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Everything You Need to Know About a Boat Accident Lawsuit


When a boat accident occurs in Florida, a determination is made as to who is at fault for the accident. If the other boater was at fault for the accident, you are entitled to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. The Miami, FL boat accident attorneys at Michael F. Guilford, P.A. represent the interests of plaintiffs who have been injured by the negligent boating of others. In this article, we’ll describe the relevant Florida rules when it comes to boat accidents.

Proving negligence in a boating accident in Florida 

All boaters owe other boaters and their passengers a duty of care to operate their boats in a safe manner. When they operate their boats recklessly, violate speed limits, and cause accidents, they are responsible for compensating injured parties for their injuries. By taking a boat out onto the water, the law presumes that you owe each and every boater and your passengers that duty of care to operate your boat safely. So by taking your boat out onto the water, you automatically owe a duty of care.

The next element to proving negligence is to establish that the other boater violated their duty of care to operate their boat in a safe manner. This can be established by proving the boater was violating speed limits, operating their boat in a reckless manner, or even that a defect with the boat caused some form of injury. Examples of breaches of the duty of care include:

  • Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Operating a boat while on a cell phone or otherwise distracted
  • Recklessly operating the boat
  • Speeding
  • Poor maintenance of the boat
  • Defects in the boat that lead to injury

Any violation of Florida’s boating laws that contributed to the accident can be used to prove the defendant was negligent.

Injuries must result from negligence 

To file a personal injury lawsuit, you must establish that you did, in fact, sustain injuries. These injuries must be directly tied to the defendant boater’s negligence. Then, you can establish damages.

Damages are any personal cost, either emotional or financial, that you suffered as a result of your injuries. If you suffered physical injuries, you can establish that you incurred medical expenses as a result. Emotional distress is also a compensable injury. You can recover damages for the pain and suffering that resulted from the boating accident. If you missed time from work, you can also recover damages for any lost wages.

Statute of limitations in boating accidents 

In Florida, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the defendant boater. If those two years elapse, you will not have another opportunity to file your suit. The sooner you file, the better off you will be. You should contact a Florida boating accident attorney as soon as you are able directly following a boating accident.

Talk to an Miami, FL Boat Accident Attorney Today 

Have you been injured in a boating accident? Call the Miami admiralty & maritime attorneys at Michael F. Guilford, P.A. today to discuss the matter in detail. We can help you recover damages related to your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today.

  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice

It's Your Time To Win

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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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

Courthouse Tower, Suite 750
44 West Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33130

Toll Free: 866-473-2636
Phone: 305-539-1999
Fax: 305-539-1998