According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Division, Department of Law Enforcement, most boating accidents occur in South Florida, with some of the highest rates in Broward, Miami and Monroe counties. The agency has reported that 59% of boating accidents in Florida occurred in only 10 counties, primarily in South Florida.
This boating season, boaters, passengers, parents and others sharing the water should be aware of the potential dangers. Collisions, drowning, and other incidents are common off the coast of Florida. Boating injuries throughout South Florida continue to impact victims and families. Our Fort Lauderdale boating accident attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of victims and their families.
The department statistics indicated that in Monroe County 24% of these accidents were caused by boater inattention or inexperience. Most of the accidents also occurred in open motor boats rather than sailboats, fishing boats, or pontoons. Over 30% of these accidents occurred when two or more boats collided on the water.
In Miami-Dade County, 51% of the accidents involved motorboats, 19% were caused by boater inattention or inexperience and 20% of those accidents involved a collision with another vessel. Broward County had similar statistics involving the number of accidents caused by collision and boater inexperience. The data suggests that the majority of accidents are preventable by ensuring that boaters are trained, experienced and responsible when out on the water.
A boating collision may be caused by drinking and driving, negligence, boat malfunction, distraction, weather, and other causes. After an accident it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can identify the cause of the accident and identify those individuals or entities at fault. Florida state agency data indicates that while a small number of collisions involve death, there are a significant number of boating accidents that result in injury.
This week, there were 18 people injured in a two-boat crash west of Sands Cut in Elliot Key. According to reports, the boats were heading to the dock when they collided. Three of the victims suffered serious injuries and one was airlifted to a local hospital. Authorities originally reported that there were 3 boats involved in the collision and then later adjusted the statement to say that only 2 boats were involved. The cause of the accident has not yet been determined, but the use of alcohol is under investigation.
Victims of boating accidents may suffer head injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, lost limbs, paralysis, or accidental death. Accident victims as well as their families maybe entitled to significant compensation, including financial support for medical expenses, lost wages, long-term care needs, pain and suffering and other losses arising out of a boat collision.
This summer, when heading out on the water with your own boat or with family and friends, remember that drinking and boating, speeding and other acts of negligence on the water can have severe consequences. Being aware of the dangers is the first step to preventing boating and driving accidents and injury.
If you or someone you love was injured in a boating accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
South Florida Boating Accidents Likely Through Spring Break, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, March 17, 2013
Summertime Stats Released: Child Drowning Accidents Increase!, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 19, 2012