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What You Need To Know About Boating Accidents


One of the best things about living in the Sarasota area is having access to the beach and being able to do all the fun recreational ocean activities like boating. Boating can be a great hobby to enjoy with your friends and family. However, boating can also be dangerous if you are not careful. Boating accidents are unfortunately common and lead to thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths every year.

Boating Accident Statistics

Every year there are over 2,600 injuries and 600 fatalities nationwide. Florida has the highest rate of boating accidents of any state. Of those, nearly half were collisions with other boats or fixed objects. 70% of all boating operators involved in collisions have no safety training. While 75% of boating fatalities were caused by drowning as a result of not wearing a safety vest. Motorboats are responsible for the most fatalities.

What Are The Primary Causes Of Boating Accidents

The main causes of boating collisions are boat operators. Distracted boating was the number one cause of accidents. Of these accidents, a fourth were caused by alcohol consumption. Reckless boating including excessive speeding, improper turns, and carelessness is the second most common cause. After that, the next biggest cause is weather and hazardous waters. Finally, improper loading over overloading boats and machinery malfunctions caused the rest.

Boating Safety Tips

Most boating accidents can be avoided if you follow proper safety protocols when you head out onto the water. Here are the basics of boating safety:

1. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan on returning before setting out. That way if something goes wrong and you do not return, someone on shore can report the incident to the local authorities.
2. Check the local weather conditions before departure. If the weather changes suddenly while you are out on the water and presents hazardous conditions, head to shore as soon as possible.
3. Make a pre-departure checklist to ensure that you do not forget anything before heading off into the open water.
4. Ensure everyone on board has a suitable life jacket and wears them at all times.
5. Check the machinery and equipment of the boat. Make sure that everything is working properly and that you have tools and extra fuel in case you need to make quick repairs.
6. Make sure you do not overload your boat with items or passengers. Follow the weight limits specified by your boat’s capacity plate.
7. Use extra caution pulling out of the marina as this is where most collisions occur.
8. Operate at a safe speed, stay alert of any other vessels or objects in the water, and do not make sharp turns.
9. Do not consume alcohol while operating the boat. Also, do not engage in dangerous stunts or horseplay.

What To Do If You Are Injured In A Boating Accident

Even the most cautious boaters may run into trouble from time to time. So it is important to know what to do if you are injured in a boating accident. If you or someone you love is injured in a boating accident in order to file an accident claim against another party, you must prove negligence. Much like a car accident claim, you must prove that the person was responsible for the accident and that the accident caused your injuries. Boating accident claims are more difficult to prove than car accident claims, so it is best to speak to a personal injury attorney.

At , Goldman, Babboni, & Walsh, our attorneys have over 150 years of combined experience in Florida. So we have handled several boating accident claims over the years. We know exactly how to determine negligence when it comes to boating accidents and can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies to compensate for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help!

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

What You Need To Know About Boating Accidents

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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