Florida Boat Accidents and How Attorneys Handle Cases
Florida has miles of beautiful coastline with splendid waterways. The state of Florida is a haven for boaters who are looking to experience the thrill of cruising on the ocean waters. However, where boats exist, accidents are bound to happen. And when accidents happen, one or more people are likely to get injured. Most of the time, these injuries are as a result of negligence, and this usually prompts victims to seek legal redress.
What a victim of boat accident must do
Florida is among the few states in the U.S where boat accidents are somewhat common. In 2010, there were 668 accidents — according to Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. The trend hasn’t changed that much, and that’s the reason it’s very important that boaters should know what to do in case such a thing happens to them.
According to the laws of Florida boating, one is supposed to do the following things in the event that an accident has occurred:
(a) remain on the scene of the accident if they can do so safely
(b) render first aid services to people who have been injured on the scene
(c) report the boat accident to authorities as soon as it happens
Accidents must also be reported by law when they result in deaths, a missing person or when damages are worth more than $2,000.
The term ”boat accident”
A Florida boating accident attorney will help establish whether or not a victim’s encounter falls under a boat accident. But generally, these incidents include boats used for pleasure, yachts, wave runners, jet skis and other resort activities involving water skiing, paddle boarding, kite boarding, hang gliding and so on.
But with all these opportunities, attorneys in Florida usually warn that even though these activities are fun to indulge in, they can result in injuries or even death in the worst case scenario. This usually arises due to poor maintenance of equipment or outright negligence of the people involved. Every boat owner has a legal responsibility of operating and navigating the waters safely. In the event that the boat operator is negligent, they (him and the boat owner) can be held legally accountable for the injuries they’ve caused.
A personal injury attorney Tampa will help establish whether the boat accident is out of negligence or not. But generally, it amounts to negligence when the boat operator is navigating the vessel while under the influence of alcohol, failing to make use of navigation lights, failing to obey the rules of navigation, failing to maintain safety equipment in good condition, going too fast for the prevailing conditions among other things. In some cases, the cause of an accident can result from the defective design of the vessel in question. So when the vessel is operated in that defective state, the harm that results from such a vessel can be quite devastating.
A Florida boating accident attorney can help
Obviously, when injuries occur and the person responsible for the boat or the insurer is not willing to compensate the full amount of the injury, an attorney can be involved in taking the case to trial. Experience boat accident attorneys will argue out the case with facts, and by so doing, the victim may have a higher settlement.
Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of a boating accident attorney in Tampa, but in the event that you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.