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Boat Accidents Spike Considerably in 2020


Incidents related to boating deaths, accidents, and injuries all spiked considerably in 2020 when the U.S. was shut down for the pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a report detailing that 767 people died in 2020 due to boating accidents. Another 3,191 were injured in boating accidents. These numbers are both significantly higher than in previous years. But the reasons for the boating accidents remain mostly the same.

Inattention to surroundings accounted for the majority of boating accidents and alcohol was found to be a factor in 18% of deaths. Excessive speed and mechanical failure rounded out the top five reasons for boating accidents. 75% of those killed due to boating accidents died by drowning. Almost none of these individuals were wearing life jackets at the time of their death. The second most likely cause of death was trauma suffered due to the accident itself. Head and neck injuries are common in boating accidents. Propeller injuries rounded out the top three most likely causes of death in boating accidents.

During the pandemic, more people spent time on their boats than previously. Additionally, more people drank alcohol than they would have normally. These were both factors in causing the number of yearly accidents to spike in 2020.

Liability in boating accidents in Florida 

Those who boat drunk and cause injury to another boater can not only be civilly responsible for any injuries they cause, they can also be charged with DUI, face driver’s license suspension, and if someone dies as a result of the accident, they would face a mandatory minimum 4-year sentence in state prison. So, it’s nothing you want to mess around with. Nonetheless, thousands of boaters each year ignore good sense and basic decency to place themselves and others at risk. But if someone dies, they end up in prison.

Otherwise, boaters are responsible for safely operating their boats to avoid injury to other boaters. When they fail, they can be held civilly liable for any injuries they cause. In some cases, they may face citations, but if they’re not drunk, it’s very difficult to charge them with a crime that would rise to the severity of a prison sentence.

In every boating accident, there is a determination of who is at fault. In many ways, it works exactly like car accidents. However, the rules of the water aren’t as well-established as the rules of the road which often gives rise to complex scenarios where fault may be harder to determine than usual. In cases of severe injury, you would want an attorney to help file your claim and ensure that you are being compensated fairly based on the full extent of your expenses and losses.

Talk to a Miami Boat Accident Lawyer Today 

Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford files boat accident lawsuits against negligent operators. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.


Contact the Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. for a free initial consultation with Michael Guilford. Flexible appointment times are available. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. Call toll free 866-473-2636 or describe your injuries in an email.

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