort Lauderdale. People rent all types of watercraft for pleasure, including canoes, kayaks, motorized boats and personal watercraft. Rental companies have a legal obligation to ensure that their craft are seaworthy and safe for use. When a rental company fails to inspect or maintain its fleet, it could be held financially liable for any injuries.
Some water enthusiasts do not want the responsibility of renting a boat. To satisfy their needs, many different types of water excursion companies exist in and around Fort Lauderdale. People could join a guided snorkel trip or take an evening booze cruise. The owners and operators have a duty to ensure that their boats and equipment present no dangers to their guests. Furthermore, their employees should be adequately trained. When accidents occur, the company providing the service could be held accountable.
Some boating accidents are the result of a malfunction or a safety system failing to work as intended. When the problem is a design defect or an error in the manufacturing process, the company that built or sold the watercraft could be held accountable.
Call Jared Newman, Esq., For A Free Consultation
Boating accidents often result in significant or fatal injuries. Depending on what happened, several parties could be held liable. I have the experience and resources to handle the most challenging or complicated cases. If you were hurt in a boat-related accident, contact my Fort Lauderdale office at 954-329-5955.