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Unique Issues in Florida Boating Accidents

Unique Issues in Florida Boating Accidents

Florida has the most miles of coastline in the continental United States, and as such, it is a veritable haven for swimmers and boaters, with the highest number of registered vessels in the country. However, accidents happen, especially when tourism season gets into full swing. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, it can sometimes be difficult to get the information and support you need. A knowledgeable attorney can help. Multiple Different Possible Causes Boating accidents can be innocuous, or they can be severe, not unlike automobile accidents. However, there are factors at play that can make it more difficult to assess causation. Causation can be complex at the best of times, but certain unique factors are seen with boats that simply do not occur on land. For example, in recent years, boating laws have been seen almost as guidelines rather than laws that must be obeyed, and as a result, people do not slow down or observe caution as they perhaps ought to. Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is common, and studies show that approximately one-third of all boating fatalities involve either the victim or the boat operator being intoxicated. The fairly lax licensing requirements mean that inexperienced boaters are common. Vessels must be titled and registered unless they meet an exemption, but in Florida, only those born after January 1, 1988, must have a Boater Safety Education Card. People who are older than that do not require any kind of proof of education or training. It is, of course, possible to be inexperienced or reckless despite...
Common Injuries in Boating Accidents

Common Injuries in Boating Accidents

Boating and being out on the open water is a favorite pastime of many in the Ft. Lauderdale Area, as well as throughout the State of Florida. While boating is typically safe, there are situations in which boating can result in serious injuries. In fact, the Coast Guard reported [1] that there were 4,064 accidents that involved 610 deaths and 2,678 injuries in 2014. Although boating-related injuries are sometimes caused by nothing more than accidents, some injuries are caused by the negligence of those driving or riding in boats. Some of the common causes of boating-related injuries include: Driver’s negligence or inattention Excess speeds Reckless operation Alcohol Equipment Failure Individuals involved in boating-related accidents may suffer a wide range of injuries. These injuries may be minor to severe and even permanent. The following are some common injuries victims suffer in boating-related incidents: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – Because boating-related incidents most often occur while on the water, there exists the misconception that physical injuries will not be severe. Instead, any time the brain hits the inside of the skull, it can result in traumatic brain injury.[2] Boat operators, passengers, and bystanders are all at risk for being involved in an accident that can lead to TBI. This can include situations in which, among others, a boat is involved in a collision; whenever reckless operation results in a passenger striking his or head on the boat itself; or, if a passenger is thrown from the boat, impacting the water at high speeds. Victims who suffer minor concussions remain at risk of potential complications if proper treatment is not administered. Severe cases of...