Malfunctioning or poorly maintained boats, as well as inexperienced or careless operators, can cause catastrophic injuries. These accidents also increase the risk of drowning for both swimmers and boaters. The highly experienced Tampa boat accident attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett are here to help you seek justice. Our attorneys have over 125 years of combined experience in helping accident victims get the largest possible financial compensation they are entitled to for their injuries and losses.

Boating Regulations and Maritime Laws in Florida

Boating is a popular recreational activity in Florida. There are comparatively fewer restrictions placed by state laws on operating a watercraft. In fact, there is no minimum age to use a boat in Florida, and most people don’t even need a boating license or take any water safety courses or formal training for operating a watercraft.

In many cases, you must bring boating accident lawsuits in federal courts since maritime laws fall under federal jurisdiction in Florida. As a result, you should work with a boat accident attorney qualified in federal court practice for pursuing a legal claim.

Types of Florida Boating Accidents

These are a few common types of boating accidents in Florida waterways:

  • Jet ski accidents
  • Flooding and sinkings
  • Watercraft collisions
  • Colliding into fixed objects
  • Wake damage
  • Capsizing
  • Slip and fall
  • Falling overboard
  • Propeller accidents
  • Drowning
  • Fires or explosions

Who is Liable for Your Boating Accident in Florida?

If you are injured in a boating accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. This could be the:

  • Boat owner
  • Boat operator
  • Boat manufacturer
  • Any other at-fault party that contributed to the crash

In most boat accidents, the boat owners and operators are held responsible for the accident. Boat operators need to exercise care to prevent injuries to others.

An operator violates this duty of care if they fail to act in a “reasonably prudent manner,” according to personal injury law. This can occur if they fail to maintain a proper lookout or indulge in speeding.

You may hold the boat operator and owner liable if you can show that your injuries and damages were caused by their failure to exercise reasonable care to protect the occupants. However, you must prove the defendant’s liability to recover damages for your injuries.

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Recoverable Damages in a Florida Boating Accident

Florida tort law allows victims of negligence to seek compensation from the at-fault party. You may be able to recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. However, you must adhere to the statute of limitations and initiate the lawsuit within four years of the accident date; failure to do so may cause you to lose your legal right to seek compensation.

Choose a Dedicated Boating Accident Lawyer in Florida to Protect Your Rights

The experienced Tampa boat accident lawyers at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett have the legal knowledge, resources, and dedication to protecting victims' rights. Our Florida boat accident lawyers have years of experience in holding negligent parties accountable for their actions in watercraft accidents.

When you retain our services, you get solid representation and receive personalized attention and advice at every step of the legal proceedings. To set up your free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team, call 813-223-2030 or reach us online.

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