Boating can be one of the most enjoyable activities in Florida. However, what is your recourse if you or a loved one is hurt due to a negligent boating accident? Our team of experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation from a negligent boater to assist with medical bills or property damage. Here are the most common types of boating injuries, what you should do if you or a loved one was hurt while boating, and forms of legal restitution.

Most Common Boating Injuries

The National Institute of Health (NIH) provides a list of common types of boating injuries and what causes the injuries.

1. Drowning - It is possible for an individual to owe you or a family member a level of reasonable care. Tragically, if your family member is unable to swim and negligently falls into the water and drowns you may have a wrongful death case. Our attorneys can help review your case and take the burden off of you during this tragic time.

2. Brain Injuries –

- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - If a boat is running the engine while docked or idling, an individual can experience carbon monoxide poisoning causing brain injuries.

- Oxygen Deprivation - Brain injuries can also occur from oxygen deprivation from being underwater for an extended period of time.

- Boating Collision - a boating collision can cause brain injuries from a severe impact.

3. Spinal Cord Injuries –

- Spinal Injuries From Collision – A boating collision's impact can cause a spinal cord injury.

- Spinal Compression – When a boat bounces on waves or another boat's wake, a disk hernia can occur.

4. Lacerations –
If an individual is too close to a propeller and a driver is not paying attention, the blades can cause deep lacerations or loss or a limb. If the driver negligently fails to see the individual or is negligently operating his or her boat, you may have a case against the driver.

5. Whiplash –
If another driver is operating their vessel in a reckless manner this could cause passengers to experience a neck injury as a result of a sudden neck movement in a traumatic manner.

6. Electrocution –
Negligence can occur if a boat owner fails to provide proper maintenance to their vessel which results in standing water causing individuals to be electrocuted. Electrocution can cause individuals to experience heart fibrillation or electrical burns

Where and how do these accidents occur?

These injuries can occur in various capacities including the following:

  1. Boat Collisions due to speeding or inability to control the vehicle
  2. Yacht accidents with a yacht and a smaller boat.
  3. Pontoon Boat Accidents due to injuries from a propeller as mentioned above, inability to operate the pontoon, or accidents from alcohol consumption.
  4. Accidents from Rental Boats in Florida. Oftentimes, these drivers may be inexperienced or not know how to operate a boat in Florida.
  5. Carelessness in a marina or near a dock.

What Causes Common Boating Injuries?

Boating accidents can occur due to various reasons. The NIH finds that the most common reason boating injuries occur are the following:

  • Boat operators that are impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Negligent boat maintenance
  • Failure to operate a boat in compliance with the law
  • Excessive speed
  • Distracted boating
  • Inexperienced Boat Drivers

What to do if you or a loved one suffers from a boating injury?

  1. If you have been injured in a boating accident from any of the causes above, or other causes, you should immediately see medical help.
  2. Make a record of the events. You should take pictures of your injuries, any damage that was done to your boat, or the other person's boat.
  3. Contact an attorney that is experienced in negligence issues in Florida.

Legal Procedure for a Boating Injury Claim

A boating injury case will look at whether there was negligence. Specifically, we will look to see whether the driver or another individual involved in the boating accident failed to behave with the level of care that an ordinary driver would have had under similar circumstances. We will also explore whether an individual failed to act when there was a duty to act. Specifically, our team of attorneys will review the details of your accident to see whether the other person's behavior lacked reasonable care and there was a foreseeable likelihood that his or her conduct would result in harm.

We will review the following criteria before pursuing a legal case:

  1. Was there a legal duty owed to keep you safe?
  2. Did the boat driver or other individual owe you a duty to keep you safe?
  3. Did the boat driver or other individual violate that duty?
  4. Did you suffer an injury?
  5. Is there proof that that driver or other individual's negligence caused your injury?

When you go out boating, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable experience! If you do suffer an injury, contact our office – we can help! Contact us right away to discuss your case.