Boating Accident Lawyer Tampa

In Southwest Florida, our coastal location and our many recreational bodies of water mean that boating accidents are an unfortunate reality. A boating accident is typically a frightening experience, and because events are quickly happening, it can be difficult to know what to do or how to respond. If you understand the steps needed in the immediate aftermath of a boating accident, you can not only possibly help to save someone’s life, but you can also ensure that your legal rights are protected. The boating accident attorneys at Future Firm Law can help you better understand the steps you need to take, as well as your options and rights, ensuring that the at-fault party is held accountable.

Laws in the state of Florida allow victims of boat accidents to pursue a claim for damages, if you have suffered injuries in the accident. You may be able to recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills and more. Future Firm Law will help you pursue your claim, and will advise you throughout the entire process to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Types of Boating Accidents

Florida law requires boat operators and owners to exercise the highest degree of safety while they are operating water vessels. When they fail to do so, it can be a substantial risk for other boat operators, swimmers, boat passengers and anyone else who is around and in surrounding boats. Boat accidents occur due to a variety of situations, including:

  • Adverse weather conditions.
  • Boating while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Failure of boating equipment.
  • Boater inexperience or error.
  • Excessive speed.
  • Boat capsizing.

Boating accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities involve more than traditional boats—they can also include recreational vessels such as jet skis and non-motorized equipment like kayaks. The three most common types of boating accidents are:

  • Falling overboard or sustaining other injuries caused by reckless driving.
  • Collisions between boats.
  • Kayakers or swimmers hit by boats.

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Boating Injuries

If you have suffered any kind of injury from a boating accident, from mild to severe, you should first seek medical care. But immediately afterwards, contact an experienced Future Firm Law boating accident attorney in Tampa. Some of the most common injuries sustained in boating accidents include:

  • Whiplash – Whiplash is the neck injury that occurs when the body and the head move suddenly, and the manner in which they move causes a strain in the neck. Passengers in boats can experience whiplash if the boat makes an abrupt turn or sudden stop. Whiplash is typically just a mild muscle strain, but in more serious cases, it can be fatal.
  • Drowning – After a boating collision, the vessel can capsize or passengers can be thrown off the vessel, which forces them to swim to safety. But even if a person knows how to swim, they could possibly drown due to the disorientation caused by the accident, other injuries or exhaustion. For 20 years, the leading type of fatal accident on Florida boats has been falls overboard, and drowning has been the highest reported cause of death. Nearly 9 out of 10 people who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries – The U.S. Coast Guard reports that brain injuries rank second in the leading causes of death resulting from boating accidents. These injuries are usually caused from carbon monoxide exposure or being deprived of oxygen after being underwater for too long. Traumatic brain injuries can also occur from the impact of a person being thrown against a boat wall or another vessel after a collision.
  • Burns – Explosions, fires and electrical faults occurring in the engine room of a ship can cause burn injuries for crew members. When these fires migrate outside the engine room or occur on a smaller vessel, passengers can sustain serious burns.
  • Lacerations – Boat propellers are extremely sharp and rotate at a high speed, making them excessively dangerous to anyone who comes in contact with them, since they can cause deep lacerations.
  • Injuries to Ligaments and Bones – When there is a collision with another vessel, passengers can hit rails or walls by falling, which can result in torn ligaments and broken bones.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – When two boats collide, especially at a high speed, the impact can cause pressure on your spinal cord, referred to as spinal compressions. Spinal compressions can also occur as a result of the impact waves have on the vessel.
  • Limb Amputations – If a boat driver is not aware of people in the water, or if a passenger accidentally falls near the blades, there is a possibility of the loss of limbs for the people affected.

Boat Accident Statistics

Every year, the U.S. Coast Guard compiles statistics on reported recreational boating accidents. These statistics are derived from accident reports that are filed by the owners/operators of recreational vessels involved in accidents. In the state of Florida alone, according to the 2020 report, there were 804 total recreational boating accidents reported, with 70 of those being fatal. The amount of money in damages reported is staggering: $13,220,416.82. These alarming numbers of accidents and deaths represent the highest total of the whole five-year range of 2016-2020. As a matter of fact, they were the steepest numbers since 2011 and show a 16% increase since 2019.

Some avid boaters attribute the high total of boating accidents to the amount of new and inexperienced boaters now on the water. If other boaters’ inexperience has led you or a loved one to be involved in an accident that has resulted in catastrophic injuries or worse, you can count on Future Firm Law to take care of all the legal aspects of your case so that you and your family can focus on healing. Our team will fight for your right to receive all compensation you are owed under Florida law.