Florida is a vacation paradise, filled with water, lakes, canals, the Atlantic ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Water sport activities such as boating, jet skiing and water skiing are popular activities in Florida year round, but especially during the spring and summer months. As much fun as they are, unfortunately these activities can pose a unique danger of serious personal injury and death. Watercraft, boats and boating injuries often involve complex legal and safety issues.
Collisions are the most common cause of serious injury and death in boating accidents. Boats often collide with other boats or other watercraft. It is a general rule of law that the owner and operator of a boat has a duty to use due care in the operation of their boat in order to prevent injuries and death to others.
Watercraft Accident Types
- Private boats - The operator of a private vessel owes an absolute obligation of safety to any passengers. The Byrne Law Group handles all types of injuries, including collisions with other boats, docks or bridge abutments, or people thrown overboard or injured on deck when bounced around.
- Charter boats and ferries - Captains of commercial launches and ferry boats are held to a high standard of responsibility because they are licensed professionals. The operators and owners are responsible for injuries related to crashes or passengers injured because of the decision to sail in rough seas.
- Cruise ships - See our page on Cruise Ship Injury.
- Personal watercraft - Jet ski’s, wave runners, and other types of personal watercraft can cause serious injury or loss of life. The Byrne Law group may be able to assist you if you have suffered a personal watercraft accident, including collisions with other boaters or fixed objects, swimmers hit by a PWC, and people injured when thrown from a personal watercraft.
- Marina/dock accidents - Marinas and docks can be dangerous places. Slip and fall accidents are common, particularly if due to slippery, rotted, or poorly maintained docks. Refueling explosions, drowning and numerous other mishaps are possible, for which an injured person may be entitled to compensation.
- Diving injuries - Divers injured by the negligence of others may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Some divers have been struck by boat propellers when boaters have ignored dive flags. Diving injuries can cause serious, casastrophic injuries, and some may even be life threatening.
- Drunk boating - Drunk boating is no different than drunk driving!. Operating a boat or watercraft while intoxicated is a criminal offense. Drunk boating can cause serious damage and injury to person and property, and drunk boaters who cause accidents may be liable to victims for any injuries caused.
Victims of boating or diving injuries may be entitled collect damages for medical expenses and future care, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. In a fatal boating accident, family members may be able to collect for expenses, emotional trauma, and loss of net accumulations and contributions of the loved ones.
Time Limitation On Boating Accidents
Often you must file your lawsuit for injuries within four years of the date of the accident. Florida law prohibits any suit filed after the four-year period. Lawsuits for wrongful death must be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident that caused the death. There are other time limits that apply to governmental agencies that require you to put the agency on notice of your claim within 3 years of the accident. If you do not provide the required notice, you are barred from filing a lawsuit. These time limitations are enforced strictly by the courts. If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of a boating accident, you should consult with a lawyer immediately to learn your legal rights.
Take Action Now!
If you or your loved ones have been hurt or injured in an accident throughout Florida, from Tampa to Ft. Myers, Miami to West Palm Beach, Orlando to Jacksonville, Naples to Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Sarasota, don’t wait. Call the Byrne Law Group right now!We may be able to help. We can find you a doctor, help you get compensated for lost wages and medical bills, and fight to get you money for your time, pain and suffering. We will work with your insurance company to properly handle your claim, and prepare your case against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Call 813-413-6565 right now for a FREE consultation to discuss your case with the Byrne Law Group’s car accident attorneys right now - take the first step toward feeling better!