Florida leads the country in registered recreational boats with 2020 data indicating close to 960,000 registered vessels. When a person suffers a personal injury on a boat due to another party’s negligence, personal injury attorneys can help these victims recover compensation for their injuries. Floridians can count on the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens for help with these legal matters.
Boating operators have a number of responsibilities in addition to local and federal boating laws. For example, boat captains are responsible for operating their vessels at a safe speed, which can vary depending on the situation as well as any legally posted speed limits. Maintaining safe speed on the water is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of personal injury due to boating accidents.
Boating operators also have a responsibility to avoid blatantly negligent behavior while operating their vessels. This includes irresponsible actions such as boating under the influence or purposefully boating at an excessive speed in poor conditions. Accidents and personal injury due to intoxicated drivers are a major source of concern on many of America’s waterways.
Finally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued guidance on how and why civilian boat operators must steer clear of naval vessels and other restricted areas such as power plants and dams. These security measures are designed to keep passengers, facility workers, and nearby civilians safe from the potential consequences of a crash between a vessel and these structures.
On every boat, someone should be tasked with watching for any sights and sounds of danger. Without proper attention, accidents and subsequent personal injury are much more likely to result. Therefore, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) lists improper lookouts as a common cause of boating accidents.
No matter the size or type, operating a boat is hard work. Manning the throttle while keeping an eye on water depth and surface conditions can be physically and mentally taxing. Without proper training, a person steering a boating vessel can easily engage in a number of negligent behaviors both consciously and unconsciously.
While everyone has to learn to pilot a boat by experience, lack thereof is rarely an acceptable excuse during a personal injury case. Close consultation with your personal injury attorney will help you establish whether lack of operator experience was a major contributing factor.
Florida courts use a system of fault determination known as “comparative negligence”, meaning that if a plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for an accident in which they incur personal injury, that person’s ability to recover compensation for their damages will be reduced. Although a plaintiff in this instance would still be able to recover compensation, the total amount of compensation awarded will be reduced by a degree that is proportionate to their assessed level of fault by the court.
Navigating the world of personal injury litigation can be a challenging experience for most individuals, especially those who are still suffering from the pain and trauma of their injuries caused by someone else’s negligent behavior.
For years, the attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens have been helping victims in Florida recover compensation for their injuries. Contact a Tampa boat accident attorney today at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens for insight and support on your unique case. Our phone number is (727) 220-4000.
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