Florida offers a multitude of boating opportunities for residents and tourists. Unfortunately, boating is not a risk-free activity. Boating accidents can lead to serious injuries or death. Often, boating accidents are caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another party.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident, a Melbourne boating accident lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns may be able to help. Our team can investigate the causes of your boat accident, determine the liable parties, and pursue compensation on your behalf.
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Causes of Boating Accidents in Melbourne
Boating accidents can be just as dangerous as car accidents. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that over 4,000 boating accidents occurred in the U.S. in 2019. These accidents resulted in over 2,500 injuries and more than 600 deaths. An estimated $55 million in property damage resulted from these accidents as well.
Boating Under the Influence
For many, spending a day out on the water is synonymous with drinking alcohol. Individuals who would never drink and drive in a car justify drinking and driving in a boat because they may assume that boating under the influence is not as dangerous. However, alcohol use was a top contributor to boating injuries and deaths in 2019.
Drinking alcohol can lead to poor decision making, slower reaction times, and impaired coordination. Boating while under the influence of drugs or certain medications can be just as risky as boating while drunk.
Operating a boat at an excessive speed makes it harder to stop the boat and avoid a collision. It also increases the chances of a passenger being harmed on the boat or falling overboard. If your boat accident was caused by a driver who was speeding in a “no wake” zone or created an excessive wake by speeding, the driver may be liable for your losses.
Another common cause of boating accidents is operator inattention or distracted boating. If a boater is distracted by other passengers, electronic devices, or other disruptions, they may miss the opportunity to avoid a collision or another accident.
Boaters must constantly evaluate their surroundings for signs of an impending accident. Improper lookout can lead to collisions with other boats or stationary objects, grounding, and unnoticed falls overboard.
Adverse Weather Conditions
An important part of being a responsible boater is recognizing when weather conditions make boating unsafe. Boating in rough waters or during a storm significantly increases the chances of injury and death.
Boat owners must ensure that their vessels are well-maintained. Boats that are not properly maintained or those that contain defective parts can malfunction, leading to severe boat accidents.
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To consult with an experienced boating accident lawyer serving Melbourne, call 855-686-6752
Determining the Liable Party in a Boat Accident
If you or a loved one was harmed in a boat accident, you may be interested in bringing a personal injury claim against the liable party. Liability for a boat accident is often difficult to determine. There may have been several contributing factors to the boat accident. The party or parties liable for a boat accident may include:
- The person operating your boat
- The operator of another boat
- The owner of the boat
- A commercial company such as a rental company or tour company
- The company that manufactured defective boat parts
Understanding who is responsible for your boat accident is the first step in holding that party accountable for your losses. A Melbourne boating accident lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can investigate your boat accident and determine who the liable parties are. We may use a variety of evidence to investigate and evaluate the accident, including:
- Weather reports
- Damage to the boats and other structures
- Medical records
- Eyewitness reports
- Police reports
- Boat maintenance records
- Boat rental company records
- Tour boat company hiring practices and maintenance records
In some boat accidents, criminal charges are filed against the operator or another individual involved in the accident. However, criminal charges are not a requirement for filing a civil claim for a personal injury case.
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Losses in a Boat Accident Claim
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that some of the top injuries caused in Florida boat accidents include contusions, lacerations, head injuries, back injuries, and internal injuries. If you were injured in a boat accident, your injuries may have had a profound financial impact on your life. You may be able to recover compensation for the costs resulting from your accident through a personal injury claim. You could be compensated for:
- Property damage, including damage to your boat and the personal property on the boat
- Medical expenses including fees related to emergency room treatment, hospitalization, prescription medication, crutches or other medical equipment, doctors’ visits, and specialist care
- Future medical expenses including follow-up appointments or mental health care
- Lost income from missed work
- Future lost income related to your injuries
- Impairment to your income-earning ability
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
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A Melbourne Boating Accident Lawyer Can Help
Boat accident claims are often much more complicated than other types of accidents. In many cases, the accident is subject to maritime laws, which means that your case will involve a different set of rules and regulations than other types of Florida accidents. Obtaining evidence during a boat accident investigation is also challenging. A car accident claim may involve evidence in the form of skid marks and vehicle debris, but being on the water makes obtaining this type of evidence nearly impossible.
A Melbourne boating accident lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you:
- Understand your rights and legal options after a boat accident
- Determine who is liable for your accident
- Investigate the cause of your accident
- Calculate the damages you may be entitled to
- Seek financial compensation for your losses
- Fight for a fair settlement or award
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Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns Today
If you or a loved one was involved in a boating accident, contact a team member from Bogin, Munns & Munns. We can be with you through every step of your case. Call our office at