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How Do Recreational Boating Accidents Happen?

Recreational Boating Accident Attorney

Boating accidents are a frequent occurrence in Florida due to the mild climate and the fact that most of the state is surrounded by water. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, attorney Mike Redondo and the team at Redondo Law can help you pursue compensation you may be entitled to from the party liable for the accident.

When do Boating Accidents Often Occur?

According to the Coast Guard’s 2018 report, boating accidents are more likely to be fatal during January and April, followed by October, November, and December. More boating accidents occur between May and September, as more boats are on the water during these months because of the warmer temperatures. Most boating accidents also occur on Saturday and Sunday. Finally, fatal accidents are most likely to happen late at night and early morning, with about two-thirds of all fatal accidents occurring between 10:31 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.

How do Boating Accidents Usually Occur in Florida?

In the most recent report on boating accident statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida continues to lead the nation in recreational boating accidents, with 607 accidents in 2018, compared to the second-most total in California of 322 accidents. The most common types of accidents include collisions with fixed objects, collisions with other boats, falling from the boat, and capsizing. Boating accidents in Florida may be caused in a number of ways, such as:

  • Intoxicated Boating

According to a U.S. Coast Guard report, operator inattention is the leading primary contributing factor of all accidents, while alcohol remains the leading known factor in fatal boating accidents, causing approximately 19% of all recreational boating fatalities. As with driving under the influence, operating a boat while intoxicated is illegal because of the danger posed to the operator and others on the water. A drunk boat operator or passengers may fall overboard, or an intoxicated operator could collide with other boats, swimmers, docks, and jet skis.

  • Inexperienced Boat Operators

Due to relaxed requirements for operating a boat in Florida, many operators may be inexperienced. These inexperienced operators may be especially dangerous during spring and summer months when many other boaters are out on the water. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, operator inexperience is the third leading primary cause of boating accidents.

  • Poor Weather Conditions

Florida weather can change quickly, and inclement weather can pose many dangers to boaters out on the water. Sudden high winds or torrential rains can pose serious risk for boaters caught unaware on the water. Boat operators may have trouble navigating rough waters, which in turn can lead to a boat capsizing or sinking. If an operator fails to check the boat’s safety equipment before going out or is unprepared for sudden changes in the weather, an accident can occur.

  • Mechanical Failure 

Mechanical failure may also lead to boating accidents, especially if the boat operator fails to properly perform routine maintenance checks. To help prevent accidents, boat operators should inspect the engine, communication system, steering, navigational lights, and rescue capacity. Inexperienced boat operators or those without experience with boat maintenance should have their boat inspected by a professional. Failing to properly inspect a boat beforehand may cause a boat operator to be liable for any injuries or accidents caused by the boat’s mechanical failure. In 2018, mechanical failure was the fourth leading primary cause of boating accidents.

Who Investigates Boating Accidents and Determines Fault?

 If there has been a boating accident in Florida, the Division of Law Enforcement of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will investigate, similar to law enforcement investigating vehicle accidents on land.

Fault in a boating accident is generally determined by proving a boat operator was not operating the boat in a reasonably safe manner, and the victim’s injury was caused by this failure. Your boating accident attorney will investigate the facts to determine if your injuries were caused by the boat operator’s negligence. Examples of negligent boating include failing to provide adequate safety equipment for the boat’s passengers, drinking while boating, traveling too fast, boating in poor weather conditions, or capsizing the boat.

Redondo Law Can Help You Following a Boating Accident

If you or a loved one has been in a boating accident, Mike Redondo and the team at Redondo Law can help you deal with the aftermath and seek the compensation you deserve. Mike Redondo is an experienced Florida personal injury attorney with years of success in representing accident victims. At Redondo Law, your needs will always be a priority, and we will work on your claim while allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact Redondo Law after your boating accident for a free, comprehensive evaluation.

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