With beautiful weather and access to the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and St. Johns River, Jacksonville is a prime location for boating and all of the fun activities that go along with it.
Unfortunately, dozens of Floridians and visitors of Florida are killed and hundreds more are injured as a result of devastating boating accidents off of the State’s coasts every year.
In situations where surviving relatives lose a loved one due to the negligence, misconduct, or carelessness of a boater, a boating accident wrongful death lawsuit may be filed.
The wrongful death attorneys at Abbott Law Group frequently handle cases in which a person has been injured or killed as a result of a boating accident, and would like to discuss your legal options with you today if you lost a loved one in a boating accident.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), there are nearly 900,000 registered vessels and an estimated 1 million unregistered vessels traveling throughout Florida’s waters.
This high number of vessels in Florida’s water has led to congested waterways and a highly increased risk of injury or death to all boaters.
Every year, up and down the coastline of Florida, residents and vacationers alike are exposed to the negligence or recklessness of boat operators which could result in a collision with injuries.
This negligence of boat operators occurs in a number of ways, including by:
• Not keeping a proper lookout;
• Excessive speeding;
• Allowing more people onboard the boat than are legally allowed;
• Boating under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances;
• Improper anchoring of the boat;
• Reckless driving in congested waters;
• Sharp turning of the boat;
• Failing to maintain the boats safety features (life jackets, fire extinguisher, etc.);
• Failing to abide by Florida’s maritime laws;
• Allowing an inexperienced or unlicensed minor to operate the boat;
• Careless or inattentive driving; and
• Distracted driving (using a cellphone, eating, smoking, etc.).
Just like drivers of cars, operators of boats have important responsibilities to uphold, especially when waters are crowded and there are passengers aboard the boat.
Boat operators have a duty to use appropriate care while operating a boat, a duty to operate the boat safely, a duty to be mindful of other boaters, and a duty to obey maritime laws.
If an operator breaches any of his or her duties and someone is killed as a result, a boating accident wrongful death lawsuit may be brought against the responsible boat operator.
Under Florida law, spouses, children, parents, and any other close relatives of a decedent who passed away in a boating accident may be eligible to seek compensation from the at-fault party for funeral costs, loss of services, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
If you have lost a family member as a result of a boating accident and you believe that it could have been prevented if the other party had used better judgment, contact the wrongful death lawyers at Abbott Law Group today to discuss your legal options.
The attorneys at Abbott Law Group have over thirty years of experience litigating boating accident wrongful death cases, and will continue fighting for those who have lost loved ones due to the negligence or recklessness of boat operators. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.