With miles and miles of coastline to enjoy, it comes as no surprise that Floridians often enjoy boating. After all, nothing beats getting out in the water, relaxing with friends, and reeling in the big catch for the day. Unfortunately, boating accidents in Florida can often put a damper on this beloved recreational activity. In fact, Florida had over 679 boat accidents occur in 2019.
With the prevalence of boating accidents in Florida, it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of the boating laws in Florida and what procedures you should take if you become a victim of another person’s negligence. This includes hiring an experienced boating accident lawyer to help fight for your rights to compensation.
Proving Boat Accident Liability
Liability is generally based on negligence in boating accidents. If an operator of a boat fails to operate or take care of their boat in a reasonable and safe manner and an accident occurs, they could be held liable for another person’s injuries that resulted from their negligence.
Boating accident negligence can include actions that occur outside of normally accepted standards of conduct and care that reasonable operators of boats would display. Some examples of negligence that results in a boat accident include:
- Turning into a wave incorrectly
- Taking a boat out on the water in poor weather conditions
- Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Not providing the right safety equipment
- Speeding and hitting another boat or vessel
If you were riding a recreational boat, such as a rented pontoon or tour boat, you may have been required to sign a liability waiver before departing. The reason for this waiver is to release the boat’s owner or company from liability in the event of a boating accident. However, in order for liability waivers to be enforceable, they must include the following:
- The liability waiver’s terms should be made in a manner that an ordinary knowledgeable individual can understand what they’re signing
- The rights that the individual is waiving are unambiguously and clearly defined
Proving negligence in boating cases can be complicated, particularly if there isn’t sufficient physical evidence. However, an experienced boating accident lawyer can help you manage your claim to get you the compensation you deserve.
Does the State of Florida Require Boat Insurance?
Florida boat owners are not legally required to have boating insurance. However, in certain cases, an individual’s homeowner policy might offer some amount of liability protection in a situation where they cause an injury during a boat operation.
Homeowners’ insurance policies sometimes offer specific forms of coverage for recreational vehicles, including boats. This coverage will often extend to physical damage or small property losses, frequently up to $1,000. Many boat owners will have knowledge about the value of property insurance to fix the damage that’s due to mishaps from things like:
What they often forget about is how important liability coverage is. If they don’t carry liability coverage and injure another person accidentally with their boat, they could be held liable for substantial damages.
Contact the Skilled Florida Boating Accident Lawyers at Baker Legal Team Today
If you’ve been injured in a Florida boat accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation to help pay for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and any lost wages. Our experienced Florida legal team can help.
Call Baker Legal Team today at (561) 320-0000 or fill out our online form to schedule your initial free consultation. We’ll evaluate your case and inform you of what legal options may be available to you to pursue compensation for your damages.