MIAMI BOAT ACCIDENT LAWYER

Mausner Graham Injury Law

Home > Practice Areas > Personal Injury > Miami Boat Accident Lawyer

Boat Accident

Florida offers many outdoor activities, including boating. When you need the services of a boat accident lawyer, Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC is ready to help. We will assist you with getting compensation for injury or loss of life caused by the negligence of another person. 

Florida has the highest number of registered water-based vessels nationally, with 985,000 registered vessels, according to the 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report published by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement. They also estimate that up to one million non-registered vessels actively use Florida’s waters.    

Mausner Graham Injury Law, as a Florida boat accident lawyer, aims to protect your economic future and maximize your recovery. We will help you understand your case and fight to get the best possible outcome.  

With nearly two million vessels active on Florida’s waters, it is beneficial to have more information on boating accidents. To know what is required of you when you are in a boating accident and how a boating accident lawyer such as Mausner Graham Injury Law can help.

Table of Contents

Any Questions?
Book a free consultation

Complete Form
Call Us: 305-344-4878

Boating Accident Laws and Statistics

Boating safety laws in the State of Florida are enforced by officers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement. As well as county sheriffs and their deputies and any other authorized law enforcement officer. The patrolling and law enforcement management of Florida’s waterways mostly fall within the ambit of the FWC. 

When you use the waterways of Florida for leisure or business, it is good practice to know the laws related to this activity. Especially the boating accident laws. 

The main Florida Statute related to boating accidents is Chapter 327, Florida Vessel Safety Law. Chapter 328 covers vessel registration, title certificates, and liens. And Florida Statutes 327.395 specifically speaks to boating safety education.

Boating Accident Laws and Statistics

The FWC 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report, compiled on March 1, 2021, is the most recent edition. It reveals that 58% of reportable boating accidents occurred in ten Florida counties. These are Okaloosa, Bay, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Lee, Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach. Monroe and Miami-Dade counties had the highest number of reported accidents.

More reported boating accident statistics include:

  • 836 reportable boating accidents in 2020

  • 503 accidents were with open motorboats

  • $13.3 million is the value of the vessel and property damage

  • 90% of accidents were investigated by the FWC

  • 51+ is the operator age during the accident

  • 85% of operators during the accident was male

  • 52% of operators had 100+ hours of boating experience when the accident occurred

  • 79 people died and 534 were injured.

The Leading Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating accidents happen for various reasons, but statistics show there are a few leading causes. Two hundred and forty, or nearly 29% of all reportable boating accidents, as assessed by the reviewing authority, were caused by inattention/no proper lookout. Distraction was by a clear majority the leading cause of boating accidents. 

At seventy-seven incidents, approximately 9%, the next cause of boating accidents is due to operator inexperience. Other causes that fall within the top ten are machinery failure, weather, excessive speed, careless/reckless behavior, hazardous water, alcohol/drug use, and congested waters. 

Statistics show that May, June, and July have the most reported boating accidents, while most accidents happen between 4:00 and 5:59 pm.

The State of Florida has a boating safety education law that requires boaters born on or after January 1, 1988, operating a motorized vessel of 10 horsepower or greater to carry a Florida boating safety identification card. It is earned by completing a boating safety education course. This law is named after a 23-year-old Miami lifeguard who died after being thrown from a boat carrying twelve people. He was not wearing a life jacket.  

Types of Boating Accident Injuries

Always take injuries sustained during boating accidents seriously. Sometimes an injury that seems negligible can have grave consequences in the future. It is especially pertinent to spinal, neck, back, or head injuries. Even a simple laceration or contusion can become problematic in certain circumstances. 

The FWC 2020 Boating Accident Statistical report lists the following types of boating accident injuries.

  • Hypothermia

  • Dislocation

  • Shock

  • Amputation

  • Spinal injury

  • Neck injury

  • Teeth and jaw

  • Sprain/strain

  • Burns

  • Internal injuries

  • Unspecified

  • Back injury

  • Head injury

  • Contusion (s)

  • Broken bone (s)

  • Lacerations.

The Leading Causes of Boating Accidents

More boat occupants than operators receive injuries though the difference is not extensive. The top five types of boating injuries are lacerations (18%), broken bones (10.8%), contusions (10%), head injury (7.2%), and back injury (3.5%).  

If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person, a boat accident lawyer such as Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC will guide and assist you from the beginning to the end of your case.   

Steps to Follow After a Boat Accident

The steps to follow after a boat accident are set out in Florida Statutes 327.30 – Collisions, accidents, and casualties. The following is required:

  • When a boat accident takes place, vessel operators, crew and passengers are required to assist each other. It is unlawful to leave the scene of an accident or injury without giving all possible aid.

  • Check that everyone originally on board is present. If someone fell overboard, pull them to safety, either back onto the boat or floating debris. Provide basic first aid where possible.

  • Contact emergency services urgently if there are injuries as time is of the essence.

  • Give notice of the accident by the quickest means possible to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement, the sheriff of the county in which the accident occurred, or the police chief of the municipality in which the accident occurred, if applicable.

  • Exchange information such as names, contact information, addresses, and vessel identification in writing, where possible. Do this with persons injured, owners of any property damaged, and the boat operator.

If circumstances allow, take photos or videos of the accident, people, damages, injuries, and water conditions. Seek medical care even if you do not seem to have injuries.

Types of Boating Accident Injury Claims

Every boating accident has unique circumstances. There are, however, common types of boating accident injury claims such as drowning, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, whiplash, and electrocution.

Brain injuries are generally caused by oxygen deprivation when a person is submerged underwater or exposed to carbon monoxide. Another cause of brain injuries is from impact during the collision. Spinal cord injuries and whiplash (neck injury) can also be due to collision impact.   

When you want to claim for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, or other expenses incurred due to a boat accident, contact a boating injury lawyer for assistance. 

Benefits of Hiring a Boat Accident Lawyer

There are multiple benefits to hiring a boat accident lawyer when you suffer bodily harm or loss of life due to the negligence of others. The process of claiming for personal injury can be very stressful for the average person. It can be daunting and confusing, but an injury lawyer will guide and assist you from the beginning to the end of your case.

An injury lawyer knows what steps to take after a boating accident and will ensure the correct processes and procedures are followed. And when you hire a boat accident lawyer, they will help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.  

Miami-Dade County has the second-highest number of reported boating accidents. If you are injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of another person, contact a Miami boat accident lawyer such as Mausner Graham Injury Law. 

Types of Boating Accident Injury Claims

Boating Accident FAQs

According to a report by the FWC Division of Law Enforcement, there were 836 reportable boating accidents in 2020. It is important to know what types of boating accidents to report and when to do it. You also need to know your rights when injured in a boating accident and how a boating accident lawyer can help. Here are answers to boating accident frequently asked questions.

When you were injured during a boating accident and feel it is due to the negligence of another person, seek a boating accident attorney. 

Because you were injured during the boating accident, it does not mean someone was negligent. Negligence is the failure to act with reasonable care. You and your lawyer will have to prove that because someone failed to act with reasonable care, you were hurt in the process and have a right to compensation.

A boating accident lawyer will help by advising you of your legal rights, and after listening to your case, advise you where you stand. If they feel you have a strong case for receiving compensation, they will take all necessary steps on your behalf.  

Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC will advance your case costs. If we don’t win your case, we receive no fees.

The law states that a boating accident report must be filed within a specific time by the vessel operator or owner, if a written report was not made by the investigating officer. When the operator of the vessel at the time of the boating accident cannot submit the report, the owner must do so. 

Florida Statutes 327.301 and Federal Regulations 33 C.F.R. s. 173.55 state that a boating accident report must be made as follows: 

  • Within 48 hours of the boating accident (occurrence) if a person dies within 24 hours of the accident.
  • Within 48 hours of the boating accident, if a person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid or disappears from a vessel.
  • Within ten (10) days of the accident or death if an earlier report is not required as above.

When a boat operator or owner fails to file a written boating accident report, they will be deemed guilty of a noncriminal infraction.

Florida Statutes 327.30 and Federal Regulations 33 C.F.R. s. 173.55 state that the following types of boating accidents must be reported:

  • When a person dies
  • A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • When a person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more
  • When there is a complete loss of any vessel.

The 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report published by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement highlights primary and secondary types of reportable boating accidents. 

The top two primary types of accidents are collision with another vessel (27%) and collision with a fixed object (19.5%) such as a channel marker. The top two secondary types of accidents are falls overboard (16%) and a person struck by a boat (7.5%). Most accidents (91%) happened while people were cruising recreationally.

When you are injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of another person, you have the right to claim damages. These damages may include your lost earnings and lost earning capacity, the reasonable value of your medical bills, and a claim for pain and suffering. A boating accident lawyer will guide you through the process.  

Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC is a trusted voice for the injured. We aggressively represent the rights of the wrongfully injured, and if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay a dime. Do you need a boat accident lawyer? Contact us today. 

We Aggressively Represent The Rights Of The Wrongfully Injured

Get a Free Case Evaluation today

If you are ready to discuss your case with Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC –
Call 305-344-4878 (HURT)
There is no legal fee unless we recover for you.