With thousands of miles of beautiful coastline and hundreds of lakes and rivers, Florida is a popular destination for water lovers. However, with so many people on Florida beaches and in Florida’s lakes and rivers, there are bound to be accidents. Many of these accidents are the result of inexperienced operators or, worse yet, irresponsible operators who are either not paying attention or are intoxicated.
Boaters, like the operators of other motorized vehicles, are responsible for their actions. This means that a negligent or intoxicated operator may be held liable for any injuries that were caused by their reckless decisions. In order to prove a case against a negligent operator, an accident victim must prove that the defendant’s negligent actions caused the accident victim’s injuries. This is most often done through a traditional negligence lawsuit.
Negligence lawsuits have four main elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. In most cases, the element of duty is easy to establish because boaters all have a duty to others with whom they share the water to operate their vessels in a safe manner. In most cases, the bulk of litigation in boating accident cases takes place regarding the elements of breach and causation.
New Study Reports that Florida Boating Accidents Increased Last Year
According to a recent news report, the total number of boating accidents in Florida has increased over the past year. However, the good news is that the total number of fatalities has actually decreased by 25%. Specifically, there were over 700 boating accidents in 2015, which was an increase of 103 over the number of accidents in 2014. Of those accidents, there were 55 fatal accidents in 2015.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is the organization that conducted the study, explained that many of the accidents could have been avoided had boat operators paid more attention to the waters around them, had they maintained a better lookout, and had everyone on board been wearing a life-jacket.
The study did not mention the effects that alcohol has on boating accidents, but other sources note that about 50% of all boating accidents involve alcohol. Like motorists on the road, boaters must maintain a blood-alcohol level below a certain point. In Florida, that level is .08. This could be as little as two or three drinks for an average-sized person.
Have You Been Involved in a Florida Boating Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Florida boating accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled attorneys at the South Florida personal injury law firm of Cohn & Smith have decades of experience bringing cases against negligent boat operators. To learn more about how you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, call 954-431-8100 to set up a free consultation with a skilled personal injury advocate to discuss your case.
Related Blog Posts:
State Court Addresses Constitutionality of Evidentiary Restrictions on Seat-Belt Use Evidence, South Florida Injury Attorney Blog, April 25, 2016.
Plaintiff’s Road-Rage Case Successful on Appeal, South Florida Injury Attorney Blog, April 4, 2016.