Going out on the open sea or along a beautiful coast in a boat is one of the best ways to destress and enjoy life for all it’s worth. Although going on a boat can be an experience of a lifetime, it can still be a dangerous activity, especially if you’ve hired an inexperienced charter company.
The last thing you’ll want to happen while enjoying a boat on crystal-clear waters is to get injured or worse. The same goes for any friends or family members who join you on your fun. A boat accident death can come with an overload of grief, financial debt, and more.
You might be asking yourself, “What is the cause of most fatal boat accidents?”
Keep reading to learn about how south Florida boating accidents can cause injury or death and what you should do about it.
There are several common ways that a boat accident can happen, resulting in injury and even death.
As can be expected, many boating accidents happen in the afternoon, particularly between the hours of 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The highest concentration of boating accidents is usually between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm because that’s often when people are out enjoying the sun and water.
Rather than rivers and lakes, most boating accidents occur out in the ocean or around the coast, such as in a bay. Accidents can occur when one boat hits another or when one boat hits an object near the coast or out in the sea, such as a dock or buoy.
About a quarter of all boating accidents in Florida are due intoxication, such as drugs or alcohol. Just as drinking while driving is extremely dangerous, similar risks occur when someone is operating a boat while intoxicated. It’s against the law to operate a boat while under the influence which means that if you’re the victim of a boating accident, you could have a clear legal case on your hands.
Another aspect of a boating accident that should be considered when building a legal case is the way in which someone was injured or killed.
Falling overboard is a common way of sustaining an injury, but a victim can just as well fall while inside the boat. If it happens inside a boat, there are a lot of things that can cause damage if you were to fall on them, such as railings, lifeboats, and masts. A victim could also be on the boat as it capsizes or be struck by a boat while swimming.
Many of the above types of boat accidents can cause serious head trauma and brain injury. If a victim finds themselves in the water after sustaining such an injury, they could drown.
Other than boating while intoxicated, fatal boat accidents can be caused by negligence, inexperience, speeding, a malfunction with the boat, or boating in a reckless manner.
When you hire a charter company to take a boat out in the open sea or elsewhere on the water, there are certain legal requirements that the charter must follow.
For instance, the captain must be knowledgeable and have proof of their knowledge by holding a proper charter license that isn’t expired.
Without a proper charter license, the captain can’t legally take paying customers out on a boat. In addition to the captain being licensed, the vessel that’s being taken out on the water must be licensed too.
It should be noted that a proper license isn’t easy to obtain. To get a license, the U.S. Coast Guard will check a captain’s documentation to see that they have 360 or more days of experience operating a boat. A captain also has to pass a written exam and go through a drug test, a physical, and a background check.
A captain will need yearly vessel inspections if they plan on carrying more than six customers in their boat. Licenses expire after 5 years and then must be renewed.
For safety, each vessel must have lifesaving materials, emergency distress signals, and fire extinguishers.
When the charter is fully licensed and legal, you can usually rest easy knowing that you’ll have a great time. Of course, that doesn’t mean an accident won’t happen even if you hire a reputable charter. Boating accidents can still be caused by negligence, faulty equipment, and other reasons.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a boating accident and believe someone else to be responsible for what happened, you could have a legal case that can be put forth in the court of law.
Additionally, any other information you can provide about the boating accident could potentially help you win a case and receive a settlement.
Footage or pictures of the incident, medical bills, and more can all aid your case.
If you’ve hired a charter company that didn’t have proper licensing, then that will help your case too.
Of course, if you decide to pursue legal action after a boat accident, you’ll need a knowledgeable attorney who can prepare your case and present it to the judge and jury.
The world of law and legality can be a complicated labyrinth to navigate on your own, which is why the best way to handle a lawsuit is to hire a professional to help you.
Now that you know all about how south Florida boating accidents can cause injury or death and what you should do about it, you can be prepared for the next time you go out to sea in a beautiful boat.
Have you been the victim of a recent boat accident?
The Dante Law Firm is where you should go to get knowledgeable attornies who can guide you through the complexities of the legal system. No one should have to go without justice after a boating accident, an automobile accident, an airplane accident, or something else.
Not only can our experts represent your case in the court of law, but we don’t get paid until you do.