Orlando Boat Accident Lawyer

boat accidents in orlando

Boating enthusiasts must exercise great caution as they travel lakes and oceans. Operating a boat in a reckless manner or while under the influence of alcohol can have catastrophic and deadly consequences. A leisurely day of rest and relaxation in an inland waterway or on the beach can quickly turn into tragedy.

It would seem that activities on the open sea aren’t monitored as closely as roads and streets, but there are still boundaries while boating and police still take by boat. Boating and drinking are activities that happen quite often along the coasts of Florida, and even if it would seem collisions would be unlikely with the amount of space all boats have, accidents happen more than we would like to see them. Call an Orlando boat accident lawyer for guidance.

Types of Boating Accident Injuries

Not all boating accidents are caused by powerboats careening across the water at high speeds. Collisions can also be caused by sailboats, fishing boats and personal watercraft (PWC) collisions. On any of those boats, passengers can slip and fall onto the surface of the craft or overboard. Boat manufacturers who put profits over quality and safety could cause accidents due to faulty engines or safety cut-offs.

Personal watercrafts are often operated by those inexperienced and lacking knowledge about the use and potential hazards. Businesses involved in renting PWCs can be held liable even when waivers are signed.

Boating accident cases are complex, requiring thorough investigations and attention to detail. Let us handle the legal “heavy lifting” while you focus on recovering.

Establishing Negligence is Key in a Boating Injury Claim

Personal injury lawsuits for boating accidents are no different from car accident lawsuits. You must prove that the operator’s negligence caused the accident, which resulted in your injuries. Negligence is described as failing to act with “reasonable care.” It’s up to your injury attorney to prove that your injuries are the direct result of a negligent boat operator before settling. Damages that your injury attorney will seek in your settlement include:

  • Compensation for medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss in earning capacity
  • and pain and suffering.

Common Causes for Boating Accidents

Understanding common causes of boating accidents can help when determining the value of an injury settlement. The most common reasons for boating accidents include:

  • The boat operator is not paying attention: By law, boat operators must be alert and aware of their surroundings while on the water. If injuries occur because the operator is failing to pay attention, a personal injury claim might result.
  • The boat operator is not experienced: Before helming a boat, operators must understand the basics of boat safety and navigation rules. They must also be prepared to handle an emergency, should one ever occur while on the water.
  • The boat operator is impaired: Boating under the influence (BUI) is one of the most common causes of boating accidents. Like driving a car, a boat operator must have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or less.
  • Boating at high speeds: Just as drivers of a car have safety responsibilities, so do boat operators. High speeds can lead to loss of control and resulting injuries for boat passengers.
  • Inclement weather: Conditions on the water change quickly with unfavorable weather. The boat operator should be aware of impending thunderstorms or potentially dangerous water and weather conditions before leaving land.
  • Large wakes and waves: The wake is the disturbed region of water that’s behind the boat. When the wake or waves become too big, accidents that result in injuries can occur.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s accident statistics show that alcohol is the most common factor leading to fatal boating accidents. Oftentimes, it’s the boat operator that causes a boating accident, but you’ll notice that other factors also play a part in causing accidents.

Common Types of Boating Accidents That Lead to Injuries

When most people think of boating accidents, a picture of treacherous ocean waters or stormy skies comes to mind. Most accidents, however, happen in the light of day on inland waters with optimal weather. The most severe boating injuries occur from the following accidents:

  • Accidents with other vessels: Crashes that involve another boat or vessel account for a high percentage of injuries and fatalities that occur from a boating accident.
  • Accidents with fixed objects: Colliding with any object on the water, like rocks, buoys, and other fixed objects often leads to serious injuries.
  • Flooding and swamping of the boat: A boat is swamped when water comes in from the sides. This happens often to smaller boats from the wake of a larger one that passes by.
  • Boat Grounding: Grounding is when a boat becomes stuck on a reef, rock, or immovable pile that often results in the boat sinking.
  • Passengers falling overboard: Unexpected movements or changes in speed can throw passengers overboard if they’re not paying attention. If the passenger isn’t wearing a life vest or doesn’t know how to swim, injuries or fatalities can occur.

How Insurance Affects the Value of a Boating Injury Settlement

A challenge that often arises in personal injury settlements for a boating accident is whether there is enough insurance coverage for the cost of damages. Even if your attorney successfully proves to a judge that the boat operator was liable for the accident which resulted in injuries – you may not be able to collect any compensation if the operator doesn’t have boaters’ insurance. This special type of insurance is separate from homeowners’ insurance and auto insurance coverages.

If you’ve been in a boating accident, ask for the boat operator’s insurance information if you’re well enough to do so. If the accident occurred with another vessel on the water, ask for both operators’ boating insurance information. Your injury attorney can advise you on how to file a claim against the owners and drivers of both boats that are involved.

Contact an Orlando Boating Accident Lawyer

At The Umansky Law Firm, we provide aggressive representation to all clients injured in boating and PWC accidents, regardless of the severity of their injuries. Call or contact our Orlando boat accident lawyers anytime, day or night, for a free consultation.

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    Orlando Boat Accident Lawyer