Stuart & Treasure Coast Boat Accident Lawyer
Florida boasts the nicest beach and boating weather in the country. Because of this, boat use is one of the highest in the nation, as is wading, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, and other water sports. As such, boating accidents are common. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 18,376 boats registered in Martin County in 2018 and a total of 950,740 across the state. Many of these are personal watercraft that people take out on the weekends to relax and socialize with others. However, when people unwind too much they forget about safety issues and accidents occur. Some people out on the water are using that time to enjoy alcohol and others simply are not experienced at operating a boat. If you have been injured while on a boat there is potential that you may be entitled to compensation for damages. A Stuart & Treasure Coast boat accident lawyer from Smith, Ball & Baez Injury Lawyers can look at your case and help you determine what your next course of action should be.
Types of Florida Boating Incidents
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that lacerations were the most common injury from boating accidents in 2019. Other injuries that are frequently sustained include:
- Broken bones;
- Head and neck injuries;
- Internal bleeding;
- Back and spinal cord injuries; and
Most injuries involve a collision with another boat and alcohol use. Situations become much more serious when a person is ejected from the boat without a PDF and is not a strong swimmer.
What You Should Do After a Boating Accident in Florida Waterways or Offshore
Assuming it is safe to stop the boat without further endangering another person, Florida law states that you must stop the boat at the scene after an accident. Just as you would in a traffic incident on land, assist anyone who is injured and exchange your contact information with the other boat operator. Next, you must report any boat accidents that result in:
- Death or disappearance of an individual;
- Injuries that require more simple first aid to treat; or
- Property damage of $2,000 or more.
Reports can be made to the local sheriff’s office, the local police department, or the law enforcement division within the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. After filing a report, it is time to consider a personal injury claim. A knowledgeable boat accident attorney can guide you through the legal process.
Smith, Ball & Baez Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Boating Accident Injury
While there are navigation rules that guide how boaters maneuver when in close quarters on the water, it is much different than driving a car down a road with painted lines, traffic signals, and signs. Similarly, personal injury cases that come out of boating accidents are handled differently than a car or truck personal injury case. If you have been injured on the water you need an attorney who has experience representing boating accident victims. The Stuart attorneys at Smith, Ball & Baez Injury Lawyers understand the rules and regulations that exist for operating a boat in Florida and can help you get compensated for the damages you sustained. Contact us to schedule a no-cost consultation at 561-500-4357.