Serious Injuries Caused by Boating Accidents
Boating is a major tourist attraction in Florida, where the state’s balmy weather and access to water make the area one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Unfortunately, with this increase in boating activity comes a rise in accidents, injuries, and in especially tragic cases, death. In fact, in 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that Florida had the highest rate of boating accidents in the country. These statistics are alarming, as boating accidents tend to have especially devastating consequences for victims. To ensure that you are compensated for a boating accident in which you were injured through no fault of your own, please contact a dedicated Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.
How Common are Boating Accidents in Florida?
In its annual report, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that, in 2016 alone, there were 684 boating accidents in the country. In fact, according to this data, Florida played host to the most boating accidents of any state in the country during that year. These boating accidents resulted in approximately $9.6 million in damages and tragically, 70 deaths. The next year, these numbers increased, for a total of 766 boating accidents.
Boating Accidents Caused by Careless Conduct
In its 2017 Boating Accident Statistical Report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) found that the leading causes of boating accidents in the state involved:
- Failing to maintain a proper lookout; and
- Operator inattention.
In fact, during that year, 38 percent of all collisions could be attributed to one of these two causes. However, these are not the only common causes of boating accidents, most of which, aside from operator inattention and failing to maintain a proper lookout, are attributed to:
- Operator inexperience;
- Excessive speed; and
- Machinery failure.
Other factors that contribute to these accidents also include adverse weather conditions, alcohol use, navigation rule violations, the force of waves or wakes, and congested waters.
Types of Boating Accidents
A total of 261 of the boating accidents that occurred in the state involved collisions, either with another boat or a fixed object. In these cases, falls overboard accounted for the leading type of fatal accident, with drowning as the primary cause of death. Sadly, many of those deaths could have been avoided, as 81 percent of victims were not wearing life jackets at the time of the accident. The top four remaining types of boating accidents include:
- Colliding with a fixed object;
- Flooding or swamping;
- Grounding; and
Of these types of boating accidents, those involving collisions resulted in the most serious kinds of injuries, the most common of which include lacerations, contusions, broken bones, and head injury.
Call Today for Legal Assistance
To speak with an experienced Florida boating accident attorney about your own case, please call Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today for a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney.