Boating and Marine Accidents
The boating and marine accident lawyers at the West Palm Beach Law Office of Roger P. Foley provide representation for those victims injured on boats or commercial vessels. Our boating injury accident attorneys recognize that victims dealing with such injuries can be overwhelmed and are seeking the best boating accident attorneys for their case. Our West Palm Beach boating lawyers will start immediately on your accident claims so that you may concentrate on recovering from your injuries. The Law offices of Roger P. Foley are here to assist you. Call us at (561)-746-7076
South Florida is a hot spot for boating enthusiasts. Palm Beach County is known to have some of the wealthiest people among its residences. In fact, Forbes magazine claimed that 44 billionaires live in Palm Beach County. Major cities within Palm Beach County that are known for boating include Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Jupiter, Florida.
In Palm Beach County, Florida, while out on the water you will encounter many different types of vessel:
- Sail boats
- Pontoon boats
- Fishing Boats
- Cabin cruisers
- Cruise ships
Boating is a recreational activity that is enjoyed by people of all ages in Florida. Boating encompasses so many different levels of enjoyment. Fisherman may grab a rod and reel and fish their local hotspot. Thrill seekers may find themselves tubing or water skiing. Many boaters find themselves hanging out with other boaters at the local sand bar. Snorkelers anchor their boat and enjoy swimming amongst the varieties of colorful fish. Then there are those that swim deep below the surface, seeking the ultimate adventure, exploring old shipwrecks and marine wildlife. Every single activity on the water brings a level of fun and entertainment but also requires you to be aware of your surroundings.
Florida is surrounded by water and there are not only boaters but those that are in a kayak, canoe, paddle board (SUP) or Persona Water Craft ( PWC or Jet ski). With so many activities and size disparities there are bound to be accidents on the water. If involved in a boating accident contact the lawyers at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley to discuss your maritime injury case. We are available at our main office in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Just like there are traffic laws for automobiles operating on a highway, there are laws for the water ways. Florida statute chapter 327 discusses Vessel Safety. Florida Fish and Wildlife, along with local law enforcement and the coast guard patrol the waters surrounding Florida. With thousands of people enjoying the water, it is essential that everyone follow the rules to minimize accidents in the water. However, if you live in Florida, you understand that there are always people that know better and ignore the laws, thereby jeopardizing other’s safety.
Boating accidents are governed by both state and federal laws, maritime law, depending on where the accident occurred. Consult with a boating accident attorney to determine if you have meritorious claim and what jurisdiction that claim should be brought so that you acquire compensation for your injuries. Call a Palm Beach County boat injury lawyer at 561-746-7076.
Act Now! Call Your Palm Beach County Boat Accident Attorney
In Florida, you have a maximum of three (3) years to bring legal action for your maritime injury. Like any injury caused by negligence, it is important that you treat and document your injury. Boating accidents differ from car accidents as there may not be as many witnesses available. It is important that photos and videos are taken. Acquire as much information as possible regarding the incident so that you may share it with a West Palm Beach Boat accident or maritime lawyer. If you have any questions, contact our office to discuss your options regarding your Florida boat accident case. Call us today, we offer free, no-obligation consultations! 561-746-7076
Top Five Reasons to Hire a Palm Beach County Maritime Accident Lawyer
- Boating accidents are complex and a boat accident attorney will help determine liability, gather evidence, and provide a case strategy
- Determine negligence as defined by the Florida statutes and/or maritime law
- Acquire the highest compensation from the insurance company or determine if the liable party is financially able to compensate you adequately for your injuries
- Determine if there are any defective product claims that caused or contributed to your injuries that could help provide compensation
- Easing of your stress, knowing that while you heal up from your injuries, that an experienced maritime lawyer or boat accident attorney is looking out for your best interest.
Types of Boating or Vessel Accidents
Collision with another Vessel or fixed object
Anytime a boat or vessel collides with another personal water craft or a fixed object (dock, sand bar, buoy or channel marker) there is a high risk of serious bodily injury. The impact of the accident may cause the boat to capsize and the passengers to fall overboard.
The vessel operator, aka the guy driving the boat is responsible for checking his surroundings. As the driver of the boat, it is important to be on the lookout for other vessels, swimmers and sand bars, because colliding with anything on the water is dangerous. Propeller and run-over accidents are caused by a failure to look out. A propeller accident can cause lacerations and/or dismemberment. Run over accidents may cause serious head and neck injuries, such as spinal injuries or traumatic brain injury. Either of these types of boating accidents may also result in death.
Failure to adhere to Maritime Rules and Laws
Failure to understand and properly follow navigation rules can lead to a boating accident.
Inexperienced Operator at the helm
In Florida, you must be 14 years of age or older to operate any vessel on the water. With age, comes life experience but regardless of age an inexperienced driver of a boat or jet ski can cause a serious accident.
Exceeding the speed limit
Speeding in your personal water craft can be catastrophic on the water because you can’t hit the brakes like you would in an automobile. Regardless of the vessel you are operating, if speeding, it is easy to lose control and collide with another object causing a serious boat accident.
Passenger Falling Overboard
A passenger that falls from the boat or ship is most likely to be fatally injured.
Boating under the Influence (BUI)
Anyone that is drunk while driving a boat can cause serious bodily injury. Any driver of a boat that is found to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is subject criminal charges. A boat driver under the influence in Florida is Per Se negligent in a boating accident, meaning that the courts deems them negligent automatically because they were intoxicated).
Marina/ Dock Accidents
Marina and Dock accidents are generally caused by a slip and fall, however it can also be caused by a boat colliding with the dock or some other negligence caused by a driver of a boat or PWC. One example, may be when passengers are deboarding and there is a slippery or hazardous obstacle which can result in a slip and fall or a passenger overboard.
Slip and Fall Boating accident
The owner of a boat, owes a duty to all invitees (guests) to keep the deck clear of debris or anything that could cause a passenger to slip, fall and be injured. Boat decks must have anti-slip decking as water commonly accumulates on the surface of the deck
Commercial Boating Accidents
Any commercial boat or ship that carries passengers has a duty to keep them safe. A commercial boat owner or corporation that owns the vessel may be held liable when injuries to passengers are caused by their negligence.
- Charter Boats deal with passengers and provide a captain and crew. These are referred to as full service boats and there is a duty of the owner and crew to make sure the passengers are safe and the boat is operated in the proper manner.
- Private Vessel For hire or bareboat is when you rent a boat without a crew. You become the captain and crew and are responsible for the operation of the vessel. Unless the boat is defective or improperly maintained, a civil suit is unlikely.
Cruise Ship Injuries
Cruise ship operators have a duty of care to prevent cruise ship accidents, as well as injuries onboard the vessel.
The largest cruise lines operating in Florida are Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess Cruises, Disney Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and MSC Cruises and they owe each and every passenger a duty of care. Common injury claims include but are not limited to:
- Slip and Falls on cruise ships are commonly caused worn-down non-slid surfaces, inadequate lighting on stairways or faulty stair railings. Another cause of slip and fall accident is caused when crew members fail to immediately clean up spilled food and beverages in dining areas
- Neglect of food services to properly adhere to allergy information provided by passenger causing severe food reactions
- Swimming pool accidents such as accidental drowning or slip and fall in the pool area
- Passenger overboard are rarely caused by faulty railing and more often caused by carelessness of the passenger
- Recreation Activities caused by negligence or product malfunction
- Sexual Assault and Battery by crew members and/or other passengers of the ship
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive From a Boating Accident?
Florida boat owners are not required by state law to carry liability insurance. As a result, there may not be an insurance policy to pay out for your injuries and you may have to seek payment from the boat owner directly. A responsible boat owner will likely have a liability policy, however an experienced boat accident attorney will seek out that information.
- Payment of your medical bills, including all doctor visits, medical tests, surgery, physical therapy, medications ,and future medical care, if necessary.
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost wages, the pay you lost while out of work for your injuries
- Future earnings lost when you suffer from serious injuries that impact your ability to work
- Repair or replacement of your boat
Types of Injuries in Boating Accidents
Boat accident injuries are no different than those received in car accidents with the exception of drowning. Common boating accident injuries include:
- Head and neck injury
- Shoulder injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Sprain and torn ligaments
- Wrongful death
- Bone fractures
Law Office of Roger P Foley Can Help With Your Boating Injury in Palm Beach County, Florida
Dealing with both physical and emotional injuries from your boating accident can be daunting. As experienced personal injury attorneys we are here to assist you in your boating accident claim. Our consultations are free; please consider our law firm when you have been a victim of boating negligence. Our personal injury office is located at 1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 1555, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33401. Call us at (561)746-7076