In the state of Florida, being involved in a boating accident is much more common than one would think. Being out of the water in a wide-open space, you might think that with all the room out on the water a boating accident does not happen that often.  But it does!   And when it does, Injury Florida Law Firm is here to protect your rights and help you get medical care.  

The Coast Guard data shows that boating accidents occur for multiple reasons. Causes of boating accidents may include:

  1. Alcohol. Federal data shows that alcohol is a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal boating accidents. Some of these instances involved accidental drownings as a result of alcohol use. 
  2. Operator error. Mistakes while operating a boat can also lead to serious accidents. Common operator error mistakes include getting lost in poor lighting conditions (night or bad weather), speeding and navigational errors. 
  3. Inattention. It is important to pay attention to your surroundings while boating, otherwise the risk of causing an accident increases. Other watercraft, swimmers and weather conditions can quickly lead to a fatal boating accident. Operator inattention is one of the leading causes, perhaps the leading cause, of boating accidents nationwide.
  4. Environmental causes/Wakes/Debris. Bodies of water can be a dangerous place in general, and it is no surprise that environmental factors cause many accidents. Rocks, intense waves and bad weather can easily kill unprepared boat operators and their passengers. Inexperienced operators are even more likely to run into trouble, as they may not have the necessary information to avoid these hazards.  Injury or even death can occur when a boat hits debris in the water, the boat’s wake, another boat’s wake or a sand dune. Often these hazards are not seen until it is too late.
  5. Equipment failure. Like most vehicles, boats require regular maintenance. Moving parts on boats may fail without regular checkups and repairs. Product defects can also lead to death or serious injury. The Coast Guard lists machine failure as a cause of boating accidents.
  6. Propeller Safety. The boat has a “danger zone” that can cause injury if proper care is not used.  These include swim platforms, ladders and slides all located where the propeller is lurking.  Failure to use caution when swimming, loading or jumping off the rear of the boat can cause injury. In addition, failure to turn the engine off while people are swimming and checking the stern area for people before placing the engine in reverse can cause injury – sometime fatal.
  7. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is a potentially deadly gas produced by engine, generators, cooking ranges and space and water heaters. If proper care is not used, cold or poorly tuned engines can produce carbon monoxide poisoning, often discovered when it is too late.
  8. Electricity and Boats.  All power cords used on boats should be suitable for marine use.  Ordinary power cords are not graded for use on boats and should not be used to provide electrical shore power to a vessel.  Never leave a shore power cord on the dock with one end connected. A live cord end is dangerous especially if it accidentally falls into the water.
  9. Fueling Up. When filling the boat with fuel, all fires should be extinguished and no one should be smoking.  All vents, doors and hatches should be closed.  The nozzle should be ground and engine compartments should be ventilated.  Portable tanks carried on the boat should be filled outside the boat for safety.
  10. Lack of preparation. You should always be prepared if you are going to be working or enjoying recreational activities on a boat. Life vests, flares, medical supplies, water and sound-producing devices are a few of many safety items to bring on a boat. Some of these prevent accidental drownings and can help if you become lost.

Seeking Help During a Boating Accident

Boating accidents do not necessarily involve collisions with other boats or objects. Drowning is also a common reason for deaths while boating. 

You should always seek immediate medical attention following a boating accident or drowning. Always contact the authorities for help right away, as every second counts for certain types of accidents. Law enforcement officers, medical professionals and members of the Coast Guard have the training to help injured boaters and passengers.

Filing a Boating Accident Lawsuit

You should also contact attorney Anna Katherine Stone at Injury Florida Law Firm if you believe negligent or reckless actions caused your accident. 

Have you or a loved one been injured due to the negligence of another?   

Call attorney Anna Katherine Stone at Injury Florida Law Firm, P.A. at 833-LAW-STONE.  Our operators are standing by 24 hours, 7 days per week to get your case moving. There is no charge for a consultation and we don’t get paid until you do!

Don’t delay – call our office today.  We are working to help you.