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Bagen Law Blog

Boating Accidents

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

Jan 20, 2014 9:38:00 AM

boating accident lawyer Gainesville FLIt's amazing how some of the best drivers on the road turn into some of the most clumsy and irresponsible boat drivers on water. In reality, boats and boating traffic are regulated, boat owners have responsibilities, and being irresponsible with a boat can result in property, injuries, and even death in boating accidents.

Florida is a prime state for boaters, surrounded by water on three sides, and dotted with hundreds of lakes, as well as the Everglades. As a result, boaters with watercraft of all sizes and types will find a location that suits their fancy, enjoying a weekend on the water or making a living out of the waterways or both. However, just like the roadwayss and highways, the waterways have risks that boaters need to constantly be aware of. These include hidden underwater obstacles, above water risks, water currents, the weather, and most importantly, other boaters and water recreation users.

The state puts together statistical reports every two years on boating accidents, covering events ranging from insignificant to very serious matters resulting in injury and death. Floridians produce a seriously high number of accidents versus other states, sitting in the top 10 states, well above peers, with 685 recreational accidents in 2012. California, the second highest, was far lower at 399 incidents. The difference in behavior and control is far more noticeable when one considers the number of boats owned between the two states is not very different; Florida has 889,895 registered owners and California has 855,243 owners. So, Florida boating clearly involves far more risk per capita. To make matters even more eyebrow-raising, the state has been on an increasing accident trend for the last three years until 2012, while the number of boating owners is dropping during the same time period.

There are four big areas of boating accidents that can affect anybody who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our personal injury and boating accident attorneys in Ocala and Gainesville often see these causes of action, regardless of the details.

  • Negligence - Boat owners who should know better do things or fail to do things that cause safety risks for others on the water. Because of their the carelessness, the accident occurs when it could have been avoided.
  • Boating Under the Influence - Just like when driving a car, a person driving or operating a boat while drunk or under a drug influence can easily put others at risk. And boating can be far more dangerous in a drunk-boating accident as anyone who gets thrown into or falls into the water in an accident can easily drown in less than a minute.
  • Careless or Reckless Operation - People who drive their boats with abandon and no concern for others nearby may frequently cause accidents that they are able to float away from with little harm to themselves. However, others affected could end up being seriously injured trying to avoid the reckless boating that occurred near them. This can include speeding in low-speed zones, heckling or buzzing other boaters, causing large wakes in calm areas, and boating out of control that impacts or causes near misses with other boaters.
  • Mechanical Failure - While failure of a part is often blamed, in reality, boating mechanical failure is often secondary to human error. However, sometimes it can be the cause of an accident, especially with boating rentals that are not maintained properly by the business.

All of the above categories and more can affect Ocala and Gainesville boaters any day of the week, any day of the year. It's often the case that a boater can do everything right and still end up in a boating accident because of someone else's bad behavior or thoughtlessness on the waters.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a boating accident in the Ocala or Gainesville region, it's worth the time to discuss the matter with our boat accident attorney Ocala office at Bagen Law, at least to find out what your representation rights are. There's no reason to have to suffer and pay for expenses that someone else should be responsible for from a boating accident. With qualified and experienced boat accident attorney Ocala representation, a boat owner can be back on the water as quickly as possible.

Talk to Steven Bagen Attorney Gainesville Ocala Florida

Topics: Boating Accidents