Florida has the highest number of boats registered in the nation – over 900,000. That does not include all the boats just cruising through the state’s waters. With that many vessels crossing paths the risk of an accident is already high, and with Florida’s mild climate allowing year round boating, it is no surprise we are the state with the highest number of boat accidents as well.
However, as Florida Fish and Wildlife recognizes in its annual accidents report, safe boating is a choice. The main cause of death from boating accidents is drowning – more than 60%. Many of these deaths might be prevented with life jackets.
There are a number of factors contributing to the cause of boating accidents. Some of them, like fast approaching weather, are simply unavoidable. However, the risk of being in an accident can be lowered by steering clear of some of the following whenever possible:
Often vessels run into fixed objects like piers or pilings, but collisions with other vessels are common as well. Just as in any automobile accident where property damage and personal injury are involved, authorities will investigate after a boating accident and talk to witnesses to determine what happened. In an accident where a vessel runs into a stationary object certain questions may arise: who was the driver at the time of the accident, and who should have been the driver – if it was not the captain, was the driver at the time of the accident experienced enough in those conditions?
Where there is a collision between two or more vessels in motion, then a determination of who was at fault, and how much, will begin. Authorities may not spend the necessary time to investigate every aspect of a boat accident however. In these instances a legal team with the resources to examine exactly what caused the crash can help injured parties recover.
There are several factors that might affect whether and how you recover from responsible parties after a boating accident. You might have been an employee on the vessel, a paying customer, or an invited guest. Vessels operate for different reasons and your purpose for being on the boat when the accident happened may or may not be covered under that vessels particular insurance policy.
The more parties that are involved, the more complex the negotiations for compensation will be, and you may be best served by having a legal professional experienced with insurance disputes represent you. Call us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation.