Florida’s numerous lakes and natural waterways offer many opportunities for boating activities and recreation. However, they also present potential hazards. Florida, like most other states, has boating rules and regulations on the books to promote safety for everyone on the water. When boat operators fail to abide by these rules and regulations, and when boat parts and equipment are defective, catastrophic maritime accidents and injuries can result.
If you have been injured in a maritime accident in the State of Florida, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under the law. A New Port Richey maritime injury lawyer can discuss the facts and circumstances of your case with you and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Speak with a distinguished personal injury attorney who can represent you during settlement negotiations, and, if necessary, represent you at trial or during alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
Common Boat Injuries
Boating accidents can result in serious – and sometimes catastrophic – injuries, or even deaths, in the worst cases. Common injuries sustained in New Port Richey boating accidents include the following:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s)
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Permanent injuries
Boating accidents can lead to serious and catastrophic injuries, and defective products and operator negligence both pose potential hazards to everyone on the water. If someone or their loved one has been injured in a Florida maritime accident, they should contact an experienced New Port Richey maritime injury lawyer.
Products Liability in Maritime Injury Cases
When boating accidents occur in the State of Florida, New Port Richey maritime injury lawyers have seen that defective products and equipment are sometimes to blame. When boating parts or equipment, such as motors, steering mechanisms, and rudders are defective or malfunction in the water, the manufacturers and distributors may be deemed liable for the resulting injuries and damages under Florida products liability law.
Under Florida law, when a boat part or piece of equipment is defectively manufactured or designed or if a warning is inadequate or absent the manufacturer or distributor may be deemed strictly liable when the defect proximately results in certain injuries and damages to those on board a watercraft. Those damages may include compensation for some or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Boat operators owe a duty to everyone else on the water to act in a reasonable manner under the circumstances then-and-there existing and to be aware of and obey all Florida boating laws and regulations. Whenever a boat operator breaches this duty of care and injuries and damages result to innocent victims, the boat operator may be subject to both criminal and civil liability. The most common examples of negligent boat operation include speeding, operation in unauthorized areas, without the proper experience or training, without the proper licensing, or operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (i.e. “boating under the influence,” or BUI). Under Florida law, anyone who operates a watercraft with “willful disregard for the safety of property or persons on board” can receive a citation for reckless operation, which is a first-degree misdemeanor in the State of Florida.