Boating is a major part of recreational life in coastal Florida, where the ocean and waterways are populated with sailboats, motorboats, pontoons, kayaks, and other watercraft. Unfortunately, maritime accidents involving recreational boating is also a part of life in our state, and these types of accidents can have devastating consequences. Each personal injury and boating accident attorney at Daytona Beach-area Chanfrau & Chanfrau has extensive experience navigating the complexities of Florida maritime laws, and can help you pursue just compensation. If an accident has occurred, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and review of your case.
About Boating Accidents
According to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) statistics, motorboats are the most common type of recreational watercraft involved in accidents with injuries or fatalities. In 2013, motorboats were represented in 63% of these casualty accidents. Canoes and kayaks, personal watercraft (jet skis), and pontoons also cause a significant number of injuries and deaths each year. Florida consistently ranks #1 in the country for watercraft-related casualties - not a surprise considering the state's abundant coastline and waterways.
In recreational boating accidents, the type of mishap most commonly cited by the USCG is a collision with another boat, followed by flooding or swamping, a collision with a fixed object, and grounding. Driver inattention and lack of a lookout are the most common causes of serious accidents, followed by operator inexperience, excessive speed, machinery failure, and alcohol use.
Boating accidents also occur in maritime occupations, including commercial fishing and shipping of freight. Cruise ships occasionally have accidents, which are often highly publicized, involving passenger injuries and fatalities. Other boat-related accidents are often related to the pursuit of water sports, such as scuba diving and water skiing.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Case
Maritime and boating laws are intended to help prevent accidents on our waterways. These laws and regulations apply to cruise ships, maritime workers, recreational vessel operators, passengers, and nearly anyone out on the water. Product liability laws that govern the safety standards of vehicles, parts, and equipment also apply to watercraft.
Many of our lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau are avid boaters and have extensive knowledge of maritime law. It is especially important to gather and secure evidence as quickly as possible after a boating accident, before it is washed away or destroyed. It is imperative to seek legal counsel immediately. Evidence of negligence or faulty equipment is crucial to this type of case, and can entitle an accident victim to financial recovery for damages. You may receive compensation for present and future medical costs, wage loss, pain and suffering, and more. If a water craft accident has resulted in the heartbreaking wrongful death of a loved one, you also may be entitled to funeral expenses, loss of benefits, loss of companionship, and other damages.
Schedule a Consultation Today
It is a tragedy when an exciting day of boating ends in catastrophic injury due to the negligence of another party. Our firm is committed to helping victims pursue compensation from responsible parties to offset the financial costs and devastation of severe injuries or the loss of a loved one. We represent plaintiffs on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay anything until a settlement or jury verdict is attained in your case. Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau to schedule your free consultation today.