Palm Beach County Boat Accident Lawyer
For most people, boating is a leisure activity. You’re on the water to relax, unwind, and have fun. But when we let our guards down, that’s often when accidents happen, and boating accidents are no different. Plus, drinking and boating doesn’t carry the same negative connotation as drinking and driving, but it’s just as dangerous. And then there are visitors to Florida who can easily rent a boat to take out for a day, but who may not have much experience—if any—operating a boat. Sometimes the rental boat, itself, may not be well-maintained or safe, leading to an accident and injuries. Yes, boating accidents occur with some regularity in Florida, and if you have been injured in one, you may be entitled to compensation. A Palm Beach County boat accident lawyer from Smith, Ball & Baez Injury Lawyers in Palm Beach County can help.
Florida Boating Accidents
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were 766 boating accidents resulting in death, disappearance, injury, and/or significant property damage in Florida during 2017. Collision with another vessel was the leading type of boating accident with a total of 220, or about 30% of all boating accidents. Of the 67 boating accident fatalities in Florida, alcohol or drug use contributed to 24% of the accidents, and 67% of the operators involved in fatal boating accidents had no formal boater education.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Boating Accident in Florida
If you’re involved in a boating accident, Florida law requires you to stop the boat immediately at the scene of the accident unless it would put you or anyone else in danger. You must give assistance to anyone injured in the accident, and exchange your name, address, and identifying boat number with the other boat operator. Then, by the quickest means possible, you must report the accident if it resulted in: a death or disappearance of a person; an injury causing a person to require medical attention beyond first aid; or damage to a boat or other property of $2,000 or more.
Your boat accident report should be made to the Division of Law Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the sheriff of the county where the accident occurred; or the police department of the municipality in which the accident occurred. Properly handling and reporting a boating accident is important, not only to avoid penalties but also to support a personal injury claim. A smart personal injury attorney will look at your boat accident report to see how it may affect your case.
Contact Smith, Ball & Baez Injury Lawyers if You’ve Been Hurt in a Florida Boating Accident
With different rules and regulations applying to boat operation, boating accident injury claims must be handled differently than car and truck accident claims. At Smith, Ball & Baez Injury Lawyers, we have specific experience representing victims of boating accidents in Florida. You can trust us to provide you with accurate legal advice and aggressive representation.