Boating Accidents In Miami
Boating has always been popular in Miami, however, Covid restrictions propelled boating to a new level. Eager to get outdoors, boating became a natural escape for thousands of new boaters. Ina addition, many foreign buyers bought properties in Miami, either for vacations, business trips, or just to take advantage of the boating opportunities. Miami is also one of the busiest ports in the United States.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS AND STATISTICS ON BOATING ACCIDENTS IN FLORIDA.
- Florida had the highest number of recreational boating vessels in the United States in 2019, with almost 936,000 vessels.
- Florida holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of recreational boating accidents in the country.
- The 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report showed 836 boating accidents in Florida in 2020, the most since 2011.
- Florida recorded 79 boating accident deaths in 2020.
- People falling overboard and drowning was the leading cause of death in boating accidents in Florida.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has noted that 88% of the drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
- Half of the accidents in 2020 involved collisions where the attention of vessel operators was diverted or proper look-outs were not maintained.
Boat owners and operators have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of crew members, passengers, and people in other boats in close vicinity. When they fail in this duty of care, they can be held liable for ensuing injuries, loss of property, and loss of life.
Injured victims have a right to file claims against the responsible parties and recover monetary compensation for their damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Miami due to the careless or negligent act of another party, an experienced Miami boating accident injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for the injuries suffered and the economic damages you incurred.
LEADING CAUSES OF BOATING ACCIDENTS IN MIAMI.
Most Miami residents associate bad weather and choppy waters as the leading cause of boating accidents and injuries. However, the US Coast Guard maintains that the majority of boating accidents are an outcome of human error and negligence. The leading causes of boat accidents in Miami are:
- Inexperienced and unlicensed operators.
Boat operators are expected to know the boating regulations and maritime laws in Florida. Inexperienced operators lack the knowledge and technical skill to maneuver a boat in dangerous conditions.
- Operator inattention.
Boat operators should equally manage the weather, the waters, and their passengers. It is the duty of the boat operator to avoid being distracted. Operators should keep their eyes on the water at all times. Looking at mobile phones, chatting with passengers, eating and drinking while operating the boat can lead to an accident.
- Improper look-out.
Maintaining clear visibility is critical for the boat operator. An experienced crew member should be designated to assist the boat operator by looking out for other boats, swimmers, and floating debris. Improper look-outs are often cited as an additional cause of boating accidents.
Florida waterways have enforceable speed limits in place to ensure safety of recreational boats. Boat operators are responsible for operating within speed limits to avoid any chances of roll-overs and collisions.
- Alcohol Consumption.
Alcohol consumption amongst operators and passengers can lead to reckless behavior and can be a perfect recipe for a boating accident.
- Inadequate boat maintenance.
Regular boat maintenance is essential for safe boating. Mechanical and safety equipment failure often results in boating accidents. Routine inspection of engines and safety equipment should be included in boat maintenance protocols.
- Poor weather conditions.
Despite modern weather-tracking systems, storms can be unpredictable. It is important to evaluate the weather forecast before embarking on a voyage.
WHO IS LIABLE FOR A BOATING ACCIDENT?
Determining liability in a boating accident can be difficult and may requires thorough investigation by experts. As water tends to wash away all the traces of the accident, it becomes quite challenging for experts to reconstruct the accident.
In a boating accident, one of the following parties can be held liable:
- The owner of the boat (for not carrying out timely maintenance of the vessel or for hiring inexperienced or unlicensed operators and crew members).
- The operator of the boat (when an operator fails to provide reasonable safety for the passengers or crew members or when the operator is reckless and shows disregard for the maritime laws and boating regulations).
- The manufacturer of the boat/vessel (for manufacturing defects and design flaws).
- The rental company (as the owner of the boat and for leasing out the vessel to a person who was not qualified to operate it), or even
- A passenger (for being reckless or for preventing the operator from fulfilling his or her duty).
The State of Florida does not have a “Boating License”. In Florida, boat operators 21 years old and younger are required to carry a photo ID while operating a boat and to take an approved boating safety course to obtain a Boating Safety Identification Card. This card is valid for life and enables you to operate a boat with 10 horsepower or more.
ARE YOU PREPARING TO FILE A BOATING ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Boating accident injuries can take months or years to recover from. During this time you can:
- Get witness contact information.
The testimony of witnesses or other victims of your boating accident can be powerful evidence. Make sure you have gathered names and contact details of all witnesses and other victims.
- Take photographs and collect video footage of the accident, if available.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, or in the weeks that follow, taking pictures of the boat wreck or of other damaged boats involved in your accident can be of immense value. Without putting yourself at risk, try getting such photographs or video footage. Your personal recollection of the accident can fade away over a period of time, but photographs and video footage can be irrefutable evidence and can also help to revive your memory. More importantly video and photographs taken immediately before the accident can tell the story of how the accident happened.
- Keep track of your finances.
From hospital bills to bank statements, anything that can document the economic damages you incurred after the accident will assist in making sure you receive full compensation.
- Avoid social media posts.
Insurance companies and defense lawyers will go to any extent to refute your claim. Your posts on social media can be used against you. Photographs or videos of you being active, in any way, can be used to weaken your claim or even to get your case thrown out if you testify fraudulently.
- Don’t talk to representatives of insurance companies.
Claim adjusters are masters at interviewing victims when they are most vulnerable. Do not blame anyone or accept blame for the unfortunate accident. Direct all communication from insurance companies to your lawyer who has the experience and the expertise to deal with them.
HOW OUR FIRM CAN HELP YOU WIN YOUR CASE?
We are accomplished trial lawyers with a proven track record of success. We have represented thousands of clients, winning millions in compensation.
The first step is to discuss the particulars of your boating accident during your free case evaluation. If you elect to hire us, we will:
- Walk you through the process of filing the claim.
- Help you reconcile your paperwork, ensuring everything is filed on time.
- Discuss your case with the opposing lawyer as well as insurance company.
- Interview witnesses, and if necessary, retain the services of independent experts who will help to recreate the accident.
Our renowned boating accident attorneys will help you recover:-
- Medical Bills.
- Lost Wages.
- Damages suffered due to Pain and Suffering.
- Damages suffered due to Emotional Distress.
- Costs of future corrective surgeries.
- Compensation for short-term and long-term loss in productivity.
- Damages for loss of enjoyment of life and breakdown of personal relationships.
CONTACT A MIAMI BOATING ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYER.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a boating accident due to the carelessness, recklessness or negligence of another person, you deserve to be fully compensated for the injuries suffered.
Boating accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, any you are not required to pay anything unless we recover money for you.
Call an experienced boating accident lawyer at our firm for a free case evaluation right away.