Boating Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
With more than 300 miles of inland waterways, Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America. There is no shortage of boating activities to enjoy while in town. However, with so many people out on the water, accidents and serious injuries can and do happen.
When you have been involved in any kind of boating accident in Fort Lauderdale, you should not delay in seeking legal representation for assistance in holding the negligent party accountable.
What Causes Fort Lauderdale Boating Accidents?
No two accidents are ever the same, but certain boating accidents share common causes, such as:
- Alcohol – Alcohol consumption while operating a boat can impair judgment, ability to gauge speed and distance, hand-eye coordination, and other vital abilities that are needed to navigate and operate safely.
- Inattention – Boat operators must pay attention to their surroundings and the responsible operation of the watercraft at all times. Being distracted by passengers, music, eating and drinking, smartphones, or anything else aboard could result in severe injury accidents.
- Inclement Weather – During inclement weather, it becomes more difficult to maintain control of the craft. Operators should pay attention to weather conditions and should adjust their actions accordingly.
- Inexperience – Boaters with little boating experience may not be prepared to properly operate the boat in certain situations. Some boaters may put a youth at the helm without providing proper supervision.
- Mechanical Failure – Defective parts or lack of maintenance could cause serious accidents on the water. In these cases, the parts manufacturer or party responsible for maintaining the vehicle could be liable for injuries that result.
- Reckless Operation – Going too fast, failing to allow space between boats on the water, operating aggressively, and other reckless actions often put the occupants of the boat and others on the water in harm’s way.
Florida Boating Laws
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission notes that Florida’s boating laws are found in Chapter 327 and Chapter 328 of the Florida Statutes. The operator of a vessel involved in a boating accident causing personal injury, death, the disappearance of any person indicating death or injury, or damage to a vessel or personal property of at least $2,000, must immediately give notice to either the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the sheriff of the county in which the accident occurred, or the police chief of the municipality in which the accident occurred.
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 who operated a vessel powered by 10 horsepower or more must pass an approved boater safety course and have a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Specific exceptions do apply for a number of cases, such as people licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel or people operating on private lakes or ponds.
How Can Rosen & Ohr Help Me?
If you sustained severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a boating accident in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, it is important for you to talk to a qualified attorney about your legal options. Contact Rosen & Ohr as quickly as possible.