Boynton Beach Boat Accident Lawyer
Before they obtain drivers’ licenses, Floridians must pass a battery of tests. But in most cases, the only requirements to rent a high-speed watercraft are a valid photo ID and a valid credit card. Additionally, for many people, alcohol and boating go hand in hand. So, many operators are not just undertrained. They are also impaired or intoxicated.
If this combination causes a serious or fatal injury, and it often does, the experienced Boynton Beach boat accident lawyers at Smith & Ball Injury Law are here for you. Our professional team routinely handles injury claims in Palm Beach County and nearby jurisdictions. As a result, we know all the applicable court rules. That includes the unwritten ones. So, we are well-positioned to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Types of Boating Accidents
The Oyer Park/Intracoastal Park area is one of the most popular boating spots in the Boynton Beach area. The water here is normally calm. But occasionally, there are dangerous riptides just beneath the surface. Additionally, many boaters ignore speed limits. So, while there is fun to be had, there is also a risk of serious injury.
Riptides are invisible from the surface. Swimmers do not know they are there until they are caught in one. So, a nice leisurely swim around the boat could quickly turn tragic.
“Man overboard” drownings are an even larger hazard. Frequently, these victims spend several minutes in the water before someone on board notices they are missing. And, since these individuals usually are not wearing life preservers and are never expecting to be in the water, a few minutes is more than enough time to tire out and slip below the surface.
Speeding boats are even more dangerous than speeding cars. Cars have brakes and boats do not. Boats must drift to a stop, and if they are travelling at a high speed, they will drift for at least twenty or thirty feet. Additionally, speeding boats are much harder to control than speeding cars. The water, especially if it is choppy, makes it very difficult to steer.
Boat operators are typically responsible for these accidents if they were negligent. In this context, negligence basically is a lack of reasonable care.
The ordinary negligence doctrine usually applies if the boater’s conduct fell below the standard of care. If the boater violated a safety law, such as the boat speed limit law, and caused injury, the boater could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
Boats are motor vehicles. So, many of the same laws which apply to roadway motorists, such as the DUI law, also apply to boaters.
Frequently, a third party could be financially responsible for damages. For example, the negligent entrustment doctrine often applies. Boat owners are financially responsible for damages if they knowingly allow incompetent operators to use their boats. The Graves Amendment sometimes makes commercial negligent entrustment claims rather complex.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Boat accidents often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Boynton Beach boat accident lawyer, contact Smith & Ball Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.