What are the Most Common Types of Recreational Boating Accidents?
Boating accidents can occur for a number of reasons, but usually, some form of negligence results in injury to other boaters. When you are injured in a boating accident, a skilled personal injury attorney familiar with boating accidents can help you file a claim against the negligent party. You will want to move quickly on filing a lawsuit. Below, we’ll discuss the most common types of boating accidents in Florida.
Boat collision accidents happen frequently. In most cases, both pilots are partly responsible for the accident. In cases where one party is not 100% negligent, a determination is made as to what percentage of the blame both parties sustain. Florida recently changed the rules related to personal injury lawsuits. Now, you must be able to establish that the party who you are suing is at least 50% responsible for the accident. Prior, you could file a lawsuit even if you were 90% responsible under Florida’s comparative negligence rules. Today, you must establish that the other party is equally at fault or more at fault. They can also file counterclaims for injuries.
Hitting another boat’s wake
Boat operators need to be aware of other boats around them. This includes monitoring and keeping a lookout for other boats’ wake. Hitting a wake can cause your passengers to fall out of the boat. In these cases, the passengers can become plaintiffs if they are severely injured. In other cases, the boat that hit the wake may file a lawsuit, especially if the wake is in a “no wake” zone.
A personal injury attorney will look at several factors related to the accident. These include the size of the wake, the speed of the boat at the time of impact, weather conditions, visibility, traffic on the waters, and whether or not the boat operator warned their passengers. In most of these cases, it is the responsibility of the boat operator to avoid wakes and keep a focused lookout for potential dangers in order to secure the safety of their guests.
Hitting a wave
Unlike wake accidents, waves are not created by another boat. In these cases, you cannot blame God for creating the wave. So, the responsibility falls on the boat operator to avoid the wave, maintain a safe speed in choppy waters, and protect any passengers from harm. In other words, it is the boat operator who is primarily liable when someone is injured because the boat struck a wave at an unsafe speed. Typically, these accidents occur due to distracted or unsafe operation of the boat.
Hitting an object
You cannot blame a stationary object for causing a boating accident. Injuries to passengers occur when a boat operator fails to keep a safe lookout. In some cases, a boat operator may keep a safe lookout but still strike an unseen object. Liability is based on negligence and negligence is established by your personal injury attorney.
Talk to a Miami Boat Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be able to recover damages related to your injuries. Call Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford today to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss the accident and your injuries in detail.