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Common Causes Of Boat Accidents


Ask any vacationing American in today’s society where they are going on their next adventure, and count how many of them provide a maritime response.  Between lakes, beaches, and deep sea expeditions, the use of boats as recreational vehicles in the United States today is one of the most popular activities one can choose from.  While many embark on boating expeditions and fun in the sun with nothing but good intentions, the reality is that threats of personal injury loom around every coastline.

The state of Florida, with its pristine beaches and tropical climate, is home to the most registered recreational vessels of any state.  As of 2020, nearly 959,000 boats were registered with the state. As with many other types of transportation, with increased use comes increased risk of personal injury due to boating accidents and negligent behavior from drivers, passengers, and/or third parties.

When accidents occur on Florida’s waterways, the individuals involved in the crash will want to know whose negligent behavior ultimately sparked the series of events.  If someone else’s actions were the cause for the crash and subsequent personal injury to others, those harmed may be entitled to financial compensation for damages.

While consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney should always be one’s first course of action, there are certain scenarios where negligent behavior is more likely to occur, and these instances are likely to contribute to proof of negligence in personal injury cases that go to trial.  Therefore, this article aims to serve as a general source of information for Florida residents on common causes of boating accidents.

Inadequate Lookout 

On every boat, someone should be tasked with watching for any sights and sounds of danger.  Without proper attention, accidents and subsequent personal injury are much more likely to result.  Therefore, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) lists improper lookouts as a common cause of boating accidents.

Improperly Trained Operators 

No matter the size or type, operating a boat is hard work.  Manning the throttle while keeping an eye on water depth and surface conditions can be physically and mentally taxing.  Without proper training, a person steering a boating vessel can easily engage in a number of negligent behaviors both consciously and unconsciously.

While everyone has to learn to pilot a boat by experience, lack thereof is rarely an acceptable excuse during a personal injury case.  Close consultation with your personal injury attorney will help you establish whether lack of operator experience was a major contributing factor.

Intoxicated Driving 

Much like cars and other road-based motor vehicles, there are strict rules that govern the use of alcohol while operating a boat or other vessel.  If a boating operator has been drinking excessively and their subsequent impairment causes an accident, this can certainly be construed by a personal injury judge as negligent behavior.

Contacting a Professional 

When victims incur personal injury due to another boater’s negligence, they are going to want to know their rights to compensation for damages received.  Don’t hesitate to contact the Orlando personal injury lawyers at Payer Law for help throughout your case.

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