While boating is a fun-filled activity that brings you emotions close to being magical, mishaps and misadventures can still occur for a handful of causes. Beyond the headlines of boating accidents in Florida, some victims are unaware of the laws that can protect them when pursuing a lawsuit or making claims for injuries.
Bay Excursions is dedicated to serving you with the utmost care. We abide by standard boating statutes while providing you with top-notch equipment and facilities.
We prioritize your safety, and we want you to be aware of your rights. Here, we outline important information that you should know when you encounter an accident while cruising across the sea.
What Is the Cause of Most Boating Injuries?
Last 2020, data from the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) reported 836 cases of Florida boating accidents, with 79 deaths and 534 injuries. This surge is due to different factors, including the lack of proper boater education.
The FWC data revealed that almost 70% of operators involved in fatal boating accidents had no formal training. This figure also represents the estimated 1 million non-registered vessels actively sailing around Florida’s coast.
For almost 20 years, the leading cause of death in boating accidents in Florida has been drowning, with alcohol and drug use cited as causal factors in many of these deaths.
The U.S. Coast Guard stressed the significance of wearing life jackets in preventing these fatal incidents; nearly 9 out of 10 drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
Bay Excursions strictly implements the wearing of life jackets while onboard. As we want you to be safe during your trip, we also want to make sure that we do not fail in providing reasonable care for our customers.
Liability for Florida Boating Accidents
If an unexpected incident happens and you get injured while on the boat, we will have to investigate if it was due to an error or not.
Boating operators will have to pay damages if they disobeyed boating safety statutes and operated their vessels negligently or recklessly. Authorities can cite negligence if:
- The operator allowed vessel use during unsafe conditions like typhoons or storm surges.
- The operator drove the vessel at high speed.
- The operator failed to ensure adequate safety equipment was onboard.
- The operator was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The operator was talking on the phone or distracted while being in control of the vessel.
- The operator failed to check the boat for defects.
Statute of Limitations for Boating Accidents in Florida
When the best day on the water turns into the worst of your life, you may be thinking of resolving boating accident cases for another day. However, there is a time limit for filing lawsuits or claiming for injuries called the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations can vary due to many factors. The most crucial factor you should remember is the boundaries governed by the state laws for boating accidents in Florida.
So, what is governed by Florida Law?
- If an injury was acquired or the accident happened within Florida waters, the case falls within the Florida state boating law.
- If an injury was acquired or the accident happened outside Florida boundaries, specifically lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water between states, the case falls within the Federal Maritime Law.
How Long Will It Take To File a Boating Accident Claim?
If you plan to file a case for boating accidents, you must be wary of the dates and the situations that impact the statute of limitations.
First, consider different situations to determine the length of filing an accident claim:
- Depending on the situation, the government of Florida has limited the statute of boating claims to four years. The timeline can be shorter for minor cases. Speak with an attorney first to know exactly when a statute ends.
- You may have a three-year statute of limitations if you encounter an accident and are injured in waters that cross state lines or are within the maritime jurisdiction.
- If the accident you were involved in happened inside a cruise ship, your statute will be limited to six months, depending on the contract you signed before entering the ship. The contract’s content might prevent you from taking legal action and force you to settle the case with an agreement with the opposite party.
Navigating Florida Boating Accidents
If you want to resolve your case successfully, you must clearly state how the defendant’s actions connect to the injuries you acquired during the boating accident.
You must also prove you have, indeed, suffered damage by providing needed documents or evidence such as:
- Medical records
- Boat rental records
- Photographs of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Accident or police reports
We encourage you to seek assistance from attorneys in dealing with the repercussions of someone else’s boating negligence. Your attorney will help you determine who the responsible parties are and get the compensation you deserve.
Boating responsibly is the perfect way to enjoy your time on the water.
We at Bay Excursions put our best effort into providing you with the highest quality of services and safety. We are always open to comments and suggestions on how we can improve our services.
We offer the best private boat tours Johns Pass, FL, complete with captains and amenities. Book an appointment with us and have a safe, fun trip around the Gulf of Mexico.