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Drowning Remains Leading Cause of Death in Florida Boating Accidents

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently released its 2014 Boating Accident Statistical Report indicating that there were 630 boating accidents reported in 2014 alone, resulting in 73 deaths.

The leading cause of death in state boating accidents is drowning, which accounted for 70 percent of the deaths in the accidents. The report also indicates that many of these accidents were preventable by taking simple measures such as fitting passengers with life jackets and maintaining both proper lookout and operator attention. The FWC found that the use of a personal flotation device was lacking in 82 percent of those killed in Florida boating accidents last year.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a boating accident, it is crucial that you seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney, as bringing a successful claim by establishing negligence and liability can be complicated due to the various regulations involved.

Legal Requirements

Depending on the size of the vessel, state law requires that vessels have very specific safety equipment on board. Although there must be personal flotation devices for each person on board, only children age six and under are typically required to wear them.

And although anyone born after January 1, 1988 must have a Boating Safety Education ID Card to legally operate a boat in Florida, you can simply take a “How to Boat Smart” correspondence course in place of a course approved by the FWC. In addition, visitors from out of state can easily obtain a temporary certificate test.

Federal and state laws also mandate the presence of fire extinguishers, flares, etc., although many boat operators either do not comply with these requirements or are too inattentive while operating the boat to take proper precautions, all of which can lead to a claim of negligence against them. All of these factors make boating in Florida a sometimes dangerous activity.

Damages

Boat owners must either have boating insurance or be covered by homeowner’s insurance in order for you to recover from the owner’s insurance to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering.

In addition to being inattentive or not properly fitting the boat with personal flotation devices, boat operators can actually be held liable for any injuries that arise from operating the boat itself negligently by speeding, taking people out in the boat in improper weather conditions, overcrowding the vessel, and other dangerous behavior.

Mike Walker Law

At Mike Walker Law, attorney Walker is dedicated to recovering damages on behalf of these boating injury victims. Mike Walker has significant experience representing those injured in boating accidents, and is prepared to put this to work for you today. Call the office at 727-797-2020 or complete the online contact form to schedule a consultation.

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