Have you been in a boating accident in the State of Florida? According to a 2021 report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement, there are 1,013,211 registered vessels in Florida. They also estimate nearly one million non-registered vessels actively use the waters. Based on these statistics, accidents are likely to occur.

The report further states there were 751 reportable boating accidents in 2021. If you have a recent boat accident injury, and want to lodge a personal injury claim, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) which might guide you on the next steps to take.  

Does It Matter What Boat I Was On When The Injury Took Place, In Terms of Making a Personal Injury Claim?

When you want to make a personal injury claim, it does not matter which boat you were on when the injury took place. To make the claim, you must prove the injury resulted from someone’s negligence if you want to recover damages. However, the fact that you got hurt does not mean anyone was negligent.

In Florida, negligence is the failure to act with reasonable care. With the assistance of a personal injury attorney such as Mausner Graham Injury Law, you must prove that someone failed to act with reasonable care. And because of that negligence, you were injured during the boat accident.

There are circumstances where a boating accident is not necessarily an act of negligence. Here are the main types of boating accidents and how negligence might or might not be relevant.    

Collision with another boat. In a collision between motorboats, the operators of both boats might be partly at fault, thus negligent. Injured passengers can claim against both boat operators. However, if there was a yacht accident with a motorboat, the motorboat is at fault as it should have given way to the yacht, based on general safe boating practices.  

Hitting another boat’s wake. When another boat’s wake is hit and someone is hurt, negligence is unclear. The operator’s liability depends on the following:

  • Wake size
  • Visibility
  • Boat speed
  • Surrounding boat traffic during the accident
  • Did the operator warn the passengers the boat was approaching a big wake?
  • Was the injured person on a motorboat or sailboat?

Hitting a wave. Showing the boat operator’s negligence depends on circumstances similar to that of a wake accident, excluding the presence of another boat.     

Collision with a submerged object, rock, or land. The operator’s potential negligence depends on circumstances such as:

  • Poor weather
  • Poor visibility 
  • Were nautical charts used?
  • Were they speeding or traveling slowly?  

Is There a Time Limit When Making a Boating Accident Claim for Compensation?

The Florida Statute of Limitations sets a time limit for making a boating accident claim. If you can show negligence, damages for injuries in recreational boating accidents must be claimed within four (4) years. Most importantly, the time limit starts on the actual day of the accident, so appointing a boat accident lawyer as soon as possible is vital.   

If, however, the boating accident took place outside of Florida’s waters, maritime law becomes relevant, and they have a three-year statute of limitations on boating accident claims. In this instance, again, it is best to contact a boat accident lawyer such as Mausner Graham Injury Law

What Do I Need To Do To Make a Personal Injury Claim After An Accident on Board a Boat?

Evidence is key to showing negligence in a boating accident case. When you want to make a personal injury claim, contact a boating accident lawyer. They will know what evidence to gather to make the claim. It might include the boating accident report, contact details of everyone involved, and available photos or videos of the accident. 

If you are involved in a boating accident, Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC is ready to help. You might have a right to compensation, and we can assist you with personal injury claims. After a boating accident you are going to need an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call Mausner Graham Injury Law for a free consultation today.