Florida § 327.301 states that a written boating accident report is required in FL when an accident results in:
- Bodily injury
- One or more deaths
- The disappearance of any person
- Property damage of at least $2,000
If you were involved in a boating accident, you may want to hire an attorney. They will explain how to file any necessary report. They may even help file the report for you.
To Whom Should You Report a Boating Accident?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) generally handles boating accident reports. The FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement may file a report for you or explain:
- Whether a written boating accident report is required for your incident in FL
- Where to access reporting documents
- Where to file the document
- The steps to follow after you report your accident
It may be appropriate to file a report with other law enforcement agencies. A lawyer can review your case to determine how to file a report.
What Types of Accidents Are You Required to Report?
Specific forms of accidents that may require reporting include:
- Two-boat collisions
- Multi-boat collisions
- A boat running aground
- A boat capsizing
- A boat sinking
- An accident caused by rough seas
- An accident caused by dangerous driving
- A boat striking a fixed object such as a signal marker
Whenever an accident causes injuries, death, disappearance, or a certain amount of property damage, then that accident requires a report.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Boating Accident Report?
Per Florida § 327.30, the vessel operator involved in a reportable accident should immediately notify one of the following agencies of the accident:
- The Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- The sheriff of the county within which the accident occurred
- The police chief of the municipality where the accident happened
A lawyer can help if you have yet to report your boating accident.
What Are Recoverable Damages After a Boat Accident?
Your accident-related damages will depend on your specific circumstances. A successful lawsuit against a responsible third party may cover all losses from your boating accident, including:
- Damage to your vessel
- Damage to personal property aside from your vessel
- Emergency medical care
- Medical transport
- Lost wages
- Lost earning power
- Treatment for psychological injuries
- Pain and suffering
A fatal boating accident may leave your family with many losses. Through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, you could recover your funeral costs, loss of financial support, loss of spousal companionship, loss of parental guidance, and other damages.
To consult with an experienced boating accidents lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
Determining Liability for Your Boating Accident in Florida
Negligence is a common liability standard in civil cases. It may be the standard in your boating accident case. Your lawyer may prove negligence by:
- Establishing that the defendant had a duty of care to you
- Proving that the defendant breached their duty of care
- Showing that the breach of duty of care caused your accident
- Linking your accident to resulting damages
Your lawyer can use evidence to show that these facts were true of your case.
What Negligent Acts Cause Boating Accidents?
In 2020, 44% of boating collisions involved driver inattention, per the FWC. Inattentiveness is not the only cause of boating accidents, though. Other causes of accidents include:
An Unsafe Vessel
A boat may be dangerous because of a defect. A boat may also become dangerous because an owner fails to maintain it. Defects can cause accidents, and liability will depend on the cause of the defect.
An intoxicated driver may:
- Have poor judgment
- Have slow reflexes
- Have impaired vision
- Be inattentive
- Engage in impulsive or dangerous behavior
- Be a danger to themselves and others
Law enforcement may determine whether a driver in your accident was drunk.
Even a sober driver can cause a collision. Driving at high speeds, making erratic movements, and other dangerous behaviors can result in accidents.
Your lawyer will identify the cause of your accident. This will lead them to determine who may be liable for your crash.
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What Should You Do As the Victim of a Boating Accident?
As the victim of a boating accident, you should:
- Report your accident if you have not already
- Receive treatment for physical injuries and other trauma
- Hire a lawyer to seek compensation
- Notify your insurer of the accident
Boat insurance is not required in Florida. A boat owner or operator may elect for liability insurance nonetheless. Such a policy may cover your medical costs, property damage, and certain other damages. Other insurance types, like homeowners insurance, may help cover losses from a boating accident.
Filing a lawsuit against a responsible third party could offer another option to seek compensation after a boating accident.
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Call Bogin, Munns & Munns for Your Free Consultation
A boat accident attorney from our team can represent you after your boating accident. We will identify your losses, determine their value, and fight for a fair settlement. You can focus on your recovery while Bogin, Munns & Munns leads your case.
Our team is available around the clock to take your call. Call Bogin, Munns & Munns today at (855) 686-6752 for a free consultation.
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