Florida’s warm, sunny weather draws thousands of boaters to its waters every year. Boaters who enjoy great fishing, fun activities, or relaxing on the soothing waves find the oceans and bays around Florida prime locations to spend a weekend.
While spending the day on the water sounds like a great way to pass the time, there are inherent dangers to boating. A driver’s negligence or inexperience can lead to catastrophic boat accidents. People involved in boating accidents can be left with severe and debilitating injuries that can impact the quality of their life. If you or a loved one was injured in a boat accident, call the Fort Myers boating accident attorneys at the Wolfson Law Firm at (239) 777-9954.Fort Myers Boat Accident Causes
Safety is often on the forefront of our minds when we drive a car. On a boat, however, the extent of our safety precautions may be wearing a life jacket. There are many hazards associated with operating a boat that most of us don’t consider when we board the craft.
Reckless driving is a common factor in a boating accident. A driver can lose control if they are speeding or driving erratically, potentially crashing into another boat, pier, or bridge.
Accidents may often be caused by the boat driver’s lack of experience. Boats are large crafts that can travel at high speeds and experience poor conditions, such as high winds and choppy waters. An inexperienced boat driver that can’t properly control their craft can pose serious safety hazards to their passengers, other boats traveling on the water, or people standing on piers or bridges.
A driver that is under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause a serious accident. A driver who is impaired may have slower reflexes, not see clearly, and exercise poor judgment – all of which can lead to a serious accident.
Poor weather conditions can also contribute to an accident. Rough waters and torrential rain can limit a driver’s ability to see and control the craft. They may crash into a pier or another boat as they try to dock.
A boat that has not been properly maintained may experience equipment failure. Fires, flooding, or even sinking may result if equipment malfunctions. Not only are passengers exposed to these elements, the need to abandon the boat puts them at risk if they can’t swim or don’t have a lifejacket.
The above conditions can result in such boating accidents as;
- Collision with a non-moving object such as a pier or bridge
- Collision with another boat
- Flooding or sinking
- Recreational activity accidents
Boating accidents can cause serious injuries to those involved. They can be fatal. When a boat hits another object at a high speed, passengers can be seriously injured if they are violently thrown about the boat. Broken bones, lacerations, head trauma, or internal organ damage may result if passengers hit a hard surface or sharp object at a very high speed. Passengers who are thrown overboard may drown if they aren’t wearing lifejackets or are unconscious. They are also at risk of injury from the sharp propellers, which can cause deep cuts and limb loss. Passengers thrown overboard can be run over or hit by the boat, causing serious, even fatal injuries.Fort Myers Boat Injury Law Firms
Boat drivers have a responsibility to follow the laws that govern operating their craft.
These rules require;
- A boat driver to take a safety education course if they are under 21 years old or are operating a boat with 10 horsepower or more.
- Every vessel is required to have an approved personal flotation device (PFD) for every person on board
- Children who are six years old or younger are required to wear an approved PFD at all times on boats that are less than 26 feet in length
- Anyone on a personal water craft, such as a jet ski, is required to wear an approved PFD, regardless of their age.
Boat drivers are also expected to follow speed limit and other applicable maritime rules. Driver who violate these rules can be cited and found negligent.Fort Myers Boat Accident Law Firm
If you were injured in a boating accident, our Fort Myers boat accident lawyer will review the circumstances of your case to determine if the driver violated any laws or rules. They may call in an expert to evaluate your accident. If a driver is found negligent and you were injured as a result, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages to pay for medical treatment, future care, and lost income.
To find out what your legal options are, contact the Wolfson Law Firm. We can evaluate your case, answer your questions, and explain what courses of action may be available to you. It costs you nothing to find out what your rights are – call us today at (239) 777-9954.